Our multi-disciplinary team has a wealth of experience and up-to-date expertise in adoption and fostering practice and delivers a wide range of training, consultancy, workshops and conferences to assist professionals to develop the knowledge and skills they require when working in this specialist area.
You can meet the team below
Robin started with AFA Scotland in October 2016 and divides his time between AFA (3 days/wk) and managing Scotland’s Adoption Register (2 days/wk). He has managed Scotland’s Adoption Register - first at BAAF and now hosted by St Andrews Children’s Society - since 2014. Robin qualified as a social worker in 1988 - via a circuitous route involving an earlier qualification as a Chartered Surveyor and then working in youth projects and in residential child care. As a social worker he worked for Barnardos, establishing a residential project for children who had previously been in long stay hospital, before moving to Dundee City Council’s fostering and adoption service and subsequently managing their permanence team. Prior to his move to the Adoption Register he worked for more than 10 years as a child care manager for Angus Council. As Executive Director he is responsible for the leadership and development of AFA Scotland and will work with the charity’s staff, trustees and stakeholders to maximise AFA’s overall performance and sustainability.
Maggie collaborates with the Universities of Stirling and York on the Permanently Progressing? study of permanence for children under 5 in Scotland. She provides updates on current research for all AFA Scotland forums and delivers training on research in adoption, fostering and related topics. She has 10 years’ experience working on a range of studies, including research on international adoption, using video clips in family finding, the Fostering Education reading programme and fostering of asylum seeking young people. She was co-author of the British Chinese Adoption Study and is currently a consultant on a longitudinal study of infant domestic adoption at King's College London. She has recently completed a PhD exploring adults’ retrospective accounts of growing up adopted.
Ravinder is a qualified social worker with over 20 years’ child care experience in local authorities and latterly in the voluntary sector with BAAF Scotland. As one of the founding members of AFA Scotland, Ravinder is the course leader for the unique masters level postgraduate course Securing Children’s Futures, accredited by Strathclyde University. Ravinder has many years of experience in delivering a range of training and workshops as well as chairing adoption and fostering panels for several agencies. Ravinder is also an Agency Decision Maker. Additionally, she facilitates the Family Placement Forum which promotes good practice for family placement social workers.
Rhona provides legal input across AFA Scotland's services. She facilitates
the Legal Adoption and Fostering Forum and organises an annual conference on current legal issues relevant to adoption, fostering and looked after children. Rhona co-convenes the family placement consortia in West of Scotland, North-East of Scotland and Pan-Scotland. She also delivers a range of training, consultations and workshops. Rhona regularly speaks at and chairs legal and social work conferences. She provides the legal notes for the Adoption and Fostering Journal published quarterly by CoramBAAF. Rhona qualified as a solicitor in Glasgow and practiced in private practice, commerce and the public sector in London and Scotland. She has lectured at various colleges and universities in Scotland on child protection and child welfare law. She was a Reporter to the Children's Panel for 20 years and was course tutor with West Lothian College, training children's hearing panel members from 2014 to 2015.She is currently a Panel Practice Advisor with the Fife Area Support Team for Children's Hearings Scotland.
Brenda is based in the office and manages all administrative and business aspects of AFA Scotland’s work. She is responsible for all matters relating to finance, including reporting to the Board of Trustees and works closely in conjunction with the Executive Director. Brenda co-ordinates the membership services, delivers on-going marketing and communication about AFA Scotland’s services, and also provides administrative support for the postgraduate course and consultancy projects. Brenda previously worked for BAAF for 12 years.
Jane joined the staff team as its new Trainer Consultant at the beginning of October 2017. Jane has worked for many years in children’s services as a practitioner and manager, most recently managing the fostering services for North Ayrshire Council. Her interest in making research and learning accessible to practitioners and her range of experience in relation to fostering, adoption, kinship care and in promoting therapeutic support for children, will make her a great asset to the service and we are looking forward to benefitting from her breadth of experience and knowledge.
Alison qualified as a social worker in 1976 and worked in generic local authority social work and specialist residential provision for adolescents until 1983. Since then Alison has specialised in all aspects of adoption and fostering, including the recruitment, assessment and support of adopters and foster carers, completion of kinship and step parent assessments, and work as a Local Authority Adoption Adviser.
For many years Alison family found for hard to place children, including children with profound disabilities, older children and complex sibling groups. She has extensive experience of the national recruitment of adoptive families for specific children, gaining in depth experience of interagency working, the setting up and conduct of complex assessments, and the challenges of negotiating and maintaining exceptional post placement support over long distances. Alison has worked within four voluntary agencies and six Local Authorities. Alison joined BAAF Scotland in 2006, becoming part of AFA Scotland in 2015.
Alison has acted as Chair of several Adoption and Permanence panels since 2006. As Child Placement Consultant with AFA Scotland, Alison offers advice, consultation services, independent reports and the conduct of disruption meetings and processes. Alison also contributes to the development and delivery of AFA training. Alison facilitates the AFA Health Group and co-supports the North East and West of Scotland consortia.
Ariane is a social work practitioner and researcher who joined AFA Scotland as a part-time Research Assistant in April 2018.
She began her career in practice, predominantly in child welfare and protection, and has had a long association with Scottish Adoption. In more recent years her focus has been largely on social work research and education. Currently Ariane is writing up her PhD thesis at the University of Edinburgh. Her doctoral research was an ethnographic study of pre-birth child protection.
Her research interests are broad and she is passionate about knowledge exchange and research impact on practice. As a freelance researcher she has enjoyed a variety of commissions in the areas of health and social care.
Ariane is delighted to be supporting AFA's wide ranging research activities in the area of adoption.