Putting children and young people first in the family courts


The Cafcass Board

Chair of the Cafcass Board

Claire Tyler

Baroness Tyler of Enfield

Claire Tyler (Baroness Tyler of Enfield) became Chair of Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) in February 2012. She became President of the NCB (National Children’s Bureau) in August 2012, Vice President of Relate in November 2012 and Chair of the Making Every Adult Matter coalition of charities in July 2013.

Previously, Claire was the Chief Executive Officer of Relate, the UK’s leading relationship support agency between 2007 and 2012. This followed a number of senior positions within Government, the last of which was Director of the Vulnerable Children’s Group at the DfES (now the Department for Education). She also chaired the ‘Kids in the Middle’ coalition, a group of national charities and agony aunts campaigning for better services for separating parents and their children. Prior to this, Claire had been the Director of the Government’s Social Exclusion Unit and a board member of the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister from April 2002 until June 2006. From July 2000 to April 2002 Claire was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Connexions Service.

In November 2010 Claire was nominated as a Liberal Democrat Peer and from 1st February 2011 has sat in the House of Lords as Baroness Tyler of Enfield taking an active role in health and social care, welfare reform, social mobility, well-being, children and family policy, machinery of government and the voluntary sector. Within Parliament Claire sits on the Lords Select Committee on Public Services and Demography, is Co-Chair of the Growing Giving Parliamentary Inquiry. She is Vice Chair of the following: the Associate Parliamentary Group for Parents and Families; the All Party Parliamentary Group on social mobility; the All Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing; and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Relationships. Claire also chairs the Liberal Democrat policy working group on a Balanced Working Life and is Vice President of Liberal International Great Britain.

After graduating in law and politics from Southampton University, Claire joined the Greater London Council/Inner London Education Authority in 1978 and in 1988 she joined the Civil Service. Claire also has a Diploma in Management Studies and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. For five years Claire was joint chair of the Social Policy Forum and  sat on the Executive Committee of the Public Management and Policy Association for seven years. From 2002-06 Claire sat on the Poverty and Disadvantage Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Please note that Cafcass related correspondence to the Chair will only be responded to if it is received at Cafcass.


Cafcass Board Members

Mary McCloud

Mary MacLeod - Deputy Chair

Mary MacLeod is currently the Chair of the Clinical Governance Committee at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She is also currently on the board of the Internet Watch Foundation, the Chair of Gingerbread, the Chair of the Advisory Group of Safe Network as well as a Non-executive Director of the Video Standards Council. Additionally, since 2009, she has variously been a Family policy advisor/consultant for DCSF, Vodafone, Participle and Family Action. Mary has a strong commitment to children and families and will bring an extensive research background to the Cafcass Board and a demonstrable ability to promote diversity.

Previously, she was a member of the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (2008-2012); she was the Chief Executive of the Family and Parenting Institute (1999-2009); Director of Policy, Research and Development and Deputy Chief Executive, ChildLine (1995-1999; Deputy Chief Executive 1999); Director of HQ Counselling Services, ChildLine (1995); Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Polytechnic of North London (1982-1991).

Mary was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to children and to families.

Geoffrey Bush Geoffrey Bush CB DL

Since retiring in 1999 as Deputy Chairman and Director General (Operations) of the Board of Inland Revenue, Geoff has held a range of non-executive roles for the Cabinet Office, the Office of Government Commerce and the Bank of England. More recently he has been the independent member of Programme Boards in the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

He is a Trustee of the Exeter University Foundation and a member of the Boards of Trustees of Hospiscare, Exeter, and the West of England School and College for young children of little or no sight. Geoff also chairs the Council for Exeter Cathedral.

John Lakin


John Lakin

John Lakin previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (1988-2011) where he was the Partner responsible for Education and Children’s Services Consulting and also Head of Public Sector Policy, Research and Economics.

Prior to that he worked for the Inner London Education Authority (1985-1988) where he was the Head of the Leader’s Office and the Education Programme Manager for Hackney Inner City Partnership. He also had roles as Assistant Programme Controller for Economic Development and as Policy Researcher, European Affairs for the Greater London Council (1981-1985), and as a Finance Officer for Hillingdon Area Health Authority (1981).

 Francis Plowden Francis Plowden

Francis Plowden is currently the Chairman of CEOP, the national centre for the protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation (since 2010). He is a Board Member of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (since 2009), where he is the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee, and an external member of the Audit Committee of the British Museum (since 2009). He is also an Assistant Boundary Commissioner for the Boundary Commission for England (2011).

