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Adoption: Resignation as Chair of the Leadership Board

A statement about my stepping down from the ALB

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Adoption: Resignation as Chair of the Leadership Board

  1. 1. In 2010 as I prepared to retire from Barnardo’s, and contemplated all the things I might do in retirement, I was asked by The Times to write something about why adoption numbers had declined so severely. I thought this might occupy me for a few months. But, in fact it led to adoption being a very big part of my life and it has remained so ever since. There has rarely been a day when I have not done something about adoption, even if that has been only to respond to an Email. But after five years, I have decided to step back a little, and I have agreed with Ministers that I will step down from my chairmanship of the Adoption Leadership Board at the end of March. I shall continue to be available to them for ad-hoc advice, but I intend to do much less on the adoption front. In due course I expect DfE to announce the arrangements for recruiting my successor and about who will take over my occasional probing of individual cases. Although adoption has consumed far more of my time than I ever anticipated, it has been time hugely well spent and I am proud that many thousands of children have found permanence through adoption, that we have introduced radically improved adopter support, and made a lot of progress – not enough I know - with supporting adopted children at school. Most of all I’m so pleased that the number of children waiting for adoption has fallen so substantially. I am immensely grateful to the caring and passionate social workers in local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies who have so relentlessly pursued the best interests of children and to Directors of Children’s Services who have implemented the reforms – whatever their initial scepticism. I have hugely admired the work of the voluntary sector – which stepped in with great success and re-designed the adopter assessment process. Most of all I have been humbled by the many hundreds of adopters – some of whom I now know really well – who have taken children hurt and damaged by neglect, and given them the love and stability they have so desperately needed and deserved. It has been a rare privilege to meet them and to get to know them and their children. Martin Narey November 2015