Social services chief moves on

ONE of Suffolk's most senior figures in social services has spoken of his mixed feelings as he leaves the county to take up a top national role.Anthony Douglas is the next Chief Executive of The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, CAFCASS, and will take up this role from September 1.

ONE of Suffolk's most senior figures in social services has spoken of his mixed feelings as he leaves the county to take up a top national role.

Anthony Douglas is the next Chief Executive of The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, CAFCASS, and will take up this role from September 1.

CAFCASS was formed as a new service for England and Wales during 2001 as part of the Government's commitment to supporting families and children. It brought together the services previously provided by the Family Court Welfare Service, the Guardian and Litem Services and the Children's divisions of the Official Solicitor's Office.

Mr Douglas has extensive knowledge of children and families' issues with over 28 years experience of working in social services. He is currently Director of Social Services for Suffolk and is also an active member of the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS).


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He is the author of three books on UK Social Services and has written and lectured extensively on this subject for the past 15 years.

As chairman of the British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) and a former chairman of the London Guardian Panel Board, Mr Douglas combines his professional knowledge with his own personal experience as an adoptee, later reunited with his birth parents.

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Mr Douglas, 54 who is married with two children, said: "It's a major national role and a real challenge. I am delighted to be joining CAFCASS. I have a strong and abiding interest in children and families' services and I intend to use that experience to good effect.

"This means establishing CAFCASS in its rightful place to deliver support to children and families at all levels, both in terms of local service delivery and in Whitehall at policy level. We have a big part to play.

"I have had a fantastic time in Suffolk, have enjoyed working and living in Suffolk more than any other job. I leave with a mixture of feelings, but it is just too good an opportunity to turn down.''

Baroness Pitkeathley, chairwoman of the CAFCASS Board, said: "This appointment is great news for CAFCASS. In Anthony Douglas we have a Chief Executive with a detailed understanding of children and family issues.

"He also demonstrates a deep, personal commitment to the work of CAFCASS and the family justice system as a whole. These qualities will be invaluable to this organisation as we move forward.

Margaret Hodge, Minister for Children, Young People and Families, welcomed the new appointment and said: "I am pleased to welcome Anthony Douglas as the new Chief Executive of CAFCASS. His extensive knowledge and experience will be an asset to the organisation.''

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