CoramBAAF at 40 – Children & Young People Now magazine special

  • 11 January 2021

Dr John Simmonds OBE, director of policy, research and development, highlighted a number of ground-breaking articles from CoramBAAF’s flagship Adoption & Fostering journal which has published a special edition featuring 12 research papers covering key themes over the past 40 years including the emergence of the concept of “permanence” denoting a secure environment and lifelong bonds for the child, the radical change in the use of adoption since the 1960s, and how children’s social care became one of the leading sectors to embed anti-discriminatory practice in training, policy and practice. 

Elaine Dibben, adoption development consultant, wrote about the need to ensure that parents who have asked for their babies to be adopted receive the right information, support and counselling. Elaine also highlighted a recent legal case concerning a relinquished baby which ruled that more weight should be given to the possibility of the father or other relatives offering a family placement. 

Kevin Lowe, Managing Director of CoramBAAF, called for children’s social workers to be more involved in family placement and underlined the need to “dissolve the silos” which often separate children’s social workers from specialists in fostering, adoption and kinship care. Kevin also noted that children’s social workers tend to be more diverse in terms of ethnicity and younger than family placement specialists and that they have “much to contribute and learn”. 

Paul Adams, fostering development consultant, underlined the importance of relationships in foster care and “normal family life” over “corporate parenting” as the key to meeting the developmental needs of children. Paul describes CoramBAAF’s Family Life Fostering model which empowers the foster carer to make day-to-day and longer term decisions about the child wherever possible, while the social worker operates behind the scenes to offer support. 

The special 40th anniversary edition of Adoption & Fostering journal is available free with a £2 fee for postage and packing via the organisation’s online bookshop at

Read the full piece at