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Event Tag: modern adoption

Direct Keeping in Touch with Adopted Child’s Birth Family as an Expectation in Modern Adoption

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, kinship carers, designated teachers, and other professionals working with children and families.


This training session is designed by CVAA and senior adoption practitioners at Adopt East service to help you explore with peers the key themes and challenges involved in direct contact between a child and their birth family.

Direct communication and maintaining contact with a child’s birth family has become an expectation in modern adoptions. This practice, also known as open adoption, allows for the child to have a connection with their biological family and the opportunity to know their history and cultural heritage. Direct contact also promotes ongoing communication between the adoptive family and birth family, which helps to build a relationship between the two families and allows the birth family to be a part of the child’s life in a meaningful way.

Having open lines of communication with a birth family can provide a sense of security and comfort for the adopted child, especially as they grow up and may have questions about their identity.

This training is an opportunity to explore with your peers the preparation, assessment, challenges and successes around direct contact within Adoption. You will be able to network with practitioners from other agencies, share best practice and glean new ideas.

Learning 0utcomes

  • Experiences of Adopt East alongside participating agencies, the impact of these and how organisations can address these
  • Key findings within research on contact
  • What organisations can do to adapt approaches to contact
  • Look at the future of direct contact

About the trainers

Pam Whittaker, Ann French and Shona Lawson

Pam Whittaker is the Executive Head of Adopt East which is an alliance of 8 Local Authorities in the East of England.  Pam has been a qualified social worker for over 25 years, 14 of which have been in the adoption arena.

Ann French is the Early Permanence Team Manager who has a lead for modernizing adoption.  Ann has worked in Social Care for 30 years with the last 7 years in adoption.

Shona Lawson is the Adoption Support Co-Ordinator for Adopt East.  Shona is a qualified social worker with over 25 years of experience with children and their families.  Shona has worked in Adoption for 14 years.


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.