Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB)

Coram-i was contracted to provided a Secretariat service to the ASGLB between July 2019 and December 2022, which included administering quarterly data collection and Board meetings. The ASGLB has now been closed, but we continue to administer the voluntary, quarterly adoption and special guardianship data collection on behalf of the children’s social care sector in England.

About the Board

The Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB) closed at the end of December 2022, following a decision made by the Secretary of State for Education. The ASGLB played a crucial role in providing leadership to the adoption system and supporting children leaving care under a Special Guardianship Order. The recommendations of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, published in July 2022, called for a reset of the whole system, and so it was decided to close the ASGLB as it had fulfilled its remit.

The Board was established in 2014 as the Adoption Leadership Board (ALB), to provide leadership to the adoption system and drive improvements in performance. In 2018 the Board became the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB), expanding its remit to cover previously looked after children subject to adoption or special guardianship orders.

During its lifetime, the Board produced good practice guidance, investigated key issues and regularly provided informative data on adoption and special guardianship. The Board also supported the development of Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs), which work collectively and with the wider sector to deliver the National Adoption Strategy, supported by government funding, and will be part of the ongoing structural improvements to the sector to deliver change. The quarterly data collection and publication will continue on behalf of the sector, and the Adopter and Special Guardian Reference Groups will continue to provide key sounding boards as the DfE takes forward its care reforms.

Thank you to everyone who supported the ASGLB.

ASGLB reports and projects

Ending Racial Disparity in Adoption

A Report from the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board

The Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board has made ending the racial disparity in adoption one of its major priorities. We launched a Task and Finish Group made up of black social workers, adopters, adoptees and experts in the field with one very simple aim: to present constructive proposals to end racial disparity in adoption.

The Transatlantic Summit on Racial Disparity in Adoption between the US and English governments gave us the opportunity to hear from black and mixed ethnicity young adults about their experiences of care and of adoption, as well as from government leaders, experts and adopters in the UK and the US.

Coram-i also commissioned an in-depth survey on the experiences of black adopters, adoptees and social workers.

We consulted with the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Regional Adoption Agency leaders and the leaders of the Voluntary Adoption Agencies. This consultation, survey and summit have identified some critical areas for change and innovation which can be found in the report here.

ASGLB Meeting Minutes archive

The ASGLB met quarterly, until its closure in December 2022, to discuss a range of issues relating to adoption and special guardianship. Coram-i provided support to the DfE in administering the ASGLB from July 2019, including the production of the minutes from each of the Board meetings. Prior to that, such support was provided by the CVAA. The minutes do not represent the views of Coram.

The minutes for meetings held between July 2019 and December 2022 are published on this page:

10 November 2022

6 May 2022

3 February 2022

4 November 2021

22 July 2021

6 May 2021

26 January 2021

22 October 2020

28 July 2020

24 June 2020 (postponed from April due to Covid-19)

21 January 2020

15 October 2019

23 July 2019

The ASGLB’s annual report for 2019/20 can also be found here.

ASG Quarterly Data Collection

The ASG (formerly ASGLB) data return is completed by every local authority, regional adoption agency and voluntary adoption agency in England on a quarterly basis.

The primary aim of the collection is to collect information about children and (prospective) adopters in the adoption process and data on SGOs to enable decision-making at national, regional and local level to be evidence-based and informed by strong intelligence, and for agencies and regional boards to have the information they need to improve performance.

Each quarter’s return is commissioned on the first working day of the following quarter and agencies are given a month to submit their data. As LAs, RAAs and VAAs are asked to provide adoption data covering the full financial year (1 April to 31 March) for Q4, an extended submission period is given for Q4 – this allows LAs, RAAs and VAAs extra time to complete the full year’s child- and/or adopter-level return and to cross-reference their data with the SSDA903 return that is completed over the same period.

ASG Data Collection Key Dates for 2024/25

Quarter 1: 1 April to 30 June 2024 1 April to 30 June 2024 1 to 31 July 2024
Quarter 2: 1 July to 30 September 2024 1 April to 30 September 2024 1 to 31 October 2024
Quarter 3: 1 October to 31 December 2024 1 April to 31 December 2024 2 to 31 January 2025
Quarter 4: 1 January to 31 March 2025 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025 1 April to 30 May 2025

You can download the ASG How the Headline Measures are Calculated guidance document.

We have created a PowerBI template that will provide dashboard visualisations of your child data. This zip file contains the pbix file along with instructions on how to set it up. If you have any issues or feedback please let us know.

For Q1 2024/25, please note that the child- and adopter-level returns need to be submitted by Wednesday 31st July 2024.

Please click here to download the ASG Quarterly Data Guidance.

Please click here to download the ASG Adopter-Level Data Template Q1 2024/25.

All LAs will securely receive their individualised child-level template directly, but please click here to download a blank version of the ASG Child-Level Data Template Q1 2024/25

should you need it.

ASG Data

Data on Adoption and Special Guardianship

The ASG data return is completed by every local authority (LA), regional adoption agency (RAA), and voluntary adoption agency (VAA) in England on a quarterly basis.

The latest publicly available data covers the period from 1 April 2023 to 31 December 2023.

In Q3 2023/24, the response rate from local authorities for the child level section was 100% and the adopter level sections was 100% The response rate for the adopter level section from Voluntary Adoption Agencies was 100%.

As at Q3 2023/24 (31 December 2023), there were a total of:

  • 920 Agency Decision Maker decisions
  • 750 Placement Orders granted
  • 700 Adoption Orders granted and 950 Special Guardianship Orders granted, a total of 1650 permanence orders granted
  • 2410 children with a PO waiting to be matched, of which 1110 had been waiting to be matched 18+ months since entering care, 440 had been waiting 12+ months since grant of PO, and 250 had been waiting 18+ months since grant of PO
  • 720 Adopter Registrations, and 530 Adopter Approvals
  • 2290 Prospective adoptive families not yet approved
  • 1910 Approved adoptive families waiting to be matched

Data Publications

Quarter Business Intelligence Reports Local Level Data Files
2023/24 Quarter 3 *NEW* Link Link
2022/23 Quarter 4 Link Link
2021/22 Quarter 4 Link Link
2020/21 Quarter 4 Link Link
2019/20 Quarter 4 Link Link
2018/19 Quarter 4 Link Link
2017/18 Quarter 4* Link Link

For previous releases of the quarterly reports published by the DfE, please visit – DfE Adoption System Performance

* these files were produced by CVAA on behalf of DfE

Adopter Characteristics Publication

Analysis Headline Measures Data Files
Adopter Characteristics – 2018/19 to 2020/21 Link Link