Navigating Adoption Support Conference

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Navigating Adoption Support Conference

Navigating Adoption Support Conference

A one day conference from the Centre for Adoption Support in partnership with The University of Chester

28 March 2019, 10:00am to 3:45pm

Join academics, policy makers adoption practitioners, social workers, managers, teachers, adopters, special guardians and adopted adults as we consider:

  • Research and evaluative evidence of different methods of adoption support
  • Innovative approaches to adoption support using real life case studies from the Centre for Adoption Support
  • Educational support for looked after and adopted children

The ‘Navigating Adoption Support’ conference will address adoption support methods and research pertinent to adopters, adopted adults, policy makers, service managers as well as school leaders and professional social work, educational and health practitioners.

The keynote address is to be delivered by Sir John Timpson whose charity the Alex Timpson Trust is funding initiatives that aim to improve the educational experience of all looked after and previously looked after children.

Other confirmed speakers include are listed below.

The day will include an interactive workshop programme and a two course hot lunch.

Speakers & Workshop Presenters


  • Dr. Elizabeth Harlow, Professor of Social Work, University of Chester
  • Anne Fleming, Service Manager, The Centre for Adoption Support


  • Sir Mark Hedley, Foster Carer, Adoptive Father and former Barrister and High Court Judge


  • Sir John Timpson, CBE, Chairman & Adoptive Father, Timpson Ltd

Speakers / Presenters:

  • Al Coates, MBE, Social Worker and Adoptive Father
  • Hedwig Verhagen, Practice Manager, The Centre for Adoption Support
  • Dr. Neil Harrison, Deputy Director, Rees Centre, University of Oxford
  • Helen Trivedi, Research Assistant, Rees Centre, University of Oxford
  • Dr. Elizabeth Harlow, Professor of Social Work, University of Chester
  • Dr. Marie Kershaw, Principal Clinical Psychologist, Birmingham Children’s Trust – Therapeutic & Emotional Support Service (TESS)
  • Dr. Sadie King, Principal Researcher/Consultant, Tavistock Institute of Human Relations
  • Dr. Katherine Shelton, Reader, School of Psychology, Cardiff University
  • David Robinson-Field, Practice Manager, The Centre for Adoption Support
  • Dr. John Simmonds OBE, Director of Policy, Research and Development, CoramBAAF
  • Alison Woodhead, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, Adoption UK

Benefits of Attending

  • Gain insight into the key research around adoption support
  • Hear key insight into various innovative methods of supporting adopted children and young people
  • Share best practice and experiences
  • Benefit from the opportunity to question, discuss, network and knowledge share with speakers and delegates.
  • Gain CPD credits

Conference Programme

The conference programme for the day is available to download below, together with the presenter biographies:

Navigating Adoption Support Conference Programme

Navigating Adoption Support Conference Workshop List & Presenter Biographies



The University of Chester, Parkgate Road Campus, Binks Building, CHESTER, CH1 4AR.
View on Google Maps 

On the day

The day includes a two course hot lunch, should you have any special dietary requirements, please email: to advise.

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Chester is linked directly to the national motorway system via the M53, and London and all the major regions of the UK are easily accessible from the city.  The University of Chester campus is easily accessible from the city centre and there are ample car parks close to the venue, for full details visit the University of Chester website here: 

About Chester

The ancient city of Chester is a truly breathtaking experience. Each chapter of Chester’s history is etched into the very fabric of the city. Chester has the most complete city walls, the oldest racecourse and the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, plus a 1000 year old Cathedral with Europe’s finest example of medieval carvings – and of course the one and only 700 year old Rows galleries where shopping is a delight.

Questions about the conference:

If you have any questions or queries about this conference, please email:

Who should attend?

  • Adopters
  • Adopted adults
  • Special Guardians
  • Social Workers
  • Senior Managers
  • Regional Adoption Agency colleagues
  • Commissioners
  • Education Professionals – Head Teachers, Virtual Heads, Teachers, Teaching Assistants, SENCOs, Bursars
  • Policy Makers

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