Adrian was born in Wimbledon and now lives in Seaford in East Sussex. He studied English at Oxford University, but he had already begun working part-time in child care, and soon after graduating he took a Masters in Social Work at Sussex University. From there he went back into residential work, and was appointed to lead Hartfield, a therapeutic children’s home in London. This was a formative time for Adrian, and he continued to draw on the learning from those years throughout the rest of his career.
After seven years in that post Adrian moved into academic work, teaching social workers and other child care workers for many years, firstly at Reading University where he established and led the influential MA in Therapeutic Child Care. From there he moved to UEA in Norwich, and finally to the Tavistock Clinic in London – although he has now moved on from there in order to follow other interests. He has returned to literature and writing, and in 2012 completed an MA in Life Writing in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA. Since then he has been working on a number of projects, including the new book on leadership. Most recently he has worked with colleagues on a new edition of the best-selling book, Relationship-Based Social Work, which appeared in 2018.
In 2012 Adrian was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for services to residential child care, from the Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care, based at the University of Glasgow.