Family Court Adviser
As a Family Court Adviser, you will be working directly with vulnerable children and families to advise the family courts on the best course of action for the child or young person. At the heart of this, you will provide case analysis and recommendations to the court.
You will work with parents, relatives, local authorities and the courts and demonstrate your understanding of what the child needs, wants and feels.
How we work
It’s a role where you can work truly flexibly. All our social work staff receive a laptop or tablet device and a smart phone. This allows a flexible approach to work. Staff can work from an office, court, or home.
What you need
To be able to carry out this work you will be social work qualified, registered with the HCPC as a social worker in England and experienced at working with highly vulnerable children and families. You will be an expert in safeguarding, child engagement, inter-agency working, case analysis, planning and recording.
Our work is demanding; therefore you will need to be resilient and organised, have the ability to work proportionately, with strong IT skills and excellent verbal and written communication skills.
What we offer
You’ll have a work environment where we will support your continuing learning and development and you’ll receive a great rewards and benefits package that focuses on you and your wellbeing.
If you are looking for career development, we have opportunities to become a Practice Supervisor, provided you can demonstrate you meet our requirements for the role. As a Practice Supervisor, you will have additional responsibility for supervising the casework of others, supporting the Service Manager and also undertaking more complex casework.
In return for your skills and commitment we offer a privileged role – being the voice in the family court for some of the most vulnerable children in England.
Ross Duncan, Family Court Adviser, Newcastle
“I am a family court adviser based in Newcastle and I have worked for Cafcass for two years.
“I work in the case holding team which means that I am a guardian in public law applications and complete mainly section 7 reports in private law applications. I complete analytical reports that consider the best interests of children in some very complex cases. I am able to develop working relationships with families, professionals, and most importantly children and young people, while completing my enquiries.
“I find my role is both challenging and rewarding. Providing oral evidence in the family court is at times daunting but an intellectually stimulating challenge. Many families are working through complex emotions and are experiencing a time of conflict. While this can be difficult it offers an opportunity to support families during this time.
“I find that working as a Family Court Adviser enables me to be flexible in terms of my work patterns. I also get the chance to be out and about on visits. I enjoy my work and to this point no two days have been the same. All these factors weigh up to make working within Cafcass a positive experience.”
Mary-Jayne Carter, Family Court Adviser, Early Intervention Team, Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside
“I have been working for Cafcass since September 2011. I currently work on the Early Intervention Team. The team exists to ensure children are safeguarded specifically at the first stage of private family court applications. We complete a brief report outlining the views of the parties, the police and local authority involvement and analyse safeguarding concerns; ending in recommendations suitable to the case. We attend initial hearings and advise the court how best to safeguard the children involved and ensure their welfare is kept paramount.
“The job involves a high turnover of cases and a variety of applications which ensures a steep learning curve. As an organisation I have found Cafcass to be encouraging in my strengths and supportive in developing my skills. This gives me motivation to work hard for the organisation and I would certainly commend it to my colleagues in social work.”
Mary Dexter, Family Court Adviser, Sussex and Surrey
“I began working for Cafcass in April 2011 having worked for the local authority in various guises over the years. As an Family Court Adviser a typical day can consist of giving evidence in court at a final hearing and attending court to represent children, writing position statements and final analysis, and making home visits to obtain a young person’s views.
“It is a very busy and demanding role and it is necessary to be self-motivated and committed to ensuring the best outcomes for young people. But in so saying I do feel that as a children’s guardian I do make a difference. Our views are listened to, heard and respected in the courts and we have the independence and knowledge of children’s needs and social work practices to ensure that the focus remains on the needs of the child.”