CoramBAAF is governed by an independent Board of Directors. It is a medium-sized organisation, divided into six teams:
- Policy, Research and Development
- Advice and Information
- Membership Services and Engagement
- Communications and Marketing
- Training and Events
Ellen Broomé, Managing Director
Ellen was appointed Managing Director in February 2021. She previously held the role of Director of Children and Families at NatCen, the UK’s leading social research organisation, and was previously Chief Executive at Coram Family and Childcare, where she worked for five years, and led the merger of into Coram in 2018. She brings over 15 years of experience of strategic leadership, research, policy, advocacy and communications from previous roles including at the Children’s Society, the National Autistic Society and Parliament.
Policy, Research and Development Team
Dr John Simmonds OBE, Director of Policy, Research and Development
John is a qualified social worker and has substantial experience in child protection, family placement and residential care settings. He is currently responsible for CoramBAAF’s contribution to the development of policy and practice in social work, health, the law and research. John’s research has focused on unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in foster care with the Universities of York and Bedfordshire, a study of 100 women adopted from Hong Kong into the U.K. in the 1960s with the Institute of Psychiatry and a DfE funded study on Special Guardianship with York University. John sits on the Public Law Working Group and the DfE’s Advisory Group on Adoption and Special Guardianship – ‘Family Routes’ He was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list 2015.
James Bury, Head of Policy, Research and Development
James joined CoramBAAF in January 2022. James has over 7 years’ experience working with directly with children. He has worked as children’s Guardian and Family Court Advisor at CAFCASS and as a social worker in London and Norfolk operating in a safeguarding role. Prior to becoming a social worker James has worked in public affairs for The Children’s Society and NSPCC and as a researcher in Parliament. He brings a mixture of practice, policy and influencing skills in the children’s sector to CoramBAAF.
Jane Poore, Adoption Development Consultant
Jane joined CoramBAAF in 2021 as a qualified Social Worker with over 15 years' experience in fostering and adoption, assessing, matching and supporting adopters, alongside training prospective adopters. Jane has experience in working for both LA’s and VAA and was involved in the development of the Regional Adoption Agencies in the South West. Prior to joining CoramBAAF she was Agency Advisor in Somerset, for both Fostering and Adoption Panels as well as coordinating Agency Decisions for Children, amongst other pieces of work such as researching Long Term Placement endings.
Emma Fincham, Fostering Consultant
Emma started working at CoramBAAF in October 2021. She is a qualified social worker, with over 25 years of experience in children and young people’s services. She most recently led a fostering team in Brighton and Hove City Council for five years. Emma led on step down placements, for children and young people moving from a residential setting back to living with a foster family. Emma has also worked in child protection, on establishing the young carers project in Tower Hamlets, co-ordinating the Summer University for young people in Brent, and on a service redesign for local authority and voluntary youth services in Brighton and Hove.
Ann Horne, Kinship Care Consultant
Ann joined CoramBAAF in February 2022 alongside jobshare partner, Clare. Ann has been a local authority social worker in children's services for 20 years. She has worked in kinship care for the last 14 years and for 7 of these co-managed a dedicated kinship care team in Brighton and Hove. Ann contributed to the development of best practice models within the Brighton and Hove Team, and some of her work locally later contributed to wider national policy developments around kinship assessments. Ann also took a lead in developing comprehensive kinship support services, ensuring kinship carers in Brighton and Hove were well served by a range of available supports.
Clare Seth, Kinship Care Consultant
Clare joined CoramBAAF in February 2022 alongside jobshare partner, Ann. Clare is a qualified social worker with over 20 years’ experience in Children’s Services. She has managed a children’s social work team in Brighton & Hove, helping to implement a new relationship-based practice model as well as previously having responsibility for staff in fostering and fostering support teams. Clare has worked as a freelance social worker for the last four years, specialising in Kinship and adoption assessment and support as well as working as an independent auditor for an IFA. Clare is a qualified trainer with experience of delivering the Separated Parents Information Programme in Sussex.
