Permanently Progressing? Building Secure futures for children in Scotland 1-day Conference

A ground-breaking study conducted by the Universities of Stirling, York and Lancaster, in collaboration with AFA Scotland will see its research team present its key findings at a 1-day conference on Wednesday 19 September 2018 at the Stirling Court Hotel. 

The team at University of Stirling is led by Dr Helen Whincup (PI) and includes Dr Margaret Grant (Research Fellow), Dr Alison Hennessy (Lecturer) and Jade Hooper (Research Assistant) working with Professor Nina Biehal (co-PI, University of York) and Dr Linda Cusworth (co-investigator, Lancaster University)

Phase One (2014-2018) investigated decision-making, permanence, progress, outcomes and belonging for a large cohort (1,836) of children in Scotland who became looked after in 2012-13, aged five or under. 

If you would like to book a place at this event or would like to see the programme for the day with details of contributors please click on this link

New Workshop - LIfe Story Work

AFA Scotland is delighted to be able to offer a new workshop on Life Story Work to be held on Tuesday 4 September, 2018. 

Originally this was being held in Glasgow but will now take place at the AFA Scotland Office, Leith, Edinburgh and we are delighted that Jennifer Bell has agreed to facilitate this alongside our Trainer/Consultant Jane Steele. 

The workshop will help busy practitioners think about what life story work means in their work setting and how best to go about it and would be suitable for social workers and social work assistants who have responsibility for undertaking lifestory work with fostered or adopted children.  Delegates will gain an understanding of:

  • what is involved in life story work;
  • how to overcome some of the barriers to carrying it out;
  • who else can help;
  • planning and preparation;
  • communicating with children;
  • practical advice on compiling a life story book.

If you would like more information or to download a booking form, please click on this link

Adoption Support Project

We are delighted to be working with Adoption UK using funding provided by Scottish Government to investigate the critical issue of adoption support.  We will be approaching practitioners and adopters in order to consider the core issues, including:

  • mapping current provision and variations in adoption support services across Scotland and identification of barriers to access, eg, financial, geograhical, awareness;
  • highlighting areas of good practice for replication or promising practice for further development;
  • developing a map of adoption support services to be available as a resource for professionals and adoptive families.

The project is being led by Maggie Grant and Ariane Critchley, AFS Scotland's new Research Assistant with the involvement of Scottish Adoption and Napier University.

Adopter Preparation Project

A further project funded by Scottish Government and undertaken jointly by AFA Scotland and Adoption UK is to develop new materials to support the preparation of adopters across Scotland.

A free publication will be produced, available to all Local Authorities and VAAs to give to prospective adopters at the start of the assessment and preparation process.

At the same time, the Scottish version of CoramBAAF’s Preparing to Adopt training materials will be updated to reflect current procedures and practice in Scotland.

National Review of Care Allowances - Online survey

Please complete the Online Survey here:

Survey will close on Tuesday 22 May


The Scottish Government has brought together a group of experts to review foster, kinship and adoption allowances and in doing so, to consider what the 'core allowance' that looked after children and young people in foster and kinship care could include.The Scottish Government has brought together a group of experts to review foster, kinship and adoption allowances and in doing so, to consider what the 'core allowance' that looked after children and young people in foster and kinship care could include.

The approach is centred on the needs of a child and their right to have the support they need to realise their potential. The allowance is separate from any fees or skills payments made to foster carers.

The supporting Guidance on the Looked After Children (Scotland) regulations 2009 states that foster carers are charged with providing not just basic care but optimum care for looked after children. The Regulations sets out expectations that allowances should cover:

  • a healthy diet and good physical care;
  •  opportunities for stimulation and exercise;
  • development of social skills and participation in activities in the community;
  • building self-esteem, including good presentation and acceptability by peers;
  • a safe and comfortable environment;
  • full inclusion in special celebrations such as birthdays, Christmas or other cultural or religious events and promoting and developing educational opportunities

Local authorities have a statutory duty to have clear and accessible policies to reflect foster and kinship allowances. These allowances should be able to meet the expectations detailed above.

Looked after children with disabilities and or additional support needs will receive the support and entitlements of any child with a disability or additional support need, and in line with Corporate Parenting legislation and guidance.

The aim of this survey is to gather the views of carers, local authorities and providers on the principles of a core allowance. The results will be used only for the purposes of providing evidence to the review group to help develop policy recommendations.  Your response is strictly confidential. The survey is being run by the Scottish Government. Our reporting of survey results will make sure that no one taking part can be identified.

Please skip any questions you do not wish to answer and you can stop the survey at any time.

We're Moving to a new Office Address

From the 31st May 2018 we will be moving Office to:

AFA Scotland
Foxglove Offices / GF 2
14 Links Place

In addition our phone number is changing to: 0131 322 8490

AFA Scotland Legal Conference - June 2018

Adoption, Permanence Orders and Kinship Care – Finding the best options for children

Bookings are now being taken for our Legal Conference which will be held on Friday 22 June, 2018 in Dundee.

Attendance at this event will give delegates a chance to reflect on how the law is being interpreted and applied and to look at the options available to practitioners in planning for children and recognising the possible consequences of each course of action.

For further details and a booking form download the conference form here.

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