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.
I hope you are continuing to keep well as we begin to see the first tentative steps towards an easing of the lockdown measures. Detailed below, some further updates and resources specifically relevant to work with looked after children and those living in kinship, foster and adoptive families. Most agencies report a new focus on extending areas of work and consideration of longer-term plans to address the legacy of the crisis. Judgements about what work is manageable and appropriate potentially become more complicated as the clear prohibitions of the early phase are replaced by more nuanced guidance, but increasingly there are opportunities to move forward with some of the crucial work that has been on hold. We will continue to update information and guidance so do check our website for the latest versions - AFA Scotland
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 and will update the training and events section on our website accordingly.
Upcoming online training events for members: Online half-day spotlight sessions: £20.00 + VAT per delegate
Profiling Children during COVID-19: informing ongoing family finding - Wednesday 24 June, 2020
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
Planning and Managing transitions for children in the Pandemic
Wednesday 1 July, 2020 THIS SESSION IS NOW FULLY BOOKED THEREFORE WE HAVE ADDED ANOTHER DATE
Wednesday 8 July, 2020
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.
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