About the Adoption Leadership Board

The ALB is a national board with a remit to drive significant improvements in the performance of the adoption system in England. It has a particular focus on supporting and challenging the adoption system to maximise the likelihood that:

  • Children for whom adoption is the best way of achieving permanence are adopted without unnecessary delay;
  • There are enough prospective adopters to provide homes for all the children approved to be adopted;
  • Adoptions do not breakdown through the right adoption support being readily available to all people who need it.

Why is the Board needed?

The Board has been jointly developed by Government, local authorities and the voluntary sector to provide national leadership to the adoption system, improve its performance and tackle the key challenges it currently faces.

Who is on the Board?

Board members are senior officials from key organisations in the adoption system in England:

  • Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS)
  • Adoption UK
  • CoramBAAF
  • CASA
  • CVAA
  • Department for Education
  • Department of Health
  • First4Adoption
  • Local Government Association (LGA)
  • Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE)
  • University of Bristol – Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies

They have been appointed to represent their sector or constituency and to take responsibility for galvanising performance improvements within their respective areas.

Who is the Board’s Chair?


Andrew Christie, recruited through an open competition and appointed by Ministers, is the Chair of the Board. The Chair is supported by a Board Manager who is the CEO of CVAA and Secretariat, and the Board has access to analytical input and expertise from the Department for Education.

How does the Board work?

Board members work together collectively to achieve the Board’s objectives. This principle of cross-agency working is critical to ensuring that the Board delivers its overall aim of driving significant improvements in performance.

Key aspects of the Board’s work programme are led by sub-groups, for example on adopter recruitment and adoption support. Sub-groups are chaired by Board members and report directly to the Board on a regular basis.

The Board interacts with individual adoption agencies through Regional Adoption Boards which have designated ADCS regional leads and VAA representation. The collection, analysis and dissemination of timely performance data and the sharing of best practice is central to this interaction. Each Regional Adoption Board is sponsored by a member of the ALB.

The Board’s success is contingent on regular two way communications with the sector and with those who come into contact with the adoption system.