Vacancy -- Cafcass Cymru - Family Court Adviser (Cardiff/Merthyr)
Working for the Civil Service
The Welsh Government's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
Purpose of Post:
Cafcass Cymru is operational – advising the court on cases where a child’s welfare is at stake – and is also part of Welsh Government. We therefore have the best of both worlds – service delivery and the ability to shape and influence. We are an organisation that lives and breathes its values. We are an organisation that is genuine in its desire to improve outcomes for the children we work with. We are an organisation that puts Wales on the map in the worlds of social work and family justice. We want you to be part of this exciting journey of putting the child first and making a difference.
In Cafcass Cymru we support thousands of children and families in family court proceedings each year. Our purpose is to safeguard the child and ensure their voice is heard within the family justice system. The child’s future is at the heart of every recommendation made and every action taken by Cafcass Cymru.
As a learning organisation, Cafcass Cymru is strongly committed to continuing to invest in our staff to maintain consistent levels of quality, develop our services and innovate and continuously improve in response to future challenges. Our goals are to:
- Provide the best quality service to support improved outcomes for every child, young person and family we work with
- Create an environment and learning culture where staff feel valued and their well-being is supported
- Share our knowledge, learn from partners and use our collective influence to improve the family justice system and children’s social care in Wales
Cafcass Cymru is a Division of the Health and Social Services Group within the Welsh Government and a career with us offers many civil service benefits including:
- Pay progression based on annual incremental advance
- Full-time holiday entitlement of 31 days annual leave, plus 10 public and privilege days’ leave
- Access to numerous training opportunities
- A civil service pension
- Flexible working arrangements
As a Family Court Adviser you will regularly be out meeting with children and families and attending court. An allowance of £1,000 per year is available if you use your own car for all official business travel and cover in excess of 2,000 statutory miles per year. A valid driving licence and motor insurance is required. More information on location and travel is below.
We are actively committed to becoming an increasingly diverse organisation with a workforce that reflects the diversity of the children and families we work with. We particularly welcome applications from individuals from diverse backgrounds with a range of lived and professional social work experiences. This is supported by our dynamic approach to learning and development and there are a number of Diversity networks which staff can participate in, which include The Minority Ethnic Staff Network, PRISM LGBTI+ Network, and the Women Together Network.
The role of Cafcass Cymru’s Family Court Advisers is to represent the wishes, feelings and best interests of children and young people involved in family court proceedings in Wales, providing independent social work advice that protects and promotes their welfare.
To be a Family Court Adviser you must be a Social Care Wales registered social worker, with knowledge of safeguarding services for children and their families in the statutory sector.
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.
If this is the type of culture and organisation you think you can thrive in and you are motivated by making a difference for children and families, Cafcass Cymru would welcome your interest.
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.
Your key tasks will include:
- Carry a case load of private and/or public law cases.
- Provide professional social work advice and assistance to Courts to achieve a timely conclusion to proceedings and secure the best possible outcome for the child based on their individual needs and best interests.
- Provide high quality evidence (orally and in writing) to the Court.
- Ensure that the child’s welfare is paramount throughout proceedings, including ensuring the child is safeguarded in line with organisational requirements and the All Wales Child Protection Procedures.
- Ensure the appointment and instruction of legal representation for the child as required and in line with statutory and organisational requirements.
- Ensure the child’s wishes and feelings are appropriately taken into account and reported upon in a timely and high quality fashion throughout the assessment of the child’s needs as part of family proceedings.
- Advise and assist parents and other relevant parties to proceedings in dispute in the child’s best interest in order to minimise the need for court intervention.
- Work effectively with partner organisations, stakeholders and service users whilst maintaining the required independence as part of proceedings.
- Keep up to date with changes in legislation, guidance, court rules, policies, procedures and best practice developments.
- Comply with organisational policies, procedures, statutory requirements and court rules in the delivery of services to children and families involved in family proceedings.
- Be responsible for personal learning and development in accordance with the requirements of Social Care Wales and the Welsh Government’s performance management process.
