Scottish Adoption Appoints New Chief Executive

Scottish Adoption has appointed Sue Brunton as Chief Executive with Margaret Moyes stepping down after 14 years leading the adoption charity.

Sue started her new role on Monday 21st of March and couldn’t be more excited to be joining Scottish Adoption “I have long been hugely impressed by the work that Scottish Adoption does, recognising that alongside good solid adoption recruitment, support, therapy and after adoption support, Scottish Adoption have led on really innovative and cutting edge developments such as their work with children and young people and birth parents and promoting LGBTQ+ adoption to name but a few. It’s an honour and a privilege to be appointed to the role.”

Sue worked for Barnardo’s heading up their family placement services across the UK and prior to that looked after their fostering and adoption teams in Scotland. Over her career as a social worker, Sue has spent around 25 years working in services to looked after infants, children and young people and care experienced adults including working with CELCIS and BAAF.

Talking about the future of the agency Sue stated “This is an interesting time to be working in adoption in Scotland, the focus on Care provided by The Promise and the proposals to develop a National Care Service present us with opportunities, although the year on year fall in the numbers of children being placed for adoption also present us with some challenges. The most important thing is that we focus on doing what we do well and I will be taking time to get to know the organisation better to understand the challenges and opportunities we face.” 

Sue also paid tribute to Margaret Moyes who leaves the agency after 14 years of service, “I want to pay tribute to Margaret who is providing me with a robust handover. The organisation is in very good shape thanks to Margaret’s commitment and hard work and I am aware hers are big boots to fill.”

Supporting Our LGBT+ Adopters

The second annual Adoption & Foster care support week for LGBT+ parents takes place 20-24 September. Scottish Adoption is proud to back it.

LGBT+ people now play a key role in Scotland in parenting some of our most vulnerable children. Scottish Adoption have placed more children with LGBT+ families than any other Local Authority and Adoption Agency in Scotland making Scottish Adoption the Number 1 Adoption Agency in Scotland for the LGBT+ Community. Vickie Foster, Practice Manager said

“This is something that Scottish Adoption is extremely proud of, we have worked closely with the LGBT+ community for many years, building up this relationship and trust and will continue to work with to support both the LGBT+ community and our LGBT+ families.”

In 2020 1 in 12 adoptions in Scotland were to same-sex couples. Research suggests that LGBT+ adoptive parents are more likely to adopt older children, sibling groups, or those with additional needs and disabilities than other adopters. While LGBT+ adopters and foster carers bring a unique skillset to parenting, they also face distinct and separate support challenges to other adopters and foster carers.

To help our LGBT+ adopters Scottish Adoption will take part in September’s campaign to raise awareness of new, unique content online that our adopters can access as the campaign takes place. Throughout the week this will focus on education. New Family Social – the UK’s charity for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers – leads the campaign and says education is frequently a concern for them.

“Finding the right school for your child is a top priority for all parents. If you’re LGBT+ you’ll want to make sure your family is fully supported by the school’s policies and practices. You’ll also need to know that the schools on offer can meet your child’s additional needs. If you need to access help from your adoption or fostering agency, you’ll want clarity on what it can do for you,” says James Lawrence, New Family Social’s Head of Engagement & Communications.

Scottish Adoption is a member of New Family Social and offers free access to the charity’s services as part of its support package for its LGBT+ adopters.

Ben’s First Week Reflection

Finding connection in the heart of Leith.

Taking my first steps into the world of Social Work, I was happy to discover that my placement would be with Scottish Adoption. Being a resident of Leith myself, I was excited to find out its office was situated in the heart of the area that I most consider to be home.

Starting my studies back in January at Edinburgh Napier University, I could not have envisioned the surprises that the year ahead would hold. The transition from hands on learning into a world of the virtual required adaptability and resourcefulness that I did not know I was capable of. Being a student on a course that relies so heavily on the human element of supporting and working in partnership with people, Covid would go far in creating barriers to what attracted me most to the course – building connections with individuals and communities.

While I initially considered to have the potential to isolate myself and utilise support from fellow students and the university, this consequently led to a shared resilience and bond that has gone far in strengthening our resolve as students and as people. It is this attitude I hope to take into the real world of social work practice, through my placement opportunity here at Scottish Adoption.

