The Adoption and Fostering Alliance Scotland created.
A new organisation to help children and young people find adoptive and foster families has been created, Children's Minister Aileen Campbell announced today.
The Minister confirmed that £75,000 funding has been invested to allow the Adoption and Fostering Alliance Scotland (AFAS) to take on vital support services following the closure of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF).
AFAS will be responsible for training, consultancy and expert advice to professionals – areas that BAAF Scotland had led on in the past. BAAF Scotland staff will transfer to the new organisation.
This follows the appointment of St Andrew's Children's Society to run Scotland's Adoption Register in July.
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People, said:
"We know that having a secure, stable and supportive home is vital to a child's well-being. When children are no longer able to live at home it is vital that there are effective services in place with knowledgeable, confident professionals who can support children into appropriate, alternative care placements. The importance of maintaining the services that match and keeps them together is clear. It impacts the young person's mental and physical health, improves their performance in school and sets them on the road to a successful and fulfilling life and this must be a priority for us all.
"We've worked very closely with the sector and local authorities since we were made aware of the unfortunate collapse of BAAF to ensure that the support and services it provided remains in place in Scotland. We acted quickly in July to secure the national Adoption Register and today we are announcing the creation of Adoption and Fostering Alliance Scotland. This means that families and their support workers know that they can continue to access training and advice from specialists.
"This funding means that we have ensured that no services have been lost following the closure of BAAF, protecting the support for families and the professionals who work with them. We have also protected the majority of BAAF Scotland jobs."
Rhona Pollock, Legal Consultant, Adoption and Fostering Alliance Scotland, said:
"We are delighted to be able to offer an independent, multi-disciplinary Scottish voice that supports those involved with children and families and those affected by adoption, fostering and kinship care. We will strive to promote permanently better lives for children in Scotland and look forward to working with other agencies in achieving this."
Alistair Gaw, president of Social Work Scotland (SWS) and head of Children's Services at Edinburgh City Council, said:
"We wholeheartedly welcome the arrival of Adoption and Fostering Alliance Scotland. Children requiring care across the country and the Social Work professionals on whom they rely benefitted greatly from the services of BAAF Scotland and this new development means much of that expertise will not be lost."
Dr Susan Dewar of the Scottish Medical Adviser's Forum said:
"From the health perspective it is essential to have access to advice, support, guidance and training that is both expert and independent in the field of adoption and fostering in Scotland.
"We are delighted that the Scottish Government has acted so swiftly following the demise of BAAF to ensure that this level of expertise is retained and that through AFAS a dedicated service will be available in the future to support all those professionals working with and for Scotland's most vulnerable children and young people."
BAAF announced that it would cease operating on 31 July 2015.
The Scottish Government has transferred the work of Scotland's Adoption Register and funded a national adopter information helpline to St Andrew's Children's Society today. This will be funded by a grant of £89,028 until March 2016 and the work will then be funded until March 2017 to ensure stability during the period when the Register becomes a statutory function. http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scotland-s-Adoption-Register-1b9c.aspx