CoramBAAF celebrates 40 years shaping adoption and fostering policy
Published: Thursday 1st October 2020
CoramBAAF is today celebrating 40 years since its formation in 1980 with a virtual event for members that will hear key speakers consider how the children’s sector has evolved over the last 40 years, with contributors including ADCS president Jenny Coles, CoramBAAF’s director of policy, research and development Dr John Simmonds, and University of East Anglia professor of social work Elsbeth Neil.
Throughout its history CoramBAAF has played a leading role in shaping adoption and fostering policy and practice in the UK, influencing the introduction of positive legislative changes and securing better opportunities for children in care, and today’s members’ day kick starts a series of events being held to mark this key moment.
The October edition of Adoption & Fostering will be accompanied by a special anniversary supplement featuring 12 key articles reprinted from the period 1980–2019, introduced with a personal review from John Simmonds, while the journal’s commissioning editor Roger Bullock, has also written a special anniversary piece in which he explores changes in policy and practice in children’s services over the past 40 years, and discusses the thinking that has underpinned them.
Initially formed as the Standing Conference of Societies Registered for Adoption before eventually becoming the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering in 1980, BAAF became part of the Coram Group in 2015. Throughout its history it has played a leading role in shaping adoption and fostering policy and practice in the UK, influencing the introduction of positive legislative changes and securing better opportunities for children in care.
Today, CoramBAAF continues to be a cornerstone of the family placement landscape, with nearly all family placement organisations in England and Northern Ireland in membership, and partnership arrangements with AFA Scotland and AFA Cymru, acting as the leading voice for the sector.
Kevin Lowe, Managing Director of CoramBAAF, said: “We are proud of our history, including successful campaigns to introduce new features within family placement, such as appropriate legislation, national adoption standards, early care planning, monitoring of permanency plans, a national adoption register, mandatory assessment for adoption support, parental leave for adoptive parents, and the acceptance of unmarried and same sex adopters. We have also led anti-racist initiatives – an area that we intend to address with new vigour in the current context.
“Of course, challenges, questions and uncertainty are now to the fore and we will do all we can, alongside our members, to ensure that there are better chances for the children that most need them.”
BAAF's first director Tony Hall (right) at the launch event in 1980, with screenwriter Colin Welland and actor Carol Mowlam