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Court Reporters - New chair for CAFCASS

Press Releases
British Association for Adoption & Fostering
Press release index | BAAF welcomes child abuse experts review
JUNE 09, 2004


The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) has today welcomed the appointment of Anthony Douglas as the new Chief Executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). Anthony has been the Chair of BAAF since November 2003 and was previously vice-Chair.
Anthony brings a wealth of professional experience from his previous posts as director of social services in Suffolk and Havering, as well as personal experience as an adopted person.
Felicity Collier, Chief Executive of BAAF, said ‘Anthony is ideally suited to taking on this role in what has been a difficult time for CAFCASS. His new role complements the continuing leadership he offers BAAF in safeguarding the futures of the 65,000 children in care in England and Wales. I hope that Anthony’s appointment, along with other measures being taken, will lead to real progress for CAFCASS. I look forward to working with him in both his new role and as chair of BAAF.’
BAAF was represented on two of the advisory groups set up to assist the Lord Chancellor's department in the implementation of CAFCASS. It also gave evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on the Lord Chancellor's Department enquiry into CAFCASS when difficulties arose.
Press office (020 7593 2054)
The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) is the UK’s leading adoption and fostering charity. For more information, visit www.baaf.org.uk.
Posted by Web Site Editor at June 9, 2004 10:20 AM

Anthony Douglas, BAAF's Chair
Anthony Douglas was Vice Chair of BAAF for 3 years before succeeding Sir Edward Cazalet as Chair. He brings to the role considerable personal and professional experience.
As an adoptee in touch with his birth family, he understands the issues for children and families involved in family placements.
Anthony has recently been appointed chief executive of CAFCASS (see BAAF's press release). He has been a Director of Social Services for 8 years in 2 local authorities, and has also been a Director of Housing, Leisure and other public services. He was Chair of London ADSS for 3 years and has written 3 books on UK Social Services.
Anthony is married with 2 grown-up daughters, and lives in Suffolk and London. He is working on a fourth book, on social care partnerships, and is a keen cricketer and saxophonist.

Social service chief moves up
24 June 2004 07:30

Suffolk has no plans to appoint a new director of social care following the
decision of its current boss to take up a national post working with
children and families involved in court cases.

Anthony Douglas is to become chief executive of the Children and Families
Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS).

The departure of the 54-year-old, who will start his new job in September,
gives greater urgency to Suffolk's overhaul of services for children.

This week councillors in Norfolk agreed to press ahead with plans to create
a director of children's services.

Suffolk's executive has signed up to the principle of creating a children's
director as part of its Every Child Matters strategy, with hopes to complete
the overhaul by the autumn.

The moves are part of a Government drive set out in the Children Bill to
pull together the work of agencies responsible for child protection
including social services, education, the voluntary sector, health bodies
and the police.

Greater emphasis will be placed on early intervention and prevention to
ensure youngsters at risk do not slip through the net after the tragic
deaths of Victoria Climbie and Lauren Wright.

Mr Douglas said he had not planned to leave Suffolk after less than two
years, but the challenge of a national role was too good to turn down, and
he was looking forward to taking up the new job.

"It's a huge challenge and very exciting," he said.

"It's a service which has had its difficulties, but it's a massively
important one that affects thousands of children caught up in public and
private law cases.

"Clearly I would have liked to stay another year to embed some of the
programmes we have been doing, but this job came up.

"I believe I have changed the culture of the department. It's become a more
open and candid culture and a lot less bureaucratic."

And he said that his decision would give a further impetus to the overhaul,
which is likely to be completed by October.

"We were always aiming for that, but perhaps my leaving gives it an extra
urgency because we have got to get people in post to run services," he

"I think it would have happened at the same time though I would have been
one of the candidates for one of the new posts."

Tony Lewis, the council's portfolio holder for children and young people,
said the county had already put in place a new management structure ahead of
the changes and Mr Douglas's departure announcement, which he hoped would be
able to cope in the meantime.

"At the moment we are not looking to appoint a director of social care, but
looking at making an interim appointment, but it depends a lot on who is
available," he said.

"What we have already done is create a management network of associate
directors and we think we can keep things running until we decide exactly
how we are going to take it forward."

He wished Mr Douglas well in his new role.

"It's fantastic," he said. "Anthony has been totally committed to reforming
the social care side of the business. He is a person who is both strategic
and highly involved."

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