- Work as a team member, attend relevant meetings and contribute to the effectiveness and wider planning of Cafcass Cymru as required.
- Provide management information on workloads, practice and performance as required.
- Use ICT effectively for case planning and recording and to support service delivery.
Represent Cafcass Cymru and the Welsh Government in a professional manner conducive to promoting a positive image at all times.
In Cafcass Cymru we want to invest in continuous learning, helping to inspire and motivate our staff to develop in their roles and be the best they can be within a dynamic, diverse and open organisation
The role of Family Court Adviser offers substantial opportunities to play a key role in the management, development and improvement of an all-Wales service, including liaison with a variety of agencies and organisations.
Posts recruited to as part of this recruitment campaign are broadly open to UK nationals, those with right to remain and work in the UK and those that meet the Civil Service Nationality Rules only. Check your eligibility here:
Prior to appointment, all successful applicants will be required to produce original, acceptable documents as part of the pre-employment checks. If it becomes apparent at a later stage in the process that you aren’t eligible to apply, your application will be withdrawn, or offer retracted.
Equality and Diversity
The Welsh Government is committed to providing services which embrace diversity and which promote equality of opportunity. This is underpinned by the Equality Act 2010 and will be adhered to at each stage of the recruitment process. Our goal is to ensure that these commitments are also embedded in our day-to-day working practices with all our customers, colleagues and partners.
We are committed to being an anti-racist organisation and increasing diversity in the Welsh Government by removing barriers and supporting all our staff to reach their potential. We are committed to recruiting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people and disabled people who are currently under-represented in Welsh Government.
We welcome applications from everyone regardless of age, marriage and civil partnership (both same sex and opposite sex), impairment or health condition, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender identity or gender expression.
We are a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Disability Confident Level 3 (Leader) organisation. Key to supporting this work and providing peer support are five Board sponsored Staff Networks (Disability Awareness and Support (DAAS); Minority Ethnic Support Network (MESN); Mind Matters (Mental health and well-being); PRISM (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex +) and Women Together.
The Welsh Government has adopted the social definition of disability, in which it is recognised that barriers in society act to disable people who have impairments or health conditions, who are neurodivergent or who use British Sign Language. We are committed to removing barriers so that all (or potential new) staff can perform at their best.
We guarantee to interview any disabled person who meets the minimum criteria for the post. By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide us with evidence, at each stage of the assessment process before interview, which demonstrates you generally meet the job description requirements. We are committed to the employment and career development of disabled people.
If you have an impairment or health condition, if you are neurodivergent or use British Sign Language and need to discuss reasonable adjustments for any part of this recruitment process, or wish to discuss how we will put in place any adjustments if you were to be successful, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible and a member of the team will contact you to discuss requirements and any questions you may have.
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Welsh Language Requirements
The Welsh Government is a bilingual organisation and Welsh language skills are considered an asset to the organisation. We encourage and support staff to learn, develop and use their Welsh language skills in the workplace.
The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the line manager on behalf of the Welsh Government of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.
In Welsh Government, the relationship between the employer and trade unions is based on social partnership. We believe our goals can best be achieved by management and trade unions working together.
Our 3 recognised trade unions are:
This relationship is underpinned by a partnership agreement. This sets out how our unions work with Welsh Government on issues such as:
• terms and conditions
• policies and procedures
• organisational change.
Our Welsh Government trade union colleagues work together to give their members a real say in the workplace. They make sure that the interests of their members are promoted and protected. They also help reduce inequalities and improve terms and conditions.
The Welsh Government has an excellent track record of working in partnership with its trade unions. We encourage staff to get involved. We support you to join a recognised trade union, to ensure your voice is heard in the workplace. and to learn more about trade unions and partnership working.
Competencies / Job Specific Criteria
Making Effective Decisions
- Make decisions when they are needed, even if they prove difficult or unpopular
Collaborating and Partnering
- Deal with conflict in a prompt, calm and constructive manner
Seeing the big picture
- Actively seek out and share experience to develop understanding and knowledge of own work and of team’s business area
Changing and Improving
- Actively encourage ideas from a wide range of sources and stakeholders and use these to inform own thinking
Job specific criteria:
- Evidence of Practice based tools to support evidence centred practice.
