A Scottish charity is stepping in to take over the running of the country’s national adoption register after the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) collapsed.
St. Andrew’s Children’s Society, one of Scotland’s oldest adoption agencies, will take over the running of Scotland’s National Adoption Register following the BAAF’s sudden closure last Friday.
A statement from BAAF chief executive Caroline Selkirk said the charity was closing with immediate effect in the “face of significant changes and prevailing economic conditions”.
Selkirk added: “The