Ellie Johnson, Health Consultant
Ellie graduated from Manchester University with a nursing degree and worked as a nurse, midwife, health visitor and specialist public health practitioner in the NHS for 25 years. She was a designated nurse for looked after children for 14 years and chaired a regional LAC nursing network. During this time she was also involved in a joint project with the National Children's Bureau focusing on inequalities in health experienced by looked after children. Ellie joined CoramBAAF in 2017.
Alexandra Conroy-Harris, Legal Consultant
Alexandra was called to the Bar in 1989, and spent nine years in private practice, representing children, families and local authorities, followed by nine years as a Senior Child Care Lawyer in a London local authority before joining BAAF as Legal Consultant in 2008. Her CoramBAAF role involves writing and advising and training on all aspects of the adoption and fostering process, as well as advising the IRM Cymru. Until recently she was combining her part-time role at CoramBAAF with employment as a child care lawyer in a North-East local authority, and now maintains hands-on experience with some private practice at the Bar.
Augusta Itua, Legal Consultant
Augusta joined CoramBAAF in April 2023 and job-shares with Alexandra, assisting with our advice line and service delivery for our members. Augusta qualified as a Youth Justice Lawyer and previously worked at Just for Kids Law. There, she provided specialist legal advice and representation on criminal justice issues and gained experience in community care, education, and strategic litigation law. Augusta balances her part-time role at CoramBAAF with her position as the Head of the Children’s Rights Advice Service at Article 39. Recently, she was awarded the 2023 Churchill Fellowship, which grants her the opportunity to travel to other legal jurisdictions to explore ways to improve access to social care records for individuals with care experience.
Danielle Sawyer, Senior Policy Coordinator
Danielle manages the business support function in the PRD Team alongside Georgina Coope. She previously worked at The Children’s Society and brings over 20 years’ experience in the field of business support for the voluntary and charitable sector.
Georgina Coope, Policy and Research Assistant
Georgina graduated from Swansea University in 2020, with a first class BSc degree in Criminology and Psychology. Following two years at Parents and Children Together (PACT), delivering administrative support for the Children and Trauma Community Hub (CATCH), she joined CoramBAAF in 2022. Georgina provides business support for the PRD team, alongside Danielle Sawyer, and administers a number of advisory committees and practice forums.
Advice and Information
Pippa Bow, Advice and Information Team Manager
Pippa joined CoramBAAF in 2017 as the dedicated adviser for the members’ Advice Line and as a trainer-consultant. Prior to that she has over 30 years’ experience in the voluntary sector, working with parents and carers in disability and health services and as an advice professional. Since 2006 she has worked for national services in fostering and adoption first with the Fostering Network, Fosterline and then as lead adviser with First4Adoption. She now manages CoramBAAF’s advice and information team and takes the lead in responding to policy and practice related enquiries from members, coordinating responses from other CoramBAAF consultants when appropriate.
Erica Bond, Business Support Advice and Information Service and Groups
Erica joined BAAF/CoramBAAF in 1993 and has held a number of different roles. Erica provides support to the advice service and the wider team. She has her own caseload of enquiries to the advice line and helps ensure all enquiries are answered in a timely way. Erica administers a number of practice forums, working with CoramBAAF colleagues to set dates, manage attendance list and mailings and respond to enquiries and requests from new attendees.
Louise Coombs, Advice Line Adviser
Louise joined CoramBAAF in 2021 with fourteen years of administrative experience. Over the years she has worked as a senior administrator for an Independent Fostering Agency and as a care home administrator. Louise is an Advice Line Adviser twice a week and manages the administration of our commissioned training, open courses and consultancy service. She graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a social work degree and is currently working towards registering with Social Work England. In addition to her roles at CoramBAAF, Louise is a Mental Health First Aider, EDI Champion and attends monthly EDI forums and planning groups.
Katrina Wilson, Information and Knowledge Services Manager
Katrina joined BAAF in 2002 after 15 years working in university and hospital libraries and is now the Information and Knowledge Services Manager at CoramBAAF. Katrina works closely with our Information Services Officer to support the information needs of CoramBAAF members and staff by delivering the Digest current awareness service, providing briefings for practice forums, maintaining our library collection, carrying out literature searches and providing statistics in response to enquiries. Katrina also works on the Adoption Search Reunion website and is the Data Protection coordinator for CoramBAAF.
