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Future of the Adoption & Special Guardianship Leadership Board

Published: 1st December 2022

2 minute read

The Government has announced that the Adoption & Special Guardianship Leadership Board will close at the end of December 2022.

The Adoption Leadership Board was established in 2014. It later became the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB) in 2018 when its remit was extended to cover previously looked after children subject to special guardianship orders. The ASGLB is made up of representatives from the child welfare system in England and is chaired by Krish Kandiah.

Responding to the announcement, Cathy Ashley, Chief Executive of Family Rights Group, said:

“The Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board was first established almost a decade ago to oversee the implementation of the government’s adoption strategy. We thank Krish Kandiah and all members of the Board for their commitment to children and young people.

“Family Rights Group joined the Board, alongside CoramBAAF and Grandparents Plus (now Kinship), in 2018 when its remit expanded to include special guardians of children who were previously looked after. We have ensured that the voices of special guardianship families have been at the table. However, special guardianship has frustratingly always felt like a late add-on to a Board that was constituted around adoption and most kinship care families have been excluded from its remit. Moreover, the Board’s goal to promote permanence for children in care did not extend to other forms of permanence, including reunification with parents.

“The system reset proposed by the Independent Review must be a catalyst for a better system. One where the Government’s strategy for children’s social care can be influenced and scrutinised to ensure it meets the needs of children and families. The voice of young people and adults with direct experience, including kinship carers, must be central to that.”

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