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Role Description

Potential candidates will need to have experience of working within the family justice system and an understanding of children’s and families’ experiences of services and support before, during and after they are the subject of family court proceedings.

Candidates will be ‘system thinkers’ with experience of influencing change to improve outcomes for children and families.  Candidates will be committed to evidenced-based policy and practice and have an interest in research and data.

Candidates will be skilled communicators, comfortable and credible interacting across a wide range of stakeholders including children and families, social care, law, policy makers, academics and media.

Above all the new Chair, alongside the Director, will need to be a skilled chairperson, powerful advocate, champion and ambassador for the organisation.

The role of the Chair is to lead and facilitate the Governing Board to carry out its responsibilities.


Specific responsibilities of the Chair:

  1. Strategic Leadership
  • Provide leadership to the NFJO and its Board, ensuring that it achieves maximum impact for children and families.
  • Ensure that the Board provides a clear strategic direction for the NFJO.
  • Ensure that the Board is able to regularly review major risks and associated opportunities and satisfy itself that systems are in place to take advantage of opportunities and manage and mitigate the risks.
  • Ensure that the Board fulfils its duties to ensure sound financial health of the organisation, with systems in place to mitigate any change in funding.


  1. Board effectiveness
  • Chair meetings of the Board effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision-making process.
  • Ensure that board members are fully engaged and that decisions are taken in the best, long-term interests of the NFJO and that the Board takes collective ownership for those decisions.
  • Ensure that board members effectively fulfil their duties and responsibilities, with a focus on strategy rather than operational matters.
  • Encourage constructive dialogue at Board meetings and where appropriate address and resolve any conflicts within the Board.
  • Appraise the performance of the Board on an annual basis.
  • Ensure that the Board membership is regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to advise and support the organisation effectively.


  1. External relations
  • Act as an ambassador for the NFJO .
  • Represent the NFJO at external functions, meetings and events.


  1. Relationship with Director
  • Work closely with the Director to ensure that meetings are well planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities of the Board.
  • Establish and build a strong, effective and a constructive working relationship with the Director, ensuring she is supported to achieve agreed strategic objectives.
  • Support the Director, whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the two roles.
  • Ensure regular contact with the Director and develop and maintain an open and supportive relationship within which each can speak openly about concerns, worries and challenges.