New Chair of Cafcass appointed
Baroness Tyler has been Chief Executive Officer of Relate since 2007, and is a working Liberal Democrat Peer in the House of Lords. She previously held a number of senior positions within the government, most recently Director of the Vulnerable Children’s Group at the Department for Education and Skills. She was raised to the peerage in January 2011.
I thought I would take this opportunity to briefly explain what Cafcass is, for the benefit of the uninitiated. Cafcass (the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, to give it its full name) was set up on 1st April 2001 under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. It brought together the Family Court Welfare Service (which was a subdivision of the probation service), the 57 panels of the Guardian ad Litem Service and the Children’s Division of the Official Solicitor’s Office. Cafcass is a body corporate, governed by the Board and managed by a Corporate Management Team, with Anthony Douglas as Chief Executive.
Its principal functions are to:
- safeguard and promote the welfare of the children,
- give advice to any court about any application made to it in such proceedings,
- make provision for the children to be represented in such proceedings,
- provide information, advice and other support for the children and their families.