Akina Lowenhoff, Information Services Officer
Akina joined CoramBAAF in June 2023. She completed her master's degree in library science at the City University of London. Previously, Akina has worked for various types of libraries in England and Japan including public, school and university libraries in Tokyo and London, she also volunteered in the library at the National Archives in Kew. Thereafter, she worked for a law school library as a Library Learning Advisor. As an Information Services Officer, Akina is passionate about finding and providing resources to users and enjoys cataloguing library resources.
Outbound permanence service
Sandra Latter, Specialist Advisor
Sandra rejoined Coram on a part-time basis in July 2023 having previously worked as a Coram Associate setting up and developing a range of services for 15 years. Most recently, she jointly managed the Advice and Information Service at IAC- the centre for Adoption with lead responsibility for the Outbound Permanence service. Sandra has been the driving force behind the creation and development of workshops and resources for local authority staff involved in children moving overseas to live with kinship carers. Sandra is a qualified social worker and has substantial experience in child protection, looked after children and adoption settings in both local authority and VAA's. She has been a freelance social worker and Independent Reviewing Officer for the past 20 years. She also sits on our Kinship Advisory Committee.
Cathie Jenkins, Outbound Legal Researcher
Cathie joined CoramBAAF in July 2023 when the Outbound Permanence Service transferred from IAC - the Centre for Adoption, alongside her colleague, Sandra Latter who is the part-time Specialist Advisor. She is a retired solicitor with over 30 years experience in family law, and worked for several London local authorities specialising in child protection, fostering and adoption. At CoramBAAF she is the part-time legal researcher for outbound queries, when local authorities are seeking to place children with family overseas.
Jo Francis, Publishing Manager
Jo commissions, edits and produces books and other resources, working closely with colleagues to ensure that these are accurate and meet members’ needs. CoramBAAF’s electronic licence scheme and Adoption & Fostering journal also come within her department. Jo has worked at BAAF/CoramBAAF since 2002, in various roles, and has family experience of adoption.
Suzanne Walker, Team administrator and PA to the Managing Director
Suzanne has worked for CoramBAAF since May 2019 and is responsible for all administrative and business aspects of the Publications team’s work including sales, finance and marketing. She also works closely with Ellen Broomé, providing administrative support and diary management.
Emma Lawton, Publications Sales Officer
Emma has worked for CoramBAAF since May 2021 and is responsible for bookshop orders. Emma is happy to help with any queries related to CoramBAAF publications.
Dennis Golm, Journal Editor
Dennis completed his PhD at the University of Göttingen in Germany before joining the well-known English and Romanian Adoptees Study team under the leadership of Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke at the University of Southampton and King’s College London. Since 2018, he has been a lecturer in psychology at the Centre for Innovation in Mental Health at the University of Southampton.
Victoria Walker, Journal Production Editor
Victoria produces CoramBAAF's quarterly journal, Adoption & Fostering in collaboration with the Editor-in-Chief, Dennis Golm and Sage Publications. She has a background in higher education teaching, research and academic publishing and has previously worked at institutions including the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the University of Nottingham.
Miranda Davies, Journal Production Editor
Miranda produced our Adoption & Fostering journal from 1995 to 2022 when she supposedly 'retired'. She is currently back in post while her successor, Vicky Walker, is on maternity leave. She has over 40 years' experience of working in publishing, mainly in the field of gender, development and human rights.
During her long stint at CoramBAAF, Miranda obtained a Master's degree in Human Rights from the University of Sussex where her dissertation led to the article 'Intercountry adoption, children's rights and the politics of rescue' being published in the journal (A&F, 35(4):50-62, 2011). This was followed by an anthology for Zed Books on transnational surrogacy, human rights and the politics of reproduction.
Membership Services and Engagement
Michelle Bell, Head of Membership Services and Engagement
Michelle joined BAAF in 2005, initially providing marketing support to the publications team. In recent years she has overseen marketing activities, including the CoramBAAF website, across the organisation and in 2019 was appointed to the role of Head of Membership Services and Engagement. She brings over 25 years of experience of marketing, communications, publications and strategic planning from previous roles including at the Design Council, WaterAid and City & Guilds.
