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Chair of Family Rights Group and campaigner receives MBE

Published: 19th December 2023

5 minute read

Chair of Family Rights Group, Angela Frazer-Wicks, has been honoured with an MBE, almost 20 years after a long and fraught battle with her local authority led to her sons being adopted.

Angela, who is founder of the charity’s parents panel, was a victim of domestic abuse, and this led to her eldest children being adopted in 2004. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to ensure others should not have to experience the horrors that she and her children went through. Her story, and those of the other mothers and fathers on the charity’s panel of people with experience of the child welfare system, are helping to transform how local authorities, judges and politicians, listen and learn from those with experience of the system.  

Angela sits on the Family Justice Council and is a member of the Government’s National Implementation Board for the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care. She is married with a young daughter who has had no local authority involvement. She recently was able to re-establish contact with her eldest son. 

Celebrating Angela’s award, Cathy Ashley, Chief Executive of Family Rights Group, said:

“Angela has made a huge impact on the work of Family Rights Group and on many other families, social workers and judges. We are extremely fortunate to have Angela as chair of trustees at Family Rights Group. She leads by example, driven by the wish that other families should not have to suffer the pain that she and her sons experienced. 

Angela was a founder member of the charity’s parents’ panel. Since the panel was set up 10 years ago, it has gone from strength to strength, with many mothers and fathers with experience of the child welfare system, taking inspiration from Angela and helping to reform a child welfare system in crisis. Angela’s formidable work and actions have helped to challenge the stigma and negative presumptions faced by many families whose children are removed.  

Angela’s work on the Family Justice Council and advising Government through the National Implementation Board, are shaping the system experienced by families today and tomorrow.” 

Angela Frazer-Wicks said:

“I am hugely proud to have been included in the King’s Birthday Honours. If you had told me in 2004 that I would end up where I am today, I would never have believed you. 

“I hope this shows that we should be less judgemental and more supportive of birth parents. We still have so much to offer our children whether we are directly involved in their lives or not. We still love and miss them terribly.  

“Involving birth parents in discussions about the wider system, and in particular adoption, can help bring about positive system change for everyone, in particular the children – who must remain at the heart of everything we do. 

“Recent research on recurrent care proceedings showed the importance of reaching out to birth families, supporting them through their challenges and enabling them to make better decisions as they move on from a monumentally difficult point in their lives. 

“I hope I am living proof that a challenging and traumatic past does not have to stop you from having a bright and happy future. We are all capable of change, some of us just need a little help to do so.” 

Photos:

1) Angela and her MBE, at Windsor Castle

2) Angela and her friend and colleague, Beverley Campbell (Family Rights Group’s Family Participation Officer)

3) Angela with husband Paul and daughter Elizabeth, arriving at Windsor Castle

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