Previously, he was a Commissioner with the Judicial Appointments Commission (2006-2012); Chairman of the Greenwich Foundation (2003-2011); a Board Member of Hedra PLC (2007-2008); Chairman of the National Council for Palliative Care (2001-2008) and has carried out advisory work for both the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. He was a partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers where he was Head of Government Sector (1998- 2001) and at the then Coopers and Lybrand, as Managing Partner International Affairs (1995-1998) and Head of UK Government Consulting (1987-1995).

Honor Rhodes

Honor Rhodes, OBE

Honor Rhodes is the Director of Strategic Development & Projects, Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) and started her career as a social worker in Tower Hamlets. In 1997 she moved to the charity Family Action as Director of Services, becoming CEO of Coram Family in 2005. After working at the Family and Parenting Institute she moved to TCCR in 2010, where her job is to persuade other agencies to think about the critical importance of couple relationships.

Honor's particular interest is in effective interventions with chaotic, chronic multi-problem families. She writes short guides for practitioners including, 'A Guide to helping troubled families' (FPI 2007and 'Knowing what you do works: measuring your own effectiveness with families, parents and children' (FPI 2009). She has just written, 'A short guide to working with co-parents: why we don't, why we should and how we could' (TCCR 2012)

Honor is a Non-Executive Director of NHS North East London Cluster and sits on her local Clinical Commissioning group, she is a trustee of WAVE Trust and an advisor on the British Board of Film Classification's Advisory Panel on Children's Viewing. She was awarded an OBE in July 2010 for her work with children and families.

kamaljit Singh

Kamaljit Singh

Kamaljit is a solicitor and is the Practice Leader and Team Manager for the South London Legal Partnership in London's first shared legal service, advising Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Kingston Councils. She advises on law and policy relating to
children, special educational needs, mental health and adults. She is a member
of the Law Society's Children's Panel and was previously Vice-Chair and Acting
Chair of West London Mental Health NHS Trust. She is also a member of the
London Family Justice Board


Fay Selvan

Fay Selvan

Fay Selvan has been the CEO of the Big Life group since 1991 which has grown from a community organisation with a turnover of £17,000 p.a into one of the largest social enterprises in the UK with a turnover of circa £8m and 300 staff. She is also currently the Chair of Trafford Healthcare Trust (since 2006) which has a turnover of circa £80m and 2000 staff.

She was previously the Chair of Trafford Primary Care Trust (2001-2006); Executive Sponsor of Manchester, Salford and Trafford Health Action Zone (1999-2002); Tenant Liaison Officer, Manchester City Council (1986-1989) and Administrator/Project Officer at Great Manchester Low Pay Unit (1985-1986). She was also a Department of Health Social Enterprise Mentor between 2010-2011 and a Commissioner with the Street Weapons Commission in 2009.


 Stuart Smith Web Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith recently became the Director of Children Services for Calderdale Council where he has been particularly appointed to lead the council's strategy to meet the requirements of the DfE Improvement Notice for Children's Social Care. Stuart is also reviewing the council approach to school improvement and early intervention services.

Previously Stuart was employed as Director of Education, Skills and Communities at Wigan Borough Council where he led on the new relationships with schools and the redesign of the school improvement service, also the Executive Director of Children, Adult and Family Services at Liverpool City Council (2001-2011) where he was responsible for budgets in excess of £800m and oversaw a large increase in school attainment at all levels.

In previous roles he has been Assistant Director, Students and Communities at Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council (1999-2001); Head of Behaviour Support Services, Kent County Council (1995-1999); Deputy Principal Youth Officer, Wirral LEA (1992-1995); Training and Development Officer, Wirral LEA (1990-1992) and Community Development Officer, Dudley MBC (1987-1990). He has also held various teaching and youth worker roles.

June Thoburn Variation 1

Prof. June Thoburn CBE - Special adviser to the Board

Emeritus Professor of Social Work at the University of East Anglia. A qualified social worker, June has taught and researched across the field of child welfare since 1980. She provides expert evidence in complex foster care and adoption cases; and is a member of the Norfolk Family Justice Council. Between 2001 and 2008 she was Vice Chair of the General Social Care Council and was until recently the Chair of Jersey Child Protection Committee.


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