Adoption adviser Martin Narey knighted in New Year Honours

Spearhead of government drive to speed-up adoption joins social workers and foster carers in 2013 roll of honour.

Sir Martin Narey

Government adoption adviser Martin Narey has been knighted for services to vulnerable people in the New Year Honours list. Narey joined social workers, foster carers and voluntary sector leaders in being recognised for their work in social care.

Narey, formerly chief executive of Barnardo’s and head of the prison office, has helped develop far-reaching government adoption reforms designed to speed up the process, including by slimming down assessments and publishing council performance on the average time it takes children to be adopted after entering care.

However, 70% of social care professionals oppose the reforms, a Community Care survey found last year, while Narey himself has been accused of not listening to social workers, a charge he vehemently denied in a piece for Community Care.

Honours for social workers

Current and former social care professionals joined Narey on the honours list.

There was an OBE for social work academic and former practitioner David Howe, emeritus professor of social work at the University of East Anglia. Howe’s research has focused on child neglect and abuse and attachment, and his books include Child Abuse and Neglect (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and The Emotionally Intelligent Social Worker (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

Independent social worker Gill Timmis was awarded an MBE for her fundraising work for children in care. She founded Biking for Children in Care in 2001 to raise money for looked-after children’s charity the Who Cares Trust? through sponsored bike rides. Over the subsequent 11 years, she and her fellow riders have raised almost £400,000 for the trust.

There was also an OBE for Francesca Fonseca, who recently retired from the post of corporate parenting manager at Oxfordshire Council.

Charity leaders recognised

Other professionals and charity leaders were also honoured for their work with vulnerable adults or children. CBEs – the most prestigious mainstream honour behind damehoods and knighthoods – were awarded to Su Sayer, chief executive of disability charity United Response, and Diane Robertson, lately director of Trust, a charity that supports women involved in prostitution.

There were OBEs for Ryan Connor, chief executive officer and founder of the National Centre for Domestic Violence, which provides advice and protection to victims; and for Shelagh Deadman, who was lately children and young people’s inspection team leader at the prisons inspectorate.

Within mental health, there were MBEs for Broadmoor Hospital’s associate director of day care services, Anthony Hopkins, and David Ferguson, consultant nurse (learning disabilities and mental health), Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The manager of a care home for adults with dementia and Down’s syndrome was also recognised. Frances White, manager of the Little Haddon home in Axminster, Devon, was awarded an MBE for services to people with learning disabilities.

Foster carers

The work of foster carers was also celebrated through the award of MBEs to:



  • Charles and Patricia Bottomley, from Hull;
  • Jacqueline and John Franklin, from Bristol;
  • Anthony and Muriel Hiles, from Barnardo’s Sandcastle Project in the West Midlands for disabled children;
  • Philip and Wendy Hopkins, from Leeds;
  • Molly and William Morris, from Oxfordshire;
  • Marueen Simpson, from Hounslow, London;

There were also MBEs awarded to Douglas Roxburgh, for services to residential child care in Edinburgh, voluntary carer Jennifer Donald, for services to older people in Dunbartonshire, and Mencap Leeds volunteer Joyce Fieldhouse, for services to people with learning disabilities.

Mithran Samuel is Community Care’s adults’ editor.

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