The Child’s Participation in Court Proceedings Document Added to Downloads section

The document we have added  provides the text of a presentation by the Rt Hon Lord Carloway, Lord President of the Court of Session, to AFA Scotland’s legal conference on 14 June 2019. Speaking to the title The Child’s Participation in Court Proceedings’ Lord Carloway outlined exciting plans to improve the way that children are asked to share their views so that they do not end up being further harmed by participation in the very systems designed to protect them.

Link to our resources Downloads here.

Permanently Progressing: Building secure futures for children in Scotland

After almost five years of detailed research and analysis the reports of the Permanently Progressing study (phase one) were published on 20 June 2019. The study investigated decision making, permanence, progress, outcomes and belonging for a large cohort (1,836 children) of all children in Scotland who became looked after in 2012-13, when they were aged five or under. Using national data from the Children Looked After Statistics (CLAS) we analysed children’s progress over four years (2012-2016). The study is the first to compare pathways and outcomes for such a large cohort of young children in Scotland. It is designed to be the first phase in a longitudinal study tracking children’s progress into adolescence and beyond.

Phase One of the study has five strands, with a report and summary for each strand. Each of the summary documents begins with a list of key messages and concludes with implications for policy and practice. Sitting alongside the five summaries, is an additional information sheet for children (including an audio version) explaining the purpose and outcomes of the study.

The five reports are:

  1. Pathways to Permanence for children who become looked after in Scotland (Pathways strand): This analysed the CLAS data for 1,836 children over four years. The report presents detailed information on their routes to permanence and the timescales.
  2. Linking two administrative data sets about looked after children: Testing feasibility and enhancing understanding (Linkage strand): Data on children is collected by the Scottish Government (CLAS data) and by Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration (SCRA). For the first time this study linked CLAS and SCRA data on 1,000 children. The report describes the process and the findings.
  3. Children looked after away from home aged five and under in Scotland: experiences, pathways and outcomes (Outcomes strand): This presents findings from detailed questionnaires (433 social workers and 166 carers) alongside the CLAS data. The report provide valuable information about the circumstances of children and their families before they were accommodated, their pathways, current status and current wellbeing.
  4. Decision making for children (Decision making strand): 160 decision makers across Scotland (including social workers, members of Children’s Hearings and Reporters to the Children’s Hearing) were interviewed about their perspectives on decision making.
  5. Perspectives on kinship care, foster care and adoption: the voices of children, carers and adoptive parents (Children and Carers strand): 20 carers and adoptive parents were interviewed, and 10 children aged 3-9 years participated in ‘play and talk’ about their experiences.

To read the press release click here

We have created a specialised page for the permanently progressing content under our resources section and this can be seen by clicking here: Permanently Progressing


To coincide with Fostering Fortnight, Maree Todd, Minister for  Children and Young People, wrote a letter to foster carers in Scotland. As well as reiterating the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting carers and encouraging more people to consider becoming foster carers, the letter provides a helpful summary of action the government is currently taking to develop services and improve the experience of children who are living with foster carers.  To read,, please click here

Mapping Adoption Support in Scotland

We have now added our Mapping Support In Scotland Parts 1 and 2 in the downloads section of our site.

Part 1: Initial findings from survey analysis  can be viewed and downloaded by clicking the image below.

   Part 1

Part 2: A guide to support services across Scotland can be viewed and downloaded by clicking the image below.

 Part 2



Dear colleagues,

Working with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Coram Children’s Legal Centre (CCLC) for Fostering Across Borders (FAB) Project, CoramBAAF is producing a free training program and manual; Caring for Unaccompanied Migrant Children aimed at supporting both experienced and new foster carers in their care of unaccompanied migrant children.

To support the delivery of this program, CoramBAAF will deliver Free Trainer of Trainer courses over two consecutive days from 10.00 - 4.00pm between February and March 2019 from 11 venues across the UK.   In Scotland, this will be delivered by AFA Scotland and we are working with CoramBAAF to ensure the materials are relevant for Scotland.

The courses will enable experienced and less experienced trainers, social workers and foster carers who may deliver the training program to practice delivery of the training materials and provide essential feedback to make any changes before the final manual is produced.   Please note that this is Trainer of Trainers Training and not specific unaccompanied migrant children training. On the 2 days you will be asked to work in small groups and present specific Modules from the Training Manual. Participants must be willing to engage in active training and give constructive feedback to each other. 

AFA Scotland will deliver these free events in Edinburgh on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th March 2019 at Foxglove Offices/GF2, 14 Links Place, Edinburgh EH6 7EZ.   Refreshments and a light sandwich lunch will be provided.

If you or any of your colleagues would be interested in attending this event, please contact myself at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone on  0131 322 8490).   The course is limited to a maximum of 10 participants therefore places will be allocated on a first come basis.

Relative Matters’: Good Practice in Permanence Planning in Kinship Care

This unique 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.

The course will be delivered alongside the validation process from Strathclyde University at MSc Level 11 and once validated will attract an award of 60 credits (postgraduate certificate) which can be taken forward to further study. Agencies will need to be confident that their nominated student can study at master’s level.

The introductory session for students and their managers will be on the 3rd June 2019. The course requires attendance at three taught modules of three consecutive days per module between June 2019 and October 2019. Assessment will be based on assignments as well as a ‘training for trainers’ assessment. Comprehensive feedback is available to students. A student handbook will provide all the required information.

Module One:              The Kinship Care Context in Scotland

Focuses on historical and international perspectives as well as the child protection context. All relevant legal and policy areas will be considered alongside the ethical considerations in this area of practice. This module explores how outcomes in kinship care can be assessed.

Module Two:              The Child in Kinship Care

Covers the meaning of kinship care, children’s needs and characteristics as well as exploring often contentious and complex areas such as contact and the placement of siblings. This module will further consider children’s identity.

Module Three:           Assessing and Supporting Kinship Carers

Considers the preparation and assessment of kinship carers including the use of risk assessments. The focus will move onto different approval and support factors. The voice of kinship carers will be a core theme. A training for trainers’ input will complete this module.

To download the flyer click here

To download the application form click here


Publication of The Adoption Journey

We are delighted to announce a new publication for prospective adopters in Scotland created jointly by AFA Scotland and Adoption UK Scotland as part of our Preparing Adopters Project. Copies will be circulated free of charge to all local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies so that it can be made available to anyone thinking about, or embarking on, the process of becoming an adoptive parent. There will be a formal launch of the publication shortly with distribution to agencies during February and March. Initial feedback has been very encouraging with many comments about the helpful the way it combines positive testimony from people who have been there already, along with a realistic look at some of the challenges and complications involved.

The other part of the Preparing Adopters Project involves creating an updated and Scotland specific version of the CoramBAAF training materials ‘Preparing to Adopt’. Work is nearing completion on the materials and agencies will be notified once these are finalised and available.

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