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.
Continuing the series of emails we have circulated in recent months, below are some further updates and resources specifically relevant to work with looked after children and those living in kinship, foster and adoptive families. It is encouraging that these are no longer wholly taken up with Covid related issues - although the challenges for practitioners and carers are potentially greater in a prolonged period of fluctuating risk with few certainties to guide decision making. Thanks again to those who have agreed to share information - 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. 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.
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
Easing restrictions: The Scottish Government continues to update guidance on its 4 phase route map for easing Covid restrictions, with the move to phase 3 starting on 10 July being managed in stages - phase 3 - stages. Additional information published on 14 July clarified what you can and cannot do in phase 3. This sits alongside specific guidance relating to managing residential childcare facilities issued in June - residential childcare guidance. Some helpful information about what this all means for children of different ages is available on the parent club website at Parent Club Coronavirus information.
The most recent legal notes from AFA Scotland’s legal consultant – legal notes - provide information on developments relating to siblings – firstly from the Children (Scotland) Bill and secondly as a commentary on the recent judgements from the Supreme Court.
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.
The AFA Scotland Team
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