Richard Noble, Membership & Database Manager
From an IT background and with over twenty years' experience in the membership sector, Richard joined CoramBAAF in 2019 after previous engagements with Electoral Reform Membership Services and the TUC affiliated trade union BECTU.
Rosie Hankin, Membership Officer
Rosie initially joined CoramBAAF in her role as Business Support within the Training and Events Team, helping to coordinate training events. Rosie has since become the Membership Officer and works with Michelle and Richard in the Membership Team.
Carrie McHale, Licencing Officer
Carrie joined as the Licencing Officer in February 2021 after previously working with Coram Beanstalk.
Jonathan Lloyd, Website and Digital Asset Manager
Jonathan joined CoramBAAF in 2019, following 6 years at First4Adoption where he developed both the website and various e-learning modules designed to inform and prepare prospective adopters in the early stages of the adoption process. A Spanish and Italian graduate, Jonathan began his career in foreign language training and has amassed over 20 years' experience in online learning.
Ellyse Partington, Senior Marketing and Engagement Officer
Ellyse graduated from the University of Warwick in 2019 with a degree in Film and Television Studies. In the beginning of 2022, she joined CoramBAAF as part of the Training and Events Team, where she organised and supported our online open courses. Prior to that, she worked as an Executive Assistant in central London for a post-production company. Currently, Ellyse is responsible for organising our internal and external communications, including social media schedules, newsletters, and website content. She also leads in shaping and creating CoramBAAF's branding, assets, and engagement strategies.
Training, Consultancy and Events
Helen Little, Training, Consultancy and Events Team Manager
Helen joined CoramBAAF in 2023. Latterly, she was Learning and Development Manager for almost 8 years at Langley House Trust. The learning and development function she developed for Langley now offers an extensive programme for staff and managers whether that be face to face, virtual, e-learning or coaching. Reflecting on her career to date, she can see that this new role for CoramBAAF draws on the many parts of it from the beginning in the hospitality and conferences industry to running her own learning and development consultancy for over 18 years, designing and delivering a range of programmes for clients across many sectors.
Louise Coombs, Senior Training Administrator
Louise joined CoramBAAF in 2021 with fourteen years of administrative experience. Over the years she has worked as a senior administrator for an Independent Fostering Agency and as a care home administrator. Louise manages the administration of our commissioned training, open courses and consultancy service and is an Advice Line Adviser twice a week. Louise graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a social work degree and is currently working towards registering with Social Work England. In addition to her roles at CoramBAAF, Louise is a Mental Health First Aider EDI Champion and attends monthly EDI forums and planning groups.
Liam Hoskins, Events Officer
Liam joined CoramBAAF in 2023 after assisting with Coram's Christmas fundraising appeal that year. With professional experience as a copywriter and digital marketer within startups, as well as previous roles aimed at widening participation in the education sector, Liam brings valuable expertise to the organisation. As an events officer, he is deeply passionate about utilising our platform to advance equality, diversity, and inclusion within practice, while also shining a spotlight on current and future issues in the children and families sector.
Jane Roberts, Training and Events Administrator
Jane is our Events Administrator. Prior to working at CoramBAAF, she ran training events for another charitable organisation. Jane’s background is working with children, as a qualified nursery nurse working in a variety of nurseries and later as a qualified playworker in a variety of outdoor and indoor environments. Jane has also worked closely with social workers in Family Service Units to benefit children and families. Jane has delivered a variety of training from Introductory to Level 3 courses to Early Years Workers and Playworkers.
Abena Mpiani, Administrative Assistant (Training and Events)
Abena joined our Training and Events team in October 2023 with over fifteen years of experience as an administrator working across continents with government bodies, charities and within educational and social care settings. A graduate of Middlesex University Business School with a Master’s degree in Business Administration, her career has spanned a number of significant administrative and operational roles, including working as a PA for Ministers at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Climate Change conferences as an Event Planner. She helped to set up NGO in Ghana which is still going strong today.
Abena has been a foster carer for four years. She cares for children with complex emotional and behavioural needs and is also mentor for 11-13 year olds who are placed in foster care. Abena finds this work rewarding and is a strong advocate for the children and young people are in care.