Douglas was born to an 18-year-old unmarried girl in the northeast of England and placed for adoption in London as a baby. The family included a sister, also adopted.
He was executive director of community services for the London borough of Havering and chair of the London group of the Association of Directors of Social Services. In April 2002 he moved to become the director of social care for Suffolk County Council. He is also (April 2002) vice-chair of the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering, and has written books on child protection, mental health and adoption.
He met his birth father in 1978.
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