Following the Government’s latest advice about how best to respond to Coronavirus, please be advised that all AFA staff are now working from home but can still be reached in all the usual ways for advice and support.
We know that practitioners and agencies are under enormous pressure maintaining critical services for vulnerable children, and that there are particular challenges for children who are looked after and their families and carers. Although we have postponed face-to-face meetings, regular online discussions are taking place in all our forums and consortia so that practitioners have the opportunity to discuss the situation with colleagues and share ideas and solutions that ensure effective care and planning for children is still provided.
The updates section below provides a summary of the latest things that are happening. However clicking on the button below will take you to our dedicated COVID-19 page for all the items we have added to date.
AFA Scotland staff are working from home and all face-to-face training events have been postponed. If you have already booked a place on a training course we will be in touch once it is possible to organise a new date. We are now in a position to offer online training events which are detailed below.
Forthcoming online training events
Specialised Course - £2985.00 + VAT
This post qualifying course is aimed at social workers and managers in children and families' teams, family placement teams as well as other specialist settings across the statutory, voluntary and independent sector. Applicants will require the support of their employer to attend as well as validate their work. It is imperative that sponsoring agencies ensure their nominated students have the motivation, capacity and commitment to complete the course. Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, this course will be delivered virtually.
Half-day spotlight sessions: £20.00 + VAT per delegate
The value of a good profile of a child, both written and video, cannot be under-estimated. The current COVID-19 situation prevents the staging of Adoption Exchange and Activity Days, therefore the first information a prospective adopter is likely to see will be in a child's profile. To read more and download an application form, please click here
As we prepare to enter the 4-month of lockdown, we need to revisit practice in relation to facilitating contact between children and their families. Recent court cases around the country have provided further direction about the approaches to be adopted by Local Authorities in discharging their legal obligations in this respect. SCRA has written to partner agencies, helpfully outlining the information expected for Children’s Hearings in their decision-making. This half-day course will drill down into the preparation needed when presenting contact recommendations to Children’s Hearings and Courts in light of these developments. For further details, please click here.
Practice in placing children with permanent carers has been changing over the past few years, with the process being extended to include "bump in" meetings, relationship building between foster carers and permanent carers/adopters and encouraement of continuing relationships between them once the child has moved. To read more and download an application form, please click here.
Workshop: Full-day £85.00 + VAT per delegate
Kinship care panels deal with making complex recommendations for children and their families. This online workshop will consider the task of being a minute taker within these meetings where crucial life-changing discussions take place. It will consider the legal context, explore key information required for a good minute, discuss useful kinship research relevant to the role and share good practice with others in a safe setting. For further information and to download a booking form, click here
Advice and support
The latest legal update from Rhona Pollock, Legal Consultant, provides information on the following developments:
Contact between children and their families during lockdown
Kinship care finance
Emerging practice examples
Many thanks to agencies who have shared examples of practice so that others can draw on the work they are developing.
Please continue to share examples of emerging practice that we can pass on and let us know if there are other ways we can support your work - both in the short term, and looking further ahead at ways of helping carers, workers and agencies to recover from the impact of what has happened.
The Adoption and Fostering Alliance (AFA) Scotland is an independent, charitable organisation dedicated to improving outcomes for children in care by providing support to all those working in the field of adoption, fostering and the care of looked after children. AFA Scotland was established following the demise of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) in July 2015 and continues to provide services in collaboration with CoramBAAF.
An emphasis is placed in all AFA Scotland’s work on the need for a multi-disciplinary approach that enables social workers, lawyers, health professionals and educators to work effectively across professional boundaries in order to meet the needs of children and their carers. As a membership organisation, AFA Scotland helps to give agencies and individual members a national and regional voice and contributes to the development of policy and practice at a local and national level.
The team provides direct services to agencies, including chairing adoption panels, appeal panels, disruption meetings, and running case consultation sessions. An emphasis is placed in all AFA Scotland’s work on the need for a multi-disciplinary approach that enables social workers, lawyers, health professionals and educators to work effectively across professional boundaries in order to meet the needs of children and their carers. As a membership organisation, AFA Scotland helps to give agencies and individual members a national and regional voice and contributes to the development of policy and practice at a local and national level.
In addition we have a comprehensive selection of 1 and 2 day workshops which are highlighted below.
Membership makes sense as it opens up a range of benefits. This includes member only forums and spotlight sessions, access to our research papers and discounts from our training, conferences and seminars.
AFA Scotland’s multi-disciplinary team has a wealth of experience and up-to-date expertise in adoption and fostering practice. We deliver a wide range of training, consultancy and workshops to assist professionals develop the knowledge and skills they require when working in this specialist area.
Our conferences bring everything together for additional insight into whats going on in the field of adoption and fostering.
We have over 20 established training workshops that cover the full spectrum of the skills and knowledge required in the Adoption and Fostering environment.
These include course such as:
- CPO to POA - A childs journey towards permanance
- Role of the agency decison maker
- Overview of child care law in Scotland
- Whose minute is it anyway?
- Assessing foster carers and adopters
- When placements disrupt in adoption and fostering
- Kinship care, understanding the law and research for kinship carers
- Be court ready, keeping knowledge and skills current
- ....and many more