AFKA Scotland hosts two regional Consortia (West and North East) funded by a separate membership fee, providing a space for members to hear about and share local developments in policy, legislation, practice and research.
The purpose of the consortia is to support agency staff who are directly involved in kinship care, adoption and fostering work. While AFKA’s national forums allow one representative from each agency (normally a manager) to participate in Scotland-wide meetings, the consortia are open to a greater number of staff who are directly involved in the provision of services, providing advice, guidance, support and training opportunities. Because it is a relatively specialist area of work, it is often particularly difficult for agencies to give social workers, and others involved in progressing adoption and permanence plans, access to the full range of knowledge required and the opportunities to develop their skills. Participating in a consortia gives those staff the opportunity to develop and enhance the direct skills involved in adoption, fostering and kinship care work.
As part of a this membership, each agency can send two delegates to each of the below sessions:
- Quarterly Consortia Meetings
- Two annual Pan-Scotland Meetings in which the two consortia meet together
- Monthly (12/annum) 1-hour “Lunch and Learn” sessions on current and timely topics
- Online Legal Surgeries in which practitioners can send questions in advance or attend and ask on the day.
To learn more about the many benefits included in a Consortia Membership, please see contact Brenda Reilly
Testimonials from Consortia members:
The opportunity to meet with other professionals involved in family placement work, to share experiences, ideas and research is very helpful. It is also useful in terms of developing the knowledge base of workers and managers new to family placement work- I found the WOSC very useful when I started as a team manager in fostering and adoption with no prior experience of working in that field.
I have attended one Pan Scotland meeting which was great to attend! All consortia meetings are a great opportunity to have practice discussions which the fostering and adoption sub-group cannot achieve.
My managers report it is very helpful for local issues and networking.
I see this link as a fundamental life line for practitioners, both in sharing good practice/practice challenges. There is very little practice experience within our SMT and without the link I feel we would be quite directionless and insular. The practice wisdom and legal input offered by AFKA is very valuable, as well as AFKA being the vehicle to gel LAs meeting together. Each consortia needs to have enough LA representation to make the consortia worthwhile.