- The purpose and scope of this policy statement
The Adoption and Fostering Alliance (AFA) Scotland provides services involving or directly relating to children and vulnerable adults. The services and activities include:
- Chairing or participating in adoption and fostering panels.
- Providing consultations on complex cases involving children and their families or carers.
- Chairing disruption meetings and case reviews.
- Providing a wide range of training and practice development opportunities for practitioners
and carers who are working directly with children.
- Participating in family finding events such as Adoption Exchange Days and Adoption Activity Days, where children and prospective adoptive parents are present.
- Undertaking research that may directly involve vulnerable children and their families.
The purpose of this policy statement is:
- to protect children and young people who receive AFA Scotland ’s services. This includes the children of adults who use our services;
- to provide those that use our services, including staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.
This policy statement applies to anyone working on behalf of AFA Scotland including the Executive Director, the Board of Trustees, paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, associate staff and students.
- Legal framework
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in Scotland and with reference to the Scottish Government’s National Guidance for child protection in Scotland.
We believe that children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind
- we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keepthem safe and to practise in a way that protects them.
We recognise that the welfare of the child is paramount
- all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, ethnicity, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
- some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
- working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
We will seek to keep children and young people safe by
- valuing, listening to and respecting them
- identifying the Executive Director as the nominated child protection/safeguarding lead along with a nominated member of the board of trustees
- developing child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures which reflect best practice (see AFA Scotland’s Child Protection Policy)
- using our child protection policy and procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately
- sharing information about child protection and safeguarding best practice with children, their families, staff and volunteers as part of the training and other services delivered by the organisation
- recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures
- developing a staff handbook that incorporates information about conduct for staff and volunteers
- using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
- ensuring that we have effective complaints procedures in place
- ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for any activities or events that we organise by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance
- recording and storing information professionally and securely.
- Related policies and procedures
This policy statement should be read alongside our other organisational policies and procedures, in particular the AFA Scotland’s Child Protection policy – which incorporates the procedures for responding to concerns about a child or young person’s wellbeing.