With social distancing meaning that I have had to work from home for most of the year, I was delighted with the prospect of being able to physically come into a working office with real people, doing real social work things. I hoped that I would be entering a work environment that reflected the down to earth, inclusive, and good-humoured attitude that makes Leith so great. I was not disappointed. The people that I have met so far, in person and virtually, have been warmer and more welcoming than I could have hoped for.

The spirit at Scottish Adoption is that the work doesn’t stop no matter what challenges are presented by current complexities in health and social care. The practice that I’ve witnessed so far has left me with a real sense of what drives the work here, this being characterised through means of character building, recognising strengths in individuals, celebrating identity, offering empathy and establishing trust.

It is clear from the little time I have spent here that the shared spirit of community and connection that this organisation radiates will continue to support people through the complexities, frustrations, and uncertainties of these times and I can’t wait to be part of that ethos going forward and ultimately discovering the impact this will have on my development as social work student.

Finding connection in the heart of Leith.

Taking my first steps into the world of Social Work, I was happy to discover that my placement would be with Scottish Adoption. Being a resident of Leith myself, I was excited to find out its office was situated in the heart of the area that I most consider to be home.

Starting my studies back in January at Edinburgh Napier University, I could not have envisioned the surprises that the year ahead would hold. The transition from hands on learning into a world of the virtual required adaptability and resourcefulness that I did not know I was capable of. Being a student on a course that relies so heavily on the human element of supporting and working in partnership with people, Covid would go far in creating barriers to what attracted me most to the course – building connections with individuals and communities.

While I initially considered to have the potential to isolate myself and utilise support from fellow students and the university, this consequently led to a shared resilience and bond that has gone far in strengthening our resolve as students and as people. It is this attitude I hope to take into the real world of social work practice, through my placement opportunity here at Scottish Adoption.

With social distancing meaning that I have had to work from home for most of the year, I was delighted with the prospect of being able to physically come into a working office with real people, doing real social work things. I hoped that I would be entering a work environment that reflected the down to earth, inclusive, and good-humoured attitude that makes Leith so great. I was not disappointed. The people that I have met so far, in person and virtually, have been warmer and more welcoming than I could have hoped for.

The spirit at Scottish Adoption is that the work doesn’t stop no matter what challenges are presented by current complexities in health and social care. The practice that I’ve witnessed so far has left me with a real sense of what drives the work here, this being characterised through means of character building, recognising strengths in individuals, celebrating identity, offering empathy and establishing trust.

It is clear from the little time I have spent here that the shared spirit of community and connection that this organisation radiates will continue to support people through the complexities, frustrations, and uncertainties of these times and I can’t wait to be part of that ethos going forward and ultimately discovering the impact this will have on my development as social work student.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Sign up to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library!

Did you now that The Scottish Government have now increased funding to allow all adopted chidlren up to the age of 5 to register for the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Up until now these books were only available for looked after children so it is great that every adopted child in Scotland will now recieve a book each month from Dolly Parton until they turn 5 years old!

To register your child you need to click on this link https://imaginationlibrary.com/uk/find-my-programme and select your local authority from the drop down menu. This will take you to a page where you will get contact details of your local champiion at your Local Authority. Get in touch with them and you should start receiveing your books after 6 to 8 weeks.

If you have any problems registering your child, do let us know by emailing david@scottishadoption.org and we can help you!

Scottish Adoption Festival

What a week it has been! We have had an amazing first ever Scottish Adoption Festival so thank you to everyone who has made this week more of a success then we had hoped it would be!

For everyone here at Scottish Adoption the purpose behind the Scottish Adoption Festival was to have some fun family events which provided opportunities for adoptive families to come together and celebrate adoption. Events, such as a Bookbug story telling session, a Parkour workshop and a music writing masterclass with Singer/Songwriter Nikki McDonald and ending the week with our Annual Family Fun Day at the Five Sisters Zoo. These sessions were open to families from all adoption agencies and local authorities giving them a chance to meet other families that they would not necessarily get the chance to meet at agency only events. The Scottish Adoption Teenager Groups also wanted to use the week to do some fundraising and so they organised a very successful Duck Race, selling more ducks than ever before! A huge well done to them!

We also recognised that as Scotland continues to have a shortage of adopters, like LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week in March and Adoption Week Scotland in November we would also provide recruitment opportunities to help raise awareness and encourage potential adopters to come and talk with us to learn more about the adoption process. We held two of these events and were really humbled by the number of people who came along to hear from us and our adopters and it is great that some have already decided that they want to start their adoption journey with us.

