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



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.

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.



The Moving to Adoption Practice Research study was motivated by concerns that the traditional UK approach to moving children from foster care into adoptive families might not be the most suitable approach for some children and their foster and adoptive families. In some cases, moves are distressing and abrupt for children and highly emotional for adopters and foster carers. Where moves to adoption are difficult and distressing, there may be links to poorer child outcomes and even disruption. Professionals have expressed uncertainty about how to plan and support these moves in a more child focused way.

The aim of this project was to develop and pilot a practice programme for professionals who are supporting children’s moves to adoption.  This practice programme would be informed by theory and research and would address the issues outlined above by promoting some changes in social work practice in this area.  The feedback from the piloting of the practice programme would inform next steps in developing and disseminating the programme in order to achieve a more widespread impact on practice.

The research has now concluded, and AFA Scotland has arranged for one of the project team, Dr Mary Beek, to come to Scotland to present their findings and consider the implications for practice in Scotland. Some of the areas looked at include current practice in moving children from foster care to adoption and how this can be improved, how plans should be directed and how can children be helped to think about and process their feelings about their foster family after adoption. Contact with foster carers after a child moves has also been considered. Key principles for planning a move to adoption have been developed and there is practice guidance to accompany this. 

Mary is a Senior Research Associate at the University of East Anglia and is well known for her work with Gillian Schofield on developing the Secure Base Model.

As well as hearing from Mary, there will be the opportunity to hear presentations from Scottish agencies about work being undertaken locally in this area, including a survey of foster carers undertaken by staff at Scotland's Adoption Register see attached

This issue is currently very "live" in Scotland and the seminar provides an opportunity to consider how we might apply the research and develop practice in our agencies.

If you would like to attend our forthcoming seminar, please download an application form here


Adoption UK are experiencing difficulty with their emails.  A temporary email has been created where you can contact all members of the team - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or you can call the office on 0131  322 8501.


An evaluation report of Adoption Week Scotland 2018 has been produced.  To download a copy, please click here.

We can confirm the dates for 2019 which will again be organsied by AFA Scotland and Adoption UK will be:

Monday 18 November - Friday 22 November, 2019

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