Despite the enormous pressure on agencies to create contingency plans for vulnerable children, some practitioners have found that home working requirements are giving them space to undertake work that is hard to prioritise under normal circumstances. From discussions at our forums about what would help people progress core aspects of their work while the restrictions remain in place, AFA Scotland has scheduled a series of 1½ hour sessions on a range of issues (see below for topics and dates).

Please note, there will be a maximum number of 20 delegates at each of these sessions and places will be allocated on a first come basis. We will be using the GoToMeeting platform. If you are interested in attending any of the sessions, please put your request in writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are successful in securing a place, a confirmation email will be sent to you and prior to the event, a link to join the meeting. Should these sessions be oversubscribed, we will hold a reserved list and if possible, run the events at another time.

Progressing permanence plans and reports for children during lockdown

Aimed at children and families’ workers and other social workers involved in compiling permanence reports such as the Form E and CAPR. During this period we are aware that reports are awaiting completion and that some guidance may be helpful to enable workers to highlight issues that are proving to be difficult to address in reports or where there are different opinions about the most appropriate permanence route.

Wednesday 13th May, 11.00am – 12.30pm              Facilitators: Ravinder Kaur & Rhona Pollock  

Progressing the assessment of prospective kinship, foster, and adoptive parents during lockdown

Despite the restrictions, the need for placements with prospective adoptive, foster and kinship carers is undiminished, and it is important that assessment work continues to the extent to which this is possible. This session is for practitioners currently undertaking assessments or planning to do so and will focus on ways of gathering and presenting the necessary information in the current circumstances.

Friday 15th May, 11.00am – 12.30pm                       Facilitators: Jane Steele & Helen Runciman

Planning for or managing transitions from foster care to permanent placements during lockdown

Placing children with permanent carers is a key intervention in ensuring the safety, welfare and future of the child, but the risks associated with making such placements must be identified and explicitly addressed, and be compliant with the Government’s public health announcements in relation to Covid-19. This session is for practitioners currently involved in, or considering, progressing transitions for children and will consider situations where this may be appropriate and how it can be achieved.

Tuesday 19th May, 11.00am – 12.30pm                   Facilitators: Rhona Pollock & Jane Steele

Navigating Children’s Hearings and Courts during lockdown

Despite normal court and children’s hearing procedures being halted or severely disrupted as a result of the restrictions, it remains critical for children that plans are progressed to the extent that this is possible. This session will focus on discussion about the action that can be taken and the evolving practice in the courts and hearings.

Thursday 21st May, 11.00am – 12.30pm                 Facilitator: Rhona Pollock

Maintaining contact between children and their families during lockdown

Most direct contact between children and their families has been halted, reflecting agencies primary responsibility to ensure that their child is kept safe and that the Government’s Covid-19 requirements are complied with. However, maintaining relationships between children and family members and others who are important to them, is as important as ever. This session will consider what action can be taken to maintain relationships in the current context.

Wednesday 27 May, 11.00am – 12.30pm                Facilitators: Jane Steele & Robin Duncan


Following a tendering process, the Scottish Government has just announced that Scotland’s Adoption Register will be hosted by AFA Scotland from 1 April 2020. 

Scotland’s Adoption Register was established in 2011 and from then until 2015 was hosted by BAAF Scotland. When BAAF Scotland unexpectedly entered into administration in July 2015, the Scottish Government sought alternative arrangements and were fortunate that St Andrew’s Children’s Society agreed to take on this role at very short notice. The support from St Andrew’s since then has been widely appreciated – as noted in the recently published independent review of the Register, ‘It is well regarded for the way in which it has fulfilled its role and thought to have done so with integrity. It is considered to have been highly principled in its custodianship and financial management of the service. It is also viewed positively as having enabled positive change and development within the Register’s services.’

St Andrew’s Children’s Society and AFA Scotland will work closely to ensure the transition proceeds smoothly and that there is no disruption to the service from 1 April. More information will be circulated in due course if there are changes to any of the contact details.