We are already looing forward to next year’s Scottish Adoption Festival which will be even bigger so come and get involved and let us know what groups you want to see next year!

Christmas Tree Festival

Scottish Adoption is proud to be taking part in this year’s Christmas Tree Festival in Edinburgh

Scottish Adoption is proud to be taking part in the Edinburgh Christmas Tree Festival. this is the 9th year the festival has been held at St Andrew’s and St George’s West in Edinburgh city centre. Our tree will be one of 40 Christmas trees lighting up St Andrew’s and St George’s West sanctuary, each telling a different story. The Festival runs throughout Advent and brings together businesses, charities, church and city, offering space for everyone to reflect, celebrate and wonder.

The theme for our Christmas Tree will be ‘Adopted Voices’ carrying on the theme from the Adopted Voices Conference which our adopted young people helped organise as part of Adoption Week Scotland. We are encouraging everyone to write on one of the decorations what ‘Adoption means to you’ whether you have a connection to adoption or not.

When and where? 

The festival will run from the 8th until the 24th of December at St Andrew’s and St George’s West in George Street. Monday-Saturday 10-6pm, Thursdays late until 9pm.

Do visit, leave a decoration, take a photo and post it on our twitter and facebook pages, we would love to see them!

And Violet streaming online!

You can now enjoy And Violet in the comfort of your own home!

The award winning film, And Violet, is now available to download or stream online, meaning you can watch this great film over and over in the comfort of your own home!

When Violet and her adoptive mum Cathy visit a small Scottish town one summer, they unexpectedly run into Violet’s estranged birth-mum Zoe. The mothers clash, and Violet struggles to navigate this complicated relationship. Cathy struggles to help her, as she becomes increasingly confused and angry.

The meeting also triggers something in Zoe, and she decides to change the direction of her life, returning to Edinburgh. It’s the city where Violet lives, but it’s also a city that holds dark memories of a difficult past.

Violet and Zoe connect again and begin an illicit online communication, but Cathy finds out and brings all contact to an abrupt end. Violet rebels against her and as Zoe self-destructively spirals out of control, Cathy has to urgently try to find a way back in to Violet’s life.

Here are the links:
https://vimeo.com/ondemand/andviolet
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KBGL7PD

Duck Race Winners!

The Scottish Adoption Duck Race 2018 has been our biggest race so far!

The Scottish Adoption Duck Race took place on place on Friday 25th May on the Water of Leith starting in Stockbridge and we have our list of winners! 268 Ducks were sold which raised £1340 for our Young Person’s group.

The winning duck numbers and prizes allocated are:

Duck Number 46Fee Dickson Painting  – www.feedickson.co.uk

Duck Number 43 –  Two Tickets (one adult and one child) to an English Premier League Fixture for season 18/19. Tickets will likely be to Manchester United, Manchester City or Newcastle United. Donated by Alan Dey from PE5 Sports Tours  www.pe5sportstours.com

Duck Number 217 – A gorgeous wee Highland Cow from Between the Woods and Sea – www.betweenthewoodsandsea.com

Duck Number 82 – Lorena Peressini has donated a voucher for 1 night bed & breakfast at Seaholm Bed and Breakfast in North Berwick! You will enjoy a lovely seaview room with a bottle of Prosecco on arrival – www.seaholm.co.uk

Duck Number 228 – Helen Bonnar from the Gullane After School Club has donated one week, yes that is correct, one week of free childcare at their Summer Holiday Club which runs from 16th July to the 9th August for a family of up to 2 children aged between 4 and 12. www.gullaneafterschoolclub.com

Duck Number 180 – £50 voucher donated by Claudia Wellwood which can be used for one of her lovely unique illustration from www.facebook.com/ByClaudiaw 

Duck Number 96 – £40 voucher for Carse Makes, visit Fiona’s facebook page for details of her lovely work.

DuckNumber 255 – Family Pass on the Lothian Buses City Sightseeing Tours.

Duck Number 2 – 2 Day passes to M&D’s Scotland’s Theme Park near Motherwell.

