Learn more about Cafcass’ Directors and Board members.
Jacky Tiotto, Chief Executive
Jacky Tiotto joined Cafcass from the London Borough of Bexley, where she held the position of Director of Children’s Services for four and a half years. With statutory responsibility for all services to children, young people, schools, families and carers, she oversaw the directorate in its implementation of family and child focused help, protection and care which was judged outstanding by Ofsted in July 2018.
Jacky has previously held senior positions with Ofsted, the Department for Education where she was the Senior Deputy Director for safeguarding and child protection and as the Director for Children and Learners at Government Office London, before its abolition in 2011. Jacky was the lead professional adviser for both the Laming and Munro reviews of child protection in England in 2007 and 2011 respectively.
Starting her career as a social worker in 1989, Jacky worked for London local authorities before becoming national adviser for children and adult services for the local government association and senior specialist for social care, education and health at the Audit Commission.
Julie Brown, Director of Resources
Julie Brown joined Cafcass in 2008, having worked in both Adults and Children’s Social Care for a number of years. Prior to that, she worked in the Probation Service before its national reorganisation. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in the early 1990s, she worked for a number of years in both practice and industry until 2001, when she switched to, and then stayed, working within the public sector.
Teresa Williams, Director of Strategy
Teresa Williams joined Cafcass in 2018.
In addition to leading Cafcass’ Strategic Plan, Teresa is responsible for private law transformation, chairs our Research Advisory Committee, and is Cafcass’ Senior Information Risk Owner. She is a member of the Family Justice Reform Implementation Group, Private Law Advisory Group and FDAC Advisory Group as well as a Board Member of the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory.
Prior to joining Cafcass, Teresa was Director of Justice and Welfare at the Nuffield Foundation and spent 20 years as a policy analyst in the civil service, most recently as Head of Access to Justice Analytical Services and Chief Researcher at the Ministry of Justice.
Jack Cordery, Director of Operations
Jack joined Cafcass in March 2021. Jack is a qualified social worker, working initially as a probation officer, including as a court welfare officer and children’s guardian, child advocate, social worker and social work manager for over 38 years.
Jack has a track record of improving the effectiveness of children’s social care services across a wide range of local authority areas through a focus on organisational and professional culture. As Director for Children and Family Services at Cornwall Council, Jack led Cornwall’s children’s social care service from Inadequate to Outstanding. He was also part of the senior team that took Sheffield’s children’s social care services out of ‘special measures’.
Jack is passionate about improving the life chances of disadvantaged children and families through high quality and evidence-based practice. His own social work and management practice is rooted in a deep commitment to social justice and pro-social learning, for families and colleagues.
The Cafcass Board
The Board is made up of our Chair and Board members. You can read the biographies for each member of the Board below.
You can read more about the responsibilities of the Board in our Legislation and Framework document
Our Board formally meets four times each year. You can find out about these meetings and download reports on our Board meetings and reports page.
Sally Cheshire, CBE - Chair
Sally Cheshire CBE is an experienced Chair, Board member and Audit Chair across the public sector and is an adoptive parent of three children. She was a Board Member of the regional adoption agency, Adoption Counts, and remains an independent member of Adoption Panels in the North West, which approve adopters and family matches in the best interests of children. She is also a member of the Departmental Audit and Risk Assurance Committee at the Department of Work and Pensions, and is a Board member of the Care Quality Commission.
Sally has held several senior leadership roles across the NHS and the wider health and care sector including Chair of the HFEA, the UK’s regulator of the fertility sector and embryo research and with Health Education England, NHS North and the Health Research Authority.
Sally previously enjoyed a successful corporate career with Deloitte, one of the global professional services firms and, having moved into public sector work, is passionate about improving the quality of public services offered to families and patients and, in her adoption work, ensuring children’s wishes are respected and decisions taken in their best interests.
Helen Jones – Board member
Helen Jones is an experienced risk, compliance and regulatory policy practitioner, with both public and commercial cross sectoral experience in financial services and non-executive experience in social housing, services for children and young people and occupational pensions. Helen worked in various senior risk roles for the Bank of England and for the Financial Services Authority, before working for Lloyds Banking Group.
She was a board member of the then YMCA London South West (now St Paul’s Group) for over 20 years, latterly as Chair of the board and has chaired the Board of the YMCA pension scheme for the last 12 years. Helen is a magistrate and member of the Greater London Family Panel.
She is the Lead Magistrate for the Central Family Court and a member of the Family Court Committee of the Magistrates Association. She is also a member of the Private Law Working Group established by the President of the Family Division. Helen is also a non-executive director of a family mediation charity.
Eileen Munro - Deputy Chair
Eileen Munro is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics. Professor Munro has written extensively on how to improve reasoning in child protection work, covering how best to combine intuitive and analytic reasoning and also on the importance of understanding how the organisational system influences workers’ actions. In 2011, she completed the Munro Review of the English Child Protection System.
She has since been working with the Signs of Safety organisation on whole system re-design to support Signs of Safety practice with families, thereby testing the feasibility of implementing her Review recommendations. Returning to her roots in philosophy, Eileen is also working in a 5-year philosophy of social technology project that is exploring the implications of complex causality for using research findings in a new location and how this challenges traditional evidence-based practice.
Rohan Sivanandan - Board member
Rohan Sivanandan worked as an economist and senior executive in the private sector before moving into the education field. He worked across all phases of education, latterly as an education chief officer. Subsequently, Rohan set up his own consultancy specialising in organisational development, training and leadership coaching. He has been a trustee/director of a children’s charity, a school governor, an arts charity trustee, a mentor and coach for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority children and young people.
