CoramBAAF Webinar

Lunch & Learn: Expressions of Self | Understanding care-experienced young people’s intersectional identities, through their stories



CoramBAAF is delivering a series of webinars in relation to diversity and adoption on behalf of RAA Leaders. These short webinars explore promising practice in adoption work in relation to issues of diversity. We will be hearing from practitioners and experts who will be able to inform and educate us about practicing in an anti-discriminatory way that embraces the diversity of children and adopters. The webinars are intended to be short and accessible so that practitioners can engage with them in working hours and take key learning from them. Details and how to register below.

The National Adoption Strategy (2021) set out an ambition to increase the number of people registering their interest in adoption, to target recruitment around the needs of those children waiting longest, improve the quality and responsiveness of adoption services and support the adoption workforce so they are supporting adoptive families in the best possible way and achieving better outcomes for those children. In developing the National Adoption Strategy, a number of working groups focusing on key aspects of the national strategy have been set up, including a group focused on increasing the diversity and numbers of adopters. These webinars will explore key themes that are being developed as part of that work.


The Nuffield-funded Expressions of Self research project aimed to listen to minoritised looked-after children and young people’s narratives on ethnicity, religion and identity, to inform policy and practice about their needs. During this last year we have spoken to over 20 care-experienced children and young people from Black, South Asian and other minoritised backgrounds to understand how their perceive and experience their identities whilst in care. We have heard stories of resilience and hope, as stories of recurrent loss and enduring sadness. However what unites all the stories is evidence of young people’s fluid constructs of identity and ability to almost seamlessly oscillate across identity positions. In this session we will use young people’s stories of identity and negotiating their identity to showcase learnings for frontline social workers. We will explore the different kinds of impact that their identities can have on young people’s journeys through care.

This session serves as an introduction to the Expressions of Self research project and covers the early findings. Our presenters shall return to CoramBAAF to deliver and discuss the publication of the full-findings in during the Autumn.


This session is designed to enhance understanding of intersectionality by hearing the voices of over 20 care-experienced children and young people from minoritised backgrounds. The purpose is to ensure frontline social workers have a stronger understanding of the complex identities and needs of children and young people as they journey through care.


Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (PhD) is Associate Professor in the Sociology of Islam at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK. She is Chair (2020-2023) of the Muslims in Britain Research Network (MBRN). As a feminist sociologist of religion, she interrogates the power dynamics within knowledge production and the implications of the processes and systems of knowledge on society as a whole. She started undertaking research with and for children in care after starting the process to become an adopter, just under a decade ago.

Alison Halford is an Assistant Professor (Research) and Impact Lead at the Centre for Computational Science and Mathematical Modelling (CSM), Coventry University. Her research emphasises meaningful participation informed by an ethics of care to give voice to those traditionally excluded from public engagement and positions of authority. As a feminist scholar, her work draws upon intersectionality to promote greater equality and transparency in decision-making to build the capacity and resilience of communities now and in the future. 

Kusha Anand (PhD) is Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK. She has a decade of fieldwork experience in interdisciplinary projects focusing on minorities, refugees, and migrants in the UK. As a political sociologist, she pays attention to the intersections of identity, citizenship, and education.


The session is aimed at foster carers, adopters, children’s services, social workers, supervising social workers, managers and anyone interested in enhancing their knowledge around minoritised children and young people in their journey through care.

For social workers, reflection on this session may contribute to your continuing professional development (CPD).



Places on this event are limited, so early booking is recommended.


Telephone 020 7520 7520/0310



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