FAMILY COURT ADVISER (ENHANCED PRACTITIONER) JOB PROFILE
Service Manager / Senior Service Manager
Flexible Office Base (The expectation will be that the post
holder works flexibly around the service area where
Cafcass Staff, Judiciary and Court
Services, Solicitors, Local Authorities and other related
professional and partnership agencies
(See attached Person Specification)
Terms of Employment
£42,234 - £43,244
£4,293 per annum for staff with a permanent work base in
The pension scheme used by Cafcass is the West
Yorkshire Pension Fund (a Local Government Pension
Scheme). This is also our auto enrolment scheme.
Contribution rates are based on a tiered system.
28 days rising to 33 days after 5 years reckonable service,
inclusive of 3 privilege days to be taken between
Christmas and New Year plus any of the bank/public
Updated March 2015
To provide advanced social work-level services to children, families and courts by
assessing and analysing court applications for any child protection and serious
welfare issues affecting a child or young person. Also to influence those with parental
responsibility to be more child-focused when needed and to advise the courts about
how a child’s life can be improved, supporting judicial case management in the
process. You will need to keep the child at the centre of your work through high
quality direct work with children and their families. You will also need to be a skilled
negotiator, working persuasively with family members and professionals on behalf of
You will keep the child’s timescale at the centre of everything you do, in the context
of their journey through childhood and, where applicable, the care system. You must
be prepared to advocate in the best interests of the child, ensuring their voice is not
lost in the court arena. You will be required to be a resilient, reflective and
accountable practitioner, possessing good IT and organisational skills, so that you
can maintain a high throughput of outstanding casework.
You will provide additional support to the Service Manager by providing supervision
and quality assurance of work within the team, assisting with management of case
allocation, ensuring case closures and undertaking liaison with local authorities or
other agencies as required. ENHANCED PRACTITIONER RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES in line with
Cafcass Service Standards:
1. To provide high quality early safeguarding and child protection advice,
assessments and analysis to the Court on the needs and best interests of
children subject to or involved in Family Proceedings
2. To ensure that the well-being and safety of the child is paramount throughout
Cafcass’ involvement in the case.
3. To ensure that all incidents or risks of significant harm to the child are dealt with in
accordance with the relevant Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB)
procedures and Cafcass policies and procedures
4. To directly work with children & families to achieve safe and positive outcomes for
children, referring to other services where this will produce benefit.
Service Effectiveness Throughput and Productivity
5. To produce high quality work with a rapid throughput, combining increasing
productivity with quality of casework.
6. For all work produced to be rated good or outstanding in internal and external
audits, with exceptions tolerated where the learning gained from those exceptions
can be absorbed and applied to future work.
7. To be fully engaged with Cafcass policy that all cases must be allocated and to
adopt a proportionate approach to work. In response to changing demands, the
regulating mechanism will be the average time spent on cases; which is lower
when demands are higher, and vice versa.
8. Assist the Service Manager in the allocation of cases and co-ordinating duty
9. Support the Service Manager in the provision of reflective supervision, informal
coaching/mentoring and effective performance management for all operational
staff in the team including identification of performance issues and the induction
of new starters.
10. Assist Service Manager in conducting or leading team meetings or team
development workshops and training sessions.
11. To carry out an advanced social work level case analysis of the child’s
circumstances and to ensure this is updated if circumstances change.
12. To provide advanced social work level advice and assist the Court to achieve a
timely conclusion to proceedings and the best possible outcome for the child.
13. To administer orders made by the Family Court as required and conduct the
necessary enquires in accordance with relevant legislation and Court Rules.
14. To provide a clear child-focused plan of work in each case which is monitored and
subject to ongoing review.
15. To ensure the appointment and instruction of legal representation for the child as
required, and work in partnership with the relevant agencies for each case.
16. To keep up to date with changes in legislation, Court Rules, policies, national
directives, procedures and best practice developments.
17. To participate in training and development programmes in line with the agreed
individual personal development plan, taking responsibility for your continued
professional development in line with the Professional Capabilities Framework for
Social Workers. Take responsibility for your own learning and improvement,
through ever greater self-regulation supported by active and positive supervision
in line with the Cafcass Supervision Policy.
18. Undertake quality assurance of work within the team including review of reports
and case files, or undertake practice observation, providing feedback and
guidance for continuous improvement.
Engagement and Partnership Working
19. To work in a child-inclusive way at all times, emphasising the voice of the child to
the court and all parties to a case.
20. To undertake own work in partnership with other parties, agencies and significant
others for the child, putting the needs of the child first in all discussions and
21. Act on behalf of Service Manager as an effective representative for Cafcass
liaising with other agencies such as courts, LSCB and Local Authorities or other
This job profile is not a definitive list of responsibilities but identifies the key
components of the role. The specific objectives of the post holder will be subject to
review as part of the individual performance review process.
ENHANCED PRACTITIONER PERSON SPECIFICATION
Diploma in Social Work (or HCPC recognised equivalent) Experience
A minimum of four year’s post qualifying experience in social work with children and families at risk
1. Exercising statutory authority to safeguard the best interests of children
Skills to be demonstrated:
A high standard of assessment and case analysis
Ability to produce written work to a high standard
Communicates effectively and demonstrates empathy with children & families within the
family justice system
Effective communication and joint working with a range of professionals and agencies.
Ability to work autonomously
Ability to work to deadlines
Ability to prioritise
Confident decision making to work in high conflict situations
Ability to achieve safe outcomes in areas of conflict
2. Assessing different levels of needs and risk including child protection
Skills to be demonstrated:
Knowledge and use of tools and models of risk assessment
Ability to gather, record and analyse complex information
High quality concise recording and reporting skills
Effective casework planning to timescales
Integrate diversity into practice
3. Direct Engagement with Children & Families
Skills to be demonstrated
Use of direct work techniques with children and adults
Ability to respond to differing needs of children and adults
Ability to engage children and adults from diverse backgrounds
4. Workload management and use of various IT systems to monitor and record
Skills to be demonstrated
Competent and confident use of a range of IT and electronic systems
Electronic planning and organising of work using a variety of IT tools
Case Planning and use of various IT systems to monitor and record information
Ability to work as part of a team 5. Leadership and Management of People
Skills to be demonstrated:
A good understanding of performance management and the ability to set targets and
Experience of training, coaching and support skills to improve individual practice
Knowledge and implementation of practice policies and good practice guidance.