- An understanding of the needs of children involved in private and public law proceedings within the family justice system including the importance of timely reporting and avoiding delays in decision-making for children.
- Evidence of effective case planning and recording casework with children and families according to the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care.
Applicants must have a Diploma in Social Work (or Social Care Wales registered equivalent) and be a registered Social Worker with Social Care Wales or other Care Regulator.
To apply, you'll need to complete the online application form, answering the following 2 questions based on the job specific criteria above.
- Using an example from your practice, demonstrate your understanding of the needs of children subject to family proceedings and explain why timely reporting and decision making is critical to ensuring good outcomes for children. (Max 500 words)
- Drawing from examples from your practice, tell us about your experience in using evidence based practice to inform your analysis and how this leads to safe and robust recommendations which inform decision making to secure the best outcome possible for children and young people. (Max 500 words)
Please note, you do not need to provide a written response in relation to the 4 competencies. These will be tested at interview stage.
Once you’ve submitted your application form, the selection process will consist of the following stages:
- Stage 1 – Shortlisting based on responses to the above questions
- Stage 2 – Panel interview on the competencies and job specific criteria, including presentation prepared on the day
Successful candidates will be appointed in merit order to immediate vacancies and any other vacancies arising over the next 12 months.
For more detail about the application and interview process please contact CafcassCymruHR@gov.wales
- Unless stated otherwise in ‘actual starting salary’, all candidates will start at the minimum of the pay scale being appointed to (this includes existing civil servants).This is not negotiable.
- Unless stated otherwise in ‘type of opportunity’, this recruitment advert is not open on a Loan or Secondment basis.
- For more information on the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions for Loan and Secondment positions in Welsh Government, please see external recruitment candidate guidance.
- Unless stated otherwise in ‘Location of Post’ the role/s recruited to via this campaign can only be worked in the UK, not overseas.
Starting Salary: A starting salary between £40,100 and £41,980 will be offered to the successful candidate based on their skills, knowledge and experience and performance at interview. This range is not negotiable.
Location: Our Family Court Advisers work flexibly, whether this is in court, at home, in the office or of course, with children and families, and we provide the technology to enable you to do this effectively. As a Family Court Adviser you will be assigned to one of our 5 geographic operational areas with a base office within that area and you should be prepared for regular travel within a reasonable distance of this.
An allowance of £1,000 per year is available if you use your own car for all official business travel and cover in excess of 2,000 statutory miles per year. A valid driving licence and motor insurance is required.
This advert covers vacancies in the South Wales area (offices in Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil).
If you want to find out more, or if you’re interested in applying we strongly encourage all potential candidates to contact us prior to completing an application to discuss the role and recruitment process. Please email CafcassCymruHR@gov.Wales with your contact details, noting the area you are interested in working in and the best times to contact you.
Cafcass Cymru also invites applications from suitably qualified and experienced individuals to form a professional resource of fee paid practitioners to work on an ad-hoc basis. For further information on the role of fee paid practitioners and the application process please contact CafcassCymruHR@gov.wales
How to apply
All applications for this vacancy should be made online via the Welsh Government's online application system. If you have an impairment which would prevent you from applying on-line, please e-mail SharedServiceHelpdesk@gov.wales to request an application pack in an alternative format, or to request a reasonable adjustment related to an impairment in order to submit your application.
To apply, you'll need to have an account on our online application system. Click the 'Apply' button below, and you'll be asked to 'Log in' if you already have an account, or 'Register' if you don't yet have an account. Registration takes just a few minutes to complete. You'll need an e-mail address to be able to register. Once you've registered for an account and logged in, you'll be taken to the online application form, which you'll need to fully complete and submit before the deadline on the closing date.
If you’d like to apply for this vacancy in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.
For further information regarding the Welsh Government recruitment process, please see the Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link).
When evidencing your suitability for the post, it is recommended that you refer to the Civil Service Competency Framework (link)
Grievance and Complaints
This vacancy is closed to applications.