Duck Number 121 – A Personal Training Session by Ryan Ramsay plus 5 day passes to the Pure Gym in Ocean Terminal

Duck Number 171 – 5 day passes to the Pure Gym in Ocean Terminal

Duck Number 150 – A face painting Session from Karen Ballingham. Perfect for Birthday Parties!

Duck Number 64 – Bottle of Eden Mill Gin donated by Karen Cameron from the band Obsession www.obsessionband.co.uk

Duck Number 201 – Bottle of Glenturret Higland Single Malt Whisky donated by Maurice Gallagher.

Duck Number 35 – Bottle of red wine donated by Maurice Gallagher

Duck Number 12 – Bottle of red wne donated by Maurice Gallagher

Duck Number 177 – Bottle of red wine donated by Jane McLardie.

Duck Number 85 – Bottle of white wine donated by Jane McLardie.

A huge thank you to everyone who donated a prize and to those who bought a duck, your generosity has helped the Scottish Adoption Duck Race 2018 be our biggest duck race yet, raising more this year than all the previous years! Thank you!

Children’s Lottery Award

Scottish Adoption has been awarded a £16,000 grant from the Scottish Children’s Lottery.

Scottish Adoption has been awarded a £16,000 grant from the Scottish Children’s Lottery. The grant will allow Scottish Adoption to continue to support anyone affected by adoption – be it children, birth families, prospective adopters, adoptive parents and adults who were adopted as children.

As an agency we aim to find loving families for 45 to 50 children every year, most of whom have suffered from abuse, neglect or early trauma. We also run a Therapy Centre which is unique to Scottish Adoption. The Therpay Centre helps children manage their feelings and behaviours, while giving parents the skills and tools they need to help their children to heal from early trauma.

Margaret Moyes, Chief Executive of Scottish Adoption, said: “We are absolutely delighted with funding from the Scottish Children’s Lottery.  This gives us a better opportunity to help adopted children at the earliest age and stage possible, giving them the best chance to go on to lead happier and more stable lives.”

The Scottish Children’s Lottery was launched in October 2016 to raise money for children in Scotland, with proceeds helping to improve the lives of children right across the country and make a real difference to those who need it most.

Dame Anne Begg is trustee of Chance to Flourish which operates as a society lottery under the Scottish Children’s Lottery. Chance to Flourish supports projects that work within the area of social development of pre-school children and their families and carers, making a positive difference to children’s lives in their early years.

Dame Anne Begg said: “I am delighted that we are able to provide funding for Scottish Adoption from the monies generated from the Scottish Children’s Lottery, which was established to promote and support the development and potential of children and young people in Scotland. “Thank you to those who play the Scottish Children’s Lottery; you are helping to support the great work that our charities undertake.”

Charities that support children in Scotland can apply online for Scottish Children’s Lottery funding.

Picture shows (L-R): Kathryn Scorgie, Margaret Moyes, Hugo Allan (Chair of the Board of Trustees), Kirstie Maclean (Trustee), Alison Hanlon, Sheila Jackson (Trustee), Nicky Pritchett-Brown (Trustee) and Lucy Metcalf (Trustee) from Scottish Adoption.

Caring for Vulnerable Children

Free online Caring for Vulnerable Children workshop available to Scottish Adoption Adopters.

CELCIS and Future Learn are running another MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) which will help you explore and develop an understanding of the approaches involved in caring for vulnerable children.

In times of austerity and shrinking public services, the task of identifying and caring for vulnerable children has never been more challenging.

Now in its 8th run, almost 60,000 people, from 163 countries have taken part in this free online course so far. Follow snapshots of Billy’s story, where the theory is linked to the reality of the world.

In this free online course, we’ll help you explore some of the issues involved in undertaking this task. We’ll consider:

  • What we mean by risk and vulnerability
  • How we define parenting
  • How children grow and develop
  • How we can provide children with security through meaningful relationships and attachments

Who should take this course?

It’s suitable for anyone who may come into contact with children who are vulnerable, such as:

  • Children’s Panel members
  • Social workers
  • Teachers
  • Nurses
  • Foster carers
  • Childminders
  • Social care workers
  • Those considering, going through, or have already adopted a child
  • Anyone with an interest in this area

No special software is required and the course is accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop.

The Caring for Vulnerable Children MOOC is delivered through FutureLearn in partnership with the University of Strathclyde and CELCIS.

For more information about the course and to book your free place click here