Practice Forums

We run a number of member only national forums for practitioners from different professional backgrounds.

The forums allow members to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in policy, practice, legislation and research as well as providing excellent opportunities to network and to share examples of emerging practice.

Member agencies are entitled to send representatives to all the forums which meet at least 3 times per year and currently include:

A description of what each offers can be found below.

Family Placement Forum

This forum is attended by adoption and fostering practitioners and managers from local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies and independent fostering providers across Scotland and it offers the opportunity to hear about recent developments in family placement covering social work, the law, research and health.

It also has regular opportunities for speakers as well as encouraging the exploration of dilemmas in this area of work. Ultimately the forum is focused on promoting consistency and good practice across agencies.

It meets three times a year.

Legal Adoption & Fostering Forum

Three times a year solicitors and advocates meet to discuss legal developments in adoption and fostering. They and others involved in decision making bring to the table their own experiences, insight and questions with a view to achieving informed and consistent best practice.

An annual legal conference is arranged through this forum, where influential speakers address a packed audience on the law in this field.

Chairs Development Forum

This forum is co-ordinated by AFA Scotland on behalf of members who chair adoption and fostering panels. It meets three times a year. Members have the opportunity to hear about new developments which directly and indirectly affect and influence their work on panels.

The forum has independent members as well as representatives from local authorities, voluntary agencies and independent fostering providers. Practice, research and legal aspects are covered as well as members having the opportunity to share practice dilemmas and influence the work that AFA Scotland does.

Medical Advisers Forum

A multidisciplinary ‘one stop shop’ for Medical Advisers who carry out statutory roles in respect of Looked after Children, children who are to be adopted, and adults who seek to foster or adopt.

The Forum offers support and advice to medical advisers in respect of legal and social work practice issues, current research developments, and practice wisdom in respect of the wide range of child and adult health issues upon which medical advisers are required to advise. It offers opportunities for attendance at Medical Adviser Forums three times per year, access to induction training at reduced rates for newer medical advisers, an annual conference and reduced rate attendance at other workshop/conferences run by AFA that may be of interest to medical advisers.

AFA retains a formal link with CoramBAAF, publisher of a range of assessment formats in use by most medical advisers and of books and other written information relating to adoption and fostering. AFA aims to identify and clarify complexities and unresolved legal and practice considerations in order to support all those charged with working in this unique area of responsibility towards Scotland’s most vulnerable children.

Research Forum

The AFA Scotland Research Forum brings together researchers working on studies related to family placement and child care practice in Scotland.

The forum enables researchers to share information about their work and broader research developments, with the aim of promoting links between research teams, facilitating mutual support and informing evidence based policy and practice. 

Meetings take place three times per year.

Members include researchers from the universities of Stirling, Strathclyde, Edinburgh Napier, Edinburgh, and Dundee, organisations such as SCRA and independent researchers.

The research forum sits alongside and links into the work of AFA’s forums for social workers, panel chairs and legal and medical professionals.

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