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Event Tag: staying connected

Staying Connected: Hearing Children’s Experiences on Contact Arrangements and Improving our Practice

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 timely evidence seminar will explore the latest research from the Bright Spots Programme (Shirley Lewis, Julie Selwyn and Linda Briheim-Crookall) on looked after children and young people’s feelings about contact and spending time with their biological family’s.

Linda Briheim-Crookall, Head of Policy and practice development at Coram Voice will share findings from the Staying Connected report by Coram Voice and the Rees Centre at the University of Oxford.

Linda Briheim-Crookall, Head of Policy and Practice Development at Coram Voice, said: “The recent Care Review suggested the primary objective of the care system should be promoting the formation of lifelong loving relationships around children in care and care leavers. This can only be achieved if more is done to build rather than break relationships with the people who are already important to children in care. Our research showed that there is still some way to go to make this happen.”

The report draws on the views of over 7,000 children in care about staying connected with family and the people that is important to them. This report was published in 2022. As part of the session, we will discuss the direct relationship between well-being and staying connected with family for adopted children, explore children and young people’s views and experiences and hear their experiences in their own words.

Together with senior practitioners at Coram Ambitious for Adoption, we will aim to bring the report to adoption practice. We will identify key themes and we will reflect on this important topic and what the findings mean to adoption professionals in their practice as well as within the service at large.

Learning 0utcomes

  • An understanding on the views of children in care to maintain relationships with their birth relatives
  • Professional reflections on current practice
  • How the lived experience can inform and improve adoption practice
  • In-dept discussion with the leading researchers

About the trainers

Linda Briheim-Crookall and Sarah Taylor

Linda manages the Policy and Practice Development team at Coram Voice. Linda leads on the programmes that make care better by listening to, and directly involving, care experienced children and young people. Coram Voice’s projects include Bright Spots, New Belongings, Voices, A National Voice as well as peer research. Linda says that the best thing about her role is helping others to see children in care and care leavers as experts in their own experience who make care better when they are given a voice and opportunities to inform it.

Sarah has been a Social worker of 30 years and currently works in the Slough Post Adoption Team.  It is through this role that Sarah has become involved in supporting adopters and birth family members to keep in touch via the letterbox exchange.   Sarah has been involved in facilitating indirect and direct contact including reviewing and updating contact arrangements so that they reflect the changing needs of the children as they develop. Sarah welcomes the influence this research will have on current practice.  Sarah would like to see evidence of the conversations that have taken place and explanations for decisions made. Sarah is passionate about  the changes that can be made to practice and welcomes the opportunity to share ideas with all involved.


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.

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