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,course tutor with West Lothian College, training children's hearing panel members and 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.
Jessica joined the team in September 2020 as a researcher to support the research activities AFA Scotland undertakes. As well as supporting our Research Associate, Maggie Grant, in providing updates on current research for all AFA Scotland forums Jessica is currently working on a study exploring cross-border adoptions funded by Scotland’s Adoption Register.
In 2018 she completed her Master of Science in Criminology from the University of Stirling and is currently undertaking her PhD research in the same field, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
Previous to her role with AFA Scotland, Jessica gained invaluable experience during a research internship with the Independent Care Review, in partnership with Evaluate Support Scotland, where she worked within the Data and Evidence Team tasked with evaluating and evidencing the methodology used to conduct the national review of Scotland’s ‘care system’.
Jessica has also recently completed a research fellowship funded by the British Association of Social Work reviewing the role of social workers during disasters in light of the Covid19 pandemic.