Our Trustees As a charity, Adoption Focus is governed by a highly experienced and supportive Board of Trustees. The Trustees contribute to the effective management and operation of the organisation and provide invaluable expertise and guidance. Benjamin James Benjamin James has chaired the board of trustees since 2009. He is a solicitor and specialises in charity, commercial and intellectual property law. He has been a partner in various law firms since 2008 and is based in London. Benjamin advises a number of charities in relation to their legal and governance requirements. He has been a trustee of numerous charities over his career and is currently a trustee of Family Society’s joint venture with St Francis Children’s Society, Triangle Project, as well as the American Friends of Centrepoint and Walk the Walk America. Benjamin is a member of the International Trade Mark Association Not-for-Profit Committee, which provides trade mark guidance and support for not-for-profit organisations throughout the world. His other interests include travel, conservation, reading and fencing (sabre, not post and rail). Mary Jones Mary has worked in the education and skills sector for most of her working life and has experience in strategic planning, business development and relationship management. For the last three years she has worked for a small charity. Mary had been a member of the Adoption Panel before she became a trustee; and she is an adoptive parent. Mary says, 'As an adoptive parent, I do understand the journey that adopters are undertaking. It is worth it, and adopters will have the very best support throughout the process and beyond from all of the staff at Adoption Focus'. John Barley After his engineering training, John worked for two years in India and then embarked on a career in export, working for several UK based companies as Export Director. This took him to some 110 countries over 40 years, enabling him to develop a varied background of commercial knowledge. Subsequent retirement has enabled John to bring this experience to charity work, including as a trustee of Adoption Focus. Kevin Caffrey MBE A founder trustee of Adoption Focus, Kevin is a qualified social worker and recently retired from many years of social work practice and management in both the statutory and voluntary sector. His adoption experience includes past membership of a local authority Adoption Panel and 20 years as CEO of a large Midlands charity which provided Adoption and Fostering services. Kevin's academic qualifications include BA Hons Politics, CQSW and MA in Human Resource Management. Kevin is also active in a number of voluntary roles including chairman of trustees of another large social care charity. Janet Forster Janet lives with her husband and two grown up daughters in London. She studied English Literature at university in the seventies but wanted to help young people so her first job was in a children’s home. She loved working with the children so much that she went back to university to train as a social worker. Janet was a social worker in Coventry for 17 years before moving to a job in London. Eventually she became a senior manager in Surrey with responsibility for child protection, children in care, fostering, adoption and residential homes. She was also the adoption decision maker for Surrey County Council. Janet says, 'Since retiring I have the time to focus on things which interest me, where hopefully the skills and knowledge I have learnt will be of use to others. I have known many adoptive children over the course of my career who have thrived and blossomed with their new parents. This is why I became a trustee of Adoption Focus; to support those children and families. Anthony Lawton OBE Originally qualified as a teacher, Anthony Lawton (MBA, MA) studied aspects of business, management and governance at Leicester Poly, Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, London Business School & Ashbridge. He has been involved in local and national charities variously as a trustee, volunteer, employee and consultant since his undergraduate days at Oxford University. Now retired from being employed, he most recently worked as an interim CEO in cultural and educational charity enterprises, after a long spell as CEO of the national youth homelessness charity Centrepoint in the 2000s. He is currently a trustee of two grant-making charities, one national and one local, and chair of a small family firm in the book industry. He was appointed OBE for services to young people and charity in 2007.