Currently, he is a magistrate in criminal and family court; chairs panels on the Lord Chancellor’s Magistrates’ Advisory Committee for London; chairs fitness to practice hearings for Social Work England; an independent member of the Greater London Authority on Mayoral appointments; chairs Mental Health hearings; an awards assessor for the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence. Rohan is the Cafcass Board lead on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
Paul Grant - Board member
Paul Grant has been the ‘Responsible Individual’ and a Director of an Independent Fostering Agency since 2012. In addition to his non-executive director role with Cafcass; Paul has held several other non-executive director positions since 2007, working in the Criminal Justice, Housing and Health sectors. Paul has been sitting as a lay panel member on fitness to practise/professional conduct panels since 2014.
He currently sits for the Health & Care Professions Council; Farriers Registration Council; General Osteopathic Council; Bar Standards Board and Social Work England. Paul is also a member of the Nursing & Midwifery Council’s Test of Competence Assurance Advisory Group. He also acts as the Reg 44 ‘Independent Visitor’ for a children’s home. His previous career included working in regeneration (Deputy Chief Executive of the New Deal for Communities programme in Nottingham), and in criminal justice and rehabilitation.
Joanna Nicolas - Co-opted Board member
Joanna Nicolas is a child protection consultant and trainer and has been a social worker for twenty-five years. She holds a number of advisory roles across a wide range of organisations in the public, private and third sectors, who are seeking advice and expertise about safeguarding and child protection. Joanna works with organisations on a long or short-term basis. She also leads child safeguarding practice reviews and assessments of individuals working in a position of trust with children.
Joanna develops and delivers safeguarding training. She is a core trainer for her Local Safeguarding Children Partnership. She is a national commentator on safeguarding children and social work, appearing regularly across the BBC, Sky and ITV. She speaks at national conferences. She is a published author; her books focus on practical issues professionals face. She writes regularly for a range of outlets including the Guardian and Community Care.
Catherine Doran - Board member
Catherine Doran has a background in social work, safeguarding and policy development. She was previously an Executive Director of Children Services in London before retiring. She has worked in a variety of public sector services for over 36 years. Her portfolio at Executive level has spanned both central and local government, the NHS and more recently the Non-for Profit Sector.
She was a Non-Executive Director at the Disclosure and Barring Service before joining Cafcass. She is presently on the Children’s Advisory Board of the British Board of Film Classification and a board member of a children’s charity.
Mandy Jones - Board member
Mandy first joined the Civil Service in 1990 as Policy Lead for the Prison Service Medical Directorate, whereafter she has undertaken a range of roles based in various locations across the UK and in France. The majority of her career has been focused on operational delivery, organisational improvement, change management and programme delivery working in the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and for Cabinet Office.
Working at senior level for the last 15 years of her career she was accountable for the delivery of a number of major organisational change programmes which included;
- creation and launch of the National Asylum Support Service across the UK regions and Scotland
- the Evian Programme – transformation of the UK/French Border to increase dynamic security and reduce risk to the UK
- development and launch of a single HR expert service (recruitment/selection and career transition) for delivery to the entire Civil Service
- engagement with the Nigerian Government to enable signing of the bilateral agreement and facilitation of prisoner transfers
- development and launch of a complex case management approach for women offenders.
On leaving the Civil Service she worked as Business Development Director for NSL where she engaged with public bodies to enable effective document authentication and identity validation to prevent illegal working, identity theft and fraud.
Mandy is currently a full time foster carer and foster care ambassador based in Kent where she lives with her husband and adult children. As a care leaver herself and from the work she undertook within the National Prison and Probation Service she understands the impact individuals can have in helping others change their lives and create better futures.
Sophie Humphreys - Co-opted Board member
Sophie is a highly experienced independent advisor on child protection and safeguarding, providing expertise to central government and local authorities.
Sophie is known for her innovative approach to services to protect children and vulnerable adults, and most recently providing a response to one of the most pressing challenges to society today; the repeat removals of children into care from the same women year after year, www.pause.org.uk. As Founder Sophie has led the organisation from its initial Pause Practice in 2013 in Hackney to operating across over 24 local authority areas and in development across Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Sophie is a member of the Ministerial Female Offenders Advisory Board and the Children’s Commissioner’s Advisory Board, and provided advice to the Oxfam GB Independent Safeguarding Review Panel.
Susan Smith - Co-opted Committee member
Dr Susan Smith is Associate Dean at the University of Sussex Business School. Susan is a Senior Lecturer in Accounting and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Susan is an elected member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (‘ICAEW’) Council representing the South East and member of the ICAEW Ethical Standards Committee.
Catharine Seddon - Board member
Catharine brings a wealth of experience to Cafcass having spent 14 years working in public service as a non-executive director, principally for national regulators. She is currently a Senior Independent Director for The Gambling Commission and for the Legal Services Board, a Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and a Trustee for CPotential, a charity which provides a range of services and support for children and young people who have movement disorders. She also sits on tribunals in mental health and employment as a lay assessor on civil cases in the county courts, and she is a presiding magistrate in Central London.
Peter Fish CB - Board member
Peter is a solicitor with over 25 years’ experience as a Government Lawyer, most recently as (interim) Treasury Solicitor and Permanent Secretary of the Government Legal Department (GLD). He began his career as a litigation solicitor in private practice before joining the Government Legal Service in 1994. He has held a number of senior legal roles across Government including as Legal Adviser to the Cabinet Office, Head of the Attorney General’s Office and Legal Adviser to the Home Office. Peter was an executive member of GLD’s Board from 2014 until leaving the civil service in April 2021. He is currently an Assistant Commissioner with the Boundary Commission for England.