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New Cafcass members appointed

Date:6 MAY 2009

The Government has announced the appointment of six new members to the Cafcass Board.

Following an open competition, Mark Eldridge, Mary MacLeod, Erica De'Ath, June Thoburn, Shireen Ritchie and Ian Butler have been appointed to the Cafcass Board.

Announcing the appointments, Baroness Howarth, Chair of Cafcass, said: "The work of Cafcass is challenging and it is reassuring to know that the existing Board will be joined by members with complementary skills and experience.

"Each new appointee has demonstrated a clear commitment to children and an organisational understanding of what has to be done to deliver our services. As Chair I am encouraged that we have such strong leadership to tackle the task ahead."

Erica De'Ath was first appointed as a Cafcass Board member on 6 April 2004. She is a trustee of the National Council of Voluntary Organisations and The Cranfield Trust and previously Chief Executive of the National Stepfamily Association.

Mark Eldridge was also first appointed as a Cafcass Board member on 6 April 2004. He is currently a member of the Children's Commissioner's Audit and Risk Committee and was formerly Director of Legal Operations, Greater London Magistrates' Courts Authority and Chair of the Association of Justices' Chief Executives.

Ian Butler is a Special Adviser at the Department of the First Minister at the Welsh Assembly Government. He is also a Professor of Social Work at the University of Bath and has written for Family Law.

June Thoburn is a Professor of Social work at University of East Anglia and has also written for Family Law.

Shireen Ritchie is a Cabinet Member for Families and Children and Chair of the Children's Trust Board.

Mary MacLeod is the Chief Executive of the Family and Parenting Institute.