The former director of children's services at Bexley council Jacky Tiotto has started work as the new chief executive of Cafcass.
Jacky Tiotto has taken the helm of the organisation following Anthony Douglas's retirement earlier this year. Ms Tiotto has joined Cafcass - which gives independent advice to the family court in England on what is safe and in the best interests of children who are the subject of family proceedings - as it launches its refreshed strategic plan.
The plan sets the direction for the organisation which is the largest employer of social workers in the country over the next four years until 2023.
Jacky Tiotto said: “I could not think of a more exciting time to be joining Cafcass, at the point of launching our new strategic plan. Being involved in its development and implementation alongside our practitioners, managers, partners and families at the start of my experience with Cafcass will help me to understand the strengths of our practice and the challenges that we face as an organisation. I am determined that the success of any new strategic plan will be measured by the views and feedback from the 130,000 children and young people with whom we work each year and I will look to the Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB) to advise and help me closely.
“Over the coming weeks and months, with the senior team, I will be working closely alongside practitioners, managers, families, children and professionals outside of Cafcass who have a key role in the family justice system to discuss how we enable our strategy to have the best impact. An exciting early focus for me will be establishing our family forum, which will help all of us at Cafcass to hear directly from the children and families with whom we work, about what we do well and what we need to improve," she added.
Prior to being Director at Bexley, Jacky was Director for Social Care Inspection Development at Ofsted. She has also held senior professional roles, including as Head of the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit, Lead Professional Adviser to Professor Eileen Munro during her national review and as the Lead Official to Lord Laming’s Review of Child Protection in England.
The three broad strategic aims within the strategy are:
- To deliver the best quality social work and support service in every case, to help
make things better for children and their families, wherever they live.
- For our staff to have the support, resources and working environment that enables them to sustain excellence in challenging times.
- To share knowledge, learn from others and use our collective influence to improve the family justice system and wider family policy.
Cafcass' mission is: "To ensure children, and the people who matter to them, are at the centre of our work. We will give them a service which prioritises their safety, voices their needs, and leaves them in a better position."
Its vision is for every child, whose future is decided by the family courts, to have their voice heard and have a better life.
Prior to Anthony Douglas stepping down, Cafcass was judged by Ofsted as being outstanding having been on an improvement journey since it was rated inadequate in 2009. this was against a backdrop of a surge in care applications.
Cafcass Chair Edward Timpson CBE said: “The fact that we are able to launch this strategy at the point at which Jacky arrives is testament to her early commitment and enthusiasm for the task ahead, as well as the strength of the interim leadership arrangements which have been in place since May this year. I would like to thank Julie Brown and her senior management team for ensuring Cafcass has continued to move forward during her time as interim Chief Executive.
"As a Board we are completely behind this strategy and where it will take Cafcass over the coming years. The input from Cafcass staff into its development has been phenomenal and reflects a passionate workforce which is dedicated to the children and families they support. I look forward to strengthening the connections we have with partner organisations to take the steps necessary to provide a family justice system which is always working harder to better meet the needs of the children and families it serves," he concluded.