April 2005: Chief executive, Cafcass Cymru.
2001-2005: Director of Wales, Cafcass.
1996-2001: Service manager, children and family
services, Conwy Council.
1993-1996: Principal officer, adolescent
services, Gwynedd Council.
1991-1993: Family court welfare officer, north
Wales family court welfare service. 1983-1991: Probation officer,
Organisation: Cafcass looks after the interests
of children involved in proceedings in the family courts.
How long in the job? I have been in the job
since 1 April when Cafcass Cymru split from Cafcass in England.
Career lowpoint: Being in workplaces where
approaches to diversity and Welsh language were tokenistic.
Best training ever done: A development
programme for senior minority ethnic managers in social services,
run by the Improvement and Development Agency.
didn’t get where I am today
by: Not admitting mistakes.
Over the course of my career, I wish I had:
Been more adventurous and attempted to move around jobs more.
I wish I hadn’t: Stayed at a local authority
where I became deeply unhappy following local government
The best move I’ve ever made was: Becoming a
principal officer in the former county of Gwynedd: a real challenge
but with opportunities to be creative and innovative.
The person who has had the biggest influence on me
during my career is: My uncle who raised me. (I spent my
first 10 months in an NCH children’s home). He was a stonemason, a
craftsman and perfectionist with very sound values and
The most painful lesson I’ve learned at work
is: Ambition can make some people dangerous and
Me and my career: Becoming director of Wales at
Cafcass in what was an England and Wales organisation presented
several interesting challenges. One was overcoming the north/south
divide in Wales. The most difficult was attempting to keep Cafcass
senior management focused on the differences between service
delivery and legislation in Wales and England. Cafcass Cymru is now
separate and part of the National Assembly for Wales. There will be
a staff of about 200 people.