New adoption and special guardianship leader appointed

Dr Krish Kandiah appointed new Chair of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board

Dr Krish Kandiah

Dr Krish Kandiah has been appointed as the new Chair of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB).

A critical friend to the Government on adoption policies for many years, Dr Kandiah comes to the role with the unique experience of being an adoptive parent himself who is passionate about championing for more people from all walks of life to come forward as loving adoptive parents.

Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford announced his new role during a speech at Coram British Association of Adoption and Fostering’s (CoramBAAF) 40th anniversary event on Monday 14 December.

Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said:

"As we get closer to Christmas, a special time of year that brings everyone together, it is a terribly sad fact that there are some children who do not have a family to celebrate with. We simply cannot overstate how important a stable loving family is.

"I am delighted to announce Krish Kandiah as the new Chair of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board, who will work with us to make improvements to the adoption system, boosting vital for support adopters and their families so every child can be placed in a loving, stable home."

The CoramBAAF event will celebrate the significant contribution it has made over the last 40 years to the lives of adoptive families, and those in special guardianships or kinship care arrangements, including helping to shape adoption policies, to give children hope, security and a loving family.

As chair of the ASGLB, which Coram helped set up in 2014, Dr Krish Kandiah will play an instrumental role in driving improvements in the sector, working closely with the Department for Education to continue raising the bar with the adoption system and in the lives of vulnerable children.

Dr Krish Kandiah, new chair of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB) said:

"Right now there are over 2,550 children waiting for adoption. Each one of them needs a unique loving family to commit to them for life despite all the trauma they have faced in the past and whatever their futures might hold.

"I count it a huge privilege to take on the chairing of the Leadership Board and am looking forward to working with colleagues to find parents for all the children that are waiting and to provide great support for all adopted families. I take on this role as an adopted father, a foster parent and a birth dad keen to find the right solution for every child."

The Department for Education has invested in frontline charities through £750 million of funding to help them continue their vital work throughout this year. As part of this, it has provided £2.8 million in funding to 19 Voluntary Adoption Agencies, to help enable them to continue their work with prospective adopters and supporting existing adoptive families throughout the pandemic.

The support for adoptive families builds on the Education Secretary’s intervention during National Adoption Week in October, where he launched a recruitment campaign to reach out to churches, mosques and other community groups starting with a pilot service in London and Birmingham, to encourage more potential Black and other minority ethnic adopters to come forward. He also urged local authorities to help break down the misconception of the perfect ethnic match that places too high a burden on parents who want to adopt.

Minister Ford’s speech comes as the Department for Education prepares to launch the independently-led Care Review soon, which will support improvements in the children’s social care system for every child, including those for whom adoption may not be the right choice.

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