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Understanding Complex Identity of Children in Adoption: A Journey through Race, Religion and what Adopted Children need from You

17 April, 2024 at 10:00am - 4:00pm


Evidence based seminar co-delivered with Dr Sariya Cheruvallil - Contractor and Kusha Anand from Coventry University

6 hrs
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Who this is for

Adoption practitioners and managers (Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies, Local Authorities, and independent social workers), children’s social care services, children and family social workers, foster carers, and other professionals working with children and families.


This engaging evidence seminar delves into the unique experiences and expressions of identity among adopted children and young people, especially those from minoritized ethnic and religious backgrounds. Researchers at Coventry University have undertaken a recent study aimed at making a meaningful impact in the lives and care of children and young people with care experiences.

The focus of their research centers on understanding identity narratives, exploring the complex intersections of ethnicity, religion, identity, and care. The goal is to establish a new paradigm that informs both theoretical and practical approaches to working with children in care.

By participating in this workshop, adoption practitioners can expect to deepen their understanding of the complex and dynamic nature of adopted children’s identities. They will gain insights into the innovative ‘in-flux identity’ framework, informed by concepts like “Intersectionality” and “Lived Religion.”

Practitioners will develop a nuanced understanding of how identity narratives intersect with ethnicity, religion, and the experience of care. The workshop aims to equip practitioners with practical knowledge on utilizing the ‘Identity see-saw’ as a tool to comprehend the fluidity of identities over time and the pivotal role of individual agency in shaping identity.

Participants will also explore the broader social contexts that influence identity, encompassing the beliefs, values, and identities of the adults responsible for the care and decision-making of adopted children.

Ultimately, practitioners will leave with valuable insights and perspectives to inform their adoption practices, ensuring a more holistic and responsive approach to the unique needs of adopted children.

Learning outcomes

  • Recognising the different aspects/layers to a child or young person’s identity
  • Understanding identities as changing and evolving
  • Confidence in allowing children and young people to lead during conversations about their identities

About the trainer

Dr Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor

Dr Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor is a Feminist Sociologist of Religion. She is Assistant Professor and Research Group Lead for Faith and Peaceful Relations at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK. She chairs the Muslims in Britain Research Network (MBRN). Her publications include Muslim Women in Britain: Demystifying the Muslimah (Routledge 2012), Religion or Belief, Discrimination and Equality: Britain in Global Contexts (Bloomsbury 2013) and Islam on Campus: Contested Identities and the Cultures of Higher Education (OUP 2020). She led the first research exploration of the experiences of children of Muslim-heritage in the care system in Britain. She is proud adoptive mother to two children.

Kusha Anand

Kusha Anand is Research Fellow and Co-Investigator, currently contributing her expertise to two pivotal research projects at the esteemed Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations, located at Coventry University, UK. As a seasoned political sociologist, Kusha’s scholarly pursuits revolve around the nuanced intersections of identity, citizenship, and education. Drawing upon a rich decade of immersive fieldwork experience, Kusha specialises in collaborative and interdisciplinary research initiatives, with a primary focus on ethnic minoritised groups, refugees, and migrants within the UK context. Her commitment extends beyond academic curiosity, delving into a genuine passion for amplifying the voices of individuals from ethnic minoritised groups in the UK.


A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack.

If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at We will aim to answer your query within two working days.

CVAA accept online payments only. In case you do not have instant access to your company card, we suggest using your personal card instead to book a training event and claim it back with your agency in your expenses. Requesting an invoice to pay for our standard practice events is not possible.

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