An advert for the new Manager/ Practitioner post for the Register has been placed on MyJobScotland and AFA Scotland's website, so please do pass this information on to anyone you think may be interested in this opportunity.  For further details and an application form,  please click on the following links:

Application form

Essential Information

Job/Person Specification

If you have any questions about the transition process and future arrangements please contact me by email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0131 322 8490, or Stephen Small at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


AFA Scotland is delighted that the new Prospective Adopter’s Report – Scotland (PAR-S) has just been published by CoramBAAF to replace the previous Form F (Adoption and Permanence Scotland). This has been circulated to all agencies that are members of AFA Scotland.

The form has been updated to reflect changes in practice and legislation, and has been extensively revised in response to comments and suggestions from many agencies and practitioners in Scotland about how this could be improved. The work was coordinated by AFA Scotland in collaboration with CELCIS and the adoption task force. Particular thanks are due to Robert Swift who led the small group undertaking the revisions, and to all those who commented on or participated in the pilot of the new form.

The new PAR-S consists of three Word templates - the main form, the Guidance Notes, and a Registration of Interest form. It is focused on the assessment of prospective adopters. Although not specifically designed for the assessment of inter-country adopters, permanent foster carers or kinship carers, it can be used and adapted for this at the discretion of agencies.

CoramBAAF has also just published a new Preparing to Adopt course specifically for Scotland, which we hope will work well alongside the PAR-S. Again, the extensive revisions to previous editions were put together by AFA Scotland and Adoption UK, incorporating comments from the great majority of Scottish local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies. CoramBAAF is circulating complimentary copies of the Trainer’s Guide and the Applicant’s Workbook to all agencies that are members of AFA Scotland. Additional copies can be purchased at and  


AFA Scotland and Adoption UK Scotland were again responsible for organising Adoption Week Scotland running from Monday 18th to Saturday 22nd November. The programme for the week proved highly successful, generated considerable media coverage and was supported by many local agencies running events in their own areas. Despite the distraction of a looming election we were delighted to have strong support from the Scottish Government with both Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People, and John Swinney, Deputy First Minister, speaking at events. Their attendance gave a really positive message about the Scottish Government’s continuing recognition of the importance of adoption and helped ensure a high level of interest throughout the week.

The theme of ‘adoption stories’ was centred on an event at the Scottish Poetry Centre, where adopted young people who had taken part in writing workshops to create their own short stories and a group poem on the theme of 'Home', presented a film about their work and had the chance to speak to John Swinney about their experiences. The stories theme was also reflected in the exceptionally well supported practitioner event that focussed on adoption support. The importance of hearing the stories of all those involved when thinking about adoption support - children, adoptive parents, birth parents, and other family members – was reflected in presentations of research and practice, including an input from Richard Rose on working therapeutically with children around their own stories.

It was particularly encouraging to see the amount of activity organised by other agencies to coincide with the week’s main events.

AFA Scotland and Adoption UK are hoping to be running Adoption Week Scotland again next year, so while memories of this year’s programme are still fresh in the mind please do get in touch to share your ideas about how we can ensure the week has the maximum impact right across the country.


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.

The course is at MSc Level 11 and attracts an award of 60 credits (postgraduate certificate) which can be taken forward to further study. The course is validated by Strathclyde University.

The introductory session for students and their managers will be on the 21st October 2019. The course requires attendance at three taught modules of three consecutive days per module between November 2019 and March 2020. Final assignments will be submitted in May 2020. Assessment will be on the basis of three written assignments as well as an assessed observation in the workplace. Comprehensive feedback is available to students. A student handbook will provide all the required information.

Course dates                                                    Venue                                       Cost    

Module One:    11, 12 & 13 November 2019       Jurys Inn Edinburgh                   £2885 + VAT= £3462.00

Module Two:     20, 21 & 22 January 2020        

Module Three:   16, 17 & 18 March 2020                                  


For further information, please contact: Brenda Reilly, Business Support and Finance Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Ravinder Kaur, Course Leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Information flyer available here plus application form here

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