ADOPTION WEEK SCOTLAND: 16-20 NOVEMBER 2020

AFA Scotland and Adoption UK Scotland, supported by Scotland’s Adoption Register are co-hosting Adoption Week Scotland which is funded by the Scottish Government. 

Plans are well under way on a range of activities which will take place across Scotland for people interested in adoption and for adoptive families.  As well as providing information about adoption, this year we have some great family fun events organised which include a magician, arts and crafts, gymnastics and science.

We also have podcasts, webinars looking at sibling relationships, therapeutic parenting and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).  We are also delighted to announce that Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People will host a question and answer session. 

Whilst we appreciate that this year will be different with all activities being delivered online, we are delighted to be able to deliver a wide and varied programme celebrating adoption.

We work with partners right across Scotland to celebrate adoption through the week and you will find all the details of our main programme together with a whole host of local agency activities detailed at https://adoption.scot/.

Permanently Progressing? - Phase 2

We are delighted to announce that a team led by the University of Stirling working with Lancaster University and the Adoption and Fostering Alliance (AFA) Scotland have won a £500,000 award from the Nuffield Foundation and a philanthropic donor, to carry out the next stage of ground-breaking work intended to improve the lives of children who become "looked-after" by the care systems.

In the largest UK study of its kind, between 2014 and 2018, the team followed the progress of every single child aged five and under who became looked-after in Scotland in the years 2012/2013 - a total of 1,836 children.  To read more and download our flyer, please click here

AFA SCOTLAND VACANCY: RESEARCHER

AFA Scotland is seeking to recruit an experienced and talented individual as a Researcher to contribute to our current research projects and to the wider range of services we offer.  This is a part time post (3 days) per week with some flexibility in the role and we are willing to consider a job share.  If you  are interested in applying for this post and would like further information, please click here to download the job summary and purpose.  Please note, the closing date for applications is Wednesday 26 August, 2020.

 

Kinship Care Advice Service Scotland (KCASS)

Following a tendering process, the Scottish Government has announced that from 1 September, Scotland’s Kinship Care Advice Service (KCASS) will be run in collaboration by AFA Scotland and Adoption UK Scotland. The KCASS is funded by the Scottish Government with the purpose of delivering the best possible support to kinship carers who play such a critical role in providing secure, stable and nurturing homes for children who cannot be cared for by their birth parents. The new collaboration brings together the skills and experience of the two organisations along with a more formalised link to CPAG (Child Poverty Action Group).

Adoption UK Scotland brings its experience of providing successful support services using a model that involves service users as an integral part of the way the services are managed and delivered. Historically AUK worked almost exclusively with adoptive families, but more recently their services have had a wider focus, including the establishment of Scotland’s successful national FASD Hub.

AFA Scotland brings experience of supporting practitioners and agencies from every part of Scotland and helping to shape and develop policy and practice across all the disciplines involved in working with children and those who care for them.

The services and training provided by AFA Scotland, including its postgraduate Relative Matters course on kinship care, reflect the central importance of kinship care for children unable to live with their own parents and the growing recognition of the need to improve support to the people who care for them. The service will build on the work already undertaken by the KCASS and will work as collaboratively as possible with the well-established kinship groups across the country.

The existing provider, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is working closely with AUK Scotland and AFA Scotland to ensure that the transition happens smoothly for all those currently receiving advice and support, and we would welcome ideas, comments and suggestions from anyone involved to help shape the service as it develops.  A "Frequently Asked Questions" sheet has been prepared and is available on the Kinship. Scot website - here.

RECRUITMENT OF KINSHIP CARE CONSULTANT

As stated above, AFA Scotland’s role will be to provide support and training to practitioners and agencies and support work to develop policy and practice at local and national level and is currently recruiting for a full time Kinship Care Consultant to lead this work.  This recruitment process is now closed.

 

FACE19: Families' and Children's Experiences of COVID-19

AFA Scotland is a third sector partner with the University of Stirling on their new research project FACE19: Families’ and Children’s Experiences of COVID-19. The research is exploring the psychosocial and wellbeing implications of the Covid-19 pandemic and social isolation practices for children, young people and families, and for the workers who support them. The study is funded by the Chief Scientist’s Office and has been granted ethical approval by the university. The aim is to understand how the implications of the pandemic are affecting the wellbeing of children, families and workers, and what services are doing or could be doing to help mitigate this. 

The first step is a survey for parents and carers; we would like to hear from any parents or carers of children or young people aged 18 or under, about their experience of the pandemic, its impact on them and their family, and what might help and support them. It is vital that kinship carers’, foster carers’ and adoptive parents’ voices be heard about their experience of the pandemic and what support they feel they need. To download a copy of the flyer, please click here. If you are interested in completing an online questionnaire, which is anonymised, please use the link:  tinyurl.com/y89c222t  . The survey takes around 20 minutes to complete.

This second survey is for keyworkers working with children and their families. We are acutely aware what an exceptionally busy time this is, but if you can spare the time, (it takes around 20 minutes) your involvement will help inform a study which promises to provide important information about the impact and learning from the crisis.  This survey can be completed here: https://tinyurl.com/ycdaf6ua   There is no limit on the number of responses from a single agency or area – the research team are keen to hear from as many people as possible.  To download a copy of the flyer, please click here

For the final strand of the study, the research team are also keen to hear from workers and carers who might be willing to participate in a (virtual) interview to explore some of their experiences in more depth. If you, or someone you know, would be interested in further information, please contact Judy Warburton (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

For further information about the study, please see the study website: http://face19.stir.ac.uk/2020/05/06/hello-world/.  

SUFS Briefing for MSPs: Sibling Provisions of Children (Scotland) Bill - 8th June 2020

In response to a request from the Scottish Parliament, the SUFS (Stand Up For Siblings) Group submitted a briefing paper to assist MSPs who are involved in stage 2 consideration of the Children (Scotland) Bill and the provisions relating to the promotion of contact between siblings. The paper, which can be downloaded here sets out clearly the argument in favour of removing the word ‘practicable’ from section 10 of the Bill. Further information about the work of the SUFS group is available on their website at:  SUFS.

MOVING IMAGES PUBLICATION

UPDATED GUIDANCE AVAILABLE (MAY 2020)

USING VIDEO CLIPS IN FINDING ADOPTIVE FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN:  A PRACTICE GUIDE

In 2018 we launch a new good practice guide which was the culmination of 18 months' work by the project group which has been investigating the use of video clips in family finding.  We now have updated guidance (May 2020) to accompany the section on editing videos (appendix 1) which is available to view here

The guidance is designed to help social workers and foster carers who are most likely to make the videos, but also to address the concerns of others within organisations who have questions about the technical and legal issues involved.  Hard copies of the guide have been circulated to all agencies.  A PDF version can be downloaded here.

As this is a subject where practice and technology will continue to develop, we will adapt the guidance to reflect changes in the future.  If you have any feedback or suggestions for additions/amendments, please get in touch with Maggie - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

AFA Scotland is registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) - SC046417