Conference listing

Beyond Together or Apart – brothers and sisters are for life ONE DAY CONFERENCE



Special offer for CoramBAAF members - buy one place and receive a second at half price! And receive a FREE copy of the CoramBAAF Good Practice Guide on the placement of siblings Beyond Together or Apart (usual price £17.95).



Full or associate CoramBAAF member - £185.00 + £37.00 VAT Total = £222.00

Individual CoramBAAF member - £135.00 + £27.00 VAT Total = £162.00

Non-member - £250.00 + £50.00 VAT Total = £300.00


Concessions available for adoptive parents, foster carers, care leavers and adopted young people. Contact the Conference Team for further details.



While research continues to recognise the lifelong significance of the sibling relationship there are significant challenges for social workers when trying to assess the quality of those relationships, particularly in the context of making plans for permanent placement. Where a placement together cannot be achieved for siblings, social workers are then tasked with trying to achieve the best permanent options for each child whilst trying to maintain a meaningful ongoing relationship for those children and their siblings. Courts and judges are urging social workers to be more creative about how they seek to preserve sibling bonds.

Children in sibling groups account for 65% of young people waiting for an adoptive placement, but there has been a decrease in the number of adopters who feel able to offer a home to siblings. To encourage more adopters to come forward for siblings there is a need to: better understand what motivates adopters to consider siblings; give adopters confidence by offering specific training and preparation around sibling issues; and ensure there is support available to help adopters manage some of the dynamics and challenges of parenting siblings who have an early history of abuse, neglect or trauma.

Read our interview with speaker Shelagh Beckett.


This conference will:

  • share updated practice guidance on working with siblings and assessing their relationships and introduce some of the new tools
  • examine recent research findings and practice developments which will help social workers think about the lifelong implications of planning for siblings
  • address the support needed for adopters in promoting and supporting sibling relationships
  • learn about the experiences of an RAA in developing good practice in recruiting, assessing and supporting carers for sibling placements and planning for placing sibling groups together or apart


Children's services social workers and managers; independent reviewing officers; adoption agency staff; independent fostering providers; family law solicitors and barristers; CAFCASS Guardians; adoption and fostering panel members; and health and education professionals.


Sarah Borthwick, Independent Adoption and Fostering Consultant


Shelagh Beckett, Child Care Consultant and Author of CoramBAAF's Good Practice Guide Beyond Together or Apart

Professor Daniel Monk, Professor of Law, School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London

Dr Christine Jones, Senior Lecturer, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Strathclyde University

Dr Katherine Shelton, Reader, School of Psychology, Cardiff University

Representative from Adoption Counts RAA

Sibling Adopter from Adoption Counts

Hear from the speakers at our recent conference on planning for, assessing and placing sibling groups


9.30 – 10.00 Registration and refreshments

10.00 – 10.15 Welcome and introduction by Chair - Sarah Borthwick

10.15 – 11.15 Brothers and sisters: developing services and relationships - Shelagh Beckett

11.15 – 11.30 Experience of a sibling adopter - Adoption Counts

11.30 – 11.50 Refreshment break

11.50 – 12.20 Undertaking sibling assessments - Shelagh Beckett

12.20 – 12.50 Siblings, contact and the law: an overlooked relationship? - Professor Daniel Monk

12.50 – 1.00 Questions to morning speakers

1.00 – 2.00 Lunch

2.00 – 2.45  The sibling relationships of children in permanent fostering and adoptive families - Dr Christine Jones

2.45 – 3.15 The influence of adoption on sibling relationships: experiences and support needs of newly formed adoptive families - Dr Katherine Shelton

3.15 – 3.50  Developing services for siblings: the experiences of an RAA - Representative from Adoption Counts

3.50 – 4.00 Discussion and feedback with the panel of speakers

4.00 Evaluation and close


Registration 9.30am

Start 10.00am

Close 4.00pm

Refreshments/lunch provided


Telephone 020 7520 7520




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