The sacked head of the government agency set up to safeguard the
welfare of children in the court system has threatened legal action
to clear her name, writes Derren
Diane Shepherd was dismissed as chief executive of the Children
and Family Court Advisory and Support Service last week after an
eight-month disciplinary inquiry into her performance. She had been
suspended since November last year.
Cafcass refused to give its reasons for dismissing Shepherd, but
they are thought to relate to questions of competence and making
financial decisions without authority.
But Shepherd said there was no foundation to the charges, and
believes she has been made a “scapegoat for the deficiencies of
She claims Cafcass did not conduct a fair and full disciplinary
process. “I have fought unsuccessfully for the right to a fair and
independent investigation, but have still not had the opportunity
to give my account of these matters,” she said.
Shepherd vowed to clear her name and repair the damage done to
her career, through the courts or an industrial tribunal if