New Cafcass chief executive announced

Jacky Tiotto will replace Anthony Douglas head of the family court advisory service

Photo: Gary Brigden

Jacky Tiotto will become the new chief executive of Cafcass in autumn 2019, replacing the retiring Anthony Douglas, the family court advisory service has announced.

Tiotto is currently the director of children’s services in Bexley – which was rated ‘outstanding’ by inspectors last year.

She has previously been director of social care inspection development at Ofsted, head of the national safeguarding delivery unit, lead professional adviser to Professor Eileen Munro and the lead official to Lord Laming’s Review of Child Protection in England.

Fifteen-year stint

She will replace Douglas later this year as he ends his 15 year stint at the top of the family court advisory service.

During that time it has gone on a journey from ‘inadequate’ in 2009 to ‘outstanding’ in its most recent Ofsted inspection.

Tiotto said the role is a “privilege” but said “the demand and complexity of the work cannot be underestimated”.

“I am delighted to be able to lead the organisation and to learn from its work as we continue to give a loud and authentic voice to the children who need and deserve our help”, Tiotto said.

Edward Timpson, former children’s minister and chair of Cafcass’ board, described Tiotto as “an exceptional candidate”.

“Her unique insights, proven leadership and deep understanding of children and families will be vital to Cafcass as we continue to drive forward in our mission to provide an outstanding service for every child,” Timpson said.

3 Responses to New Cafcass chief executive announced

  1. Je May 22, 2019 at 2:14 pm #

    Good luck to everyone working there, I hope the workload is manageable, you get to spend time with your families and friends and not working at 3.00am. Also that you get to actually see children and maybe parents/ carers that use the service. #onlymytakeonit.

  2. Kerrie Lynam May 23, 2019 at 7:14 pm #

    Let’s hope a complete overhaul for Cafcass and they actually get to know the family that they represent and not rely on gut instincts

    • Mark May 24, 2019 at 4:49 pm #

      My sentiments precisely. Very bad experience with Cafcass, with many assumptions that formed the basis for advice to the family court initially, confirmed to have been incorrect following a fact finding hearing. The facts found however did little if nothing to rebalance entrenched views of the Cafcass officer who appears more focussed on maintaining the myopic view held from the onset, rather than seeing the bigger picture and what is best in the long-term for the child’s welfare. Further issues around gender bias and a willingness to only address the concerns of the mother, with targeted questioning to cherry pick and highlight a one-sided perspective designed to support unfounded allegations. The basis for advice to the court is therefore flawed. Much work to be done to change this agency from advising the court based on a gut feel to advice based on verified facts. Given the ability of Cafcass to steer people’s future based on advice to the court it is morally incumbent on them to ensure all advice is based upon facts, not gut feel from very limited exposure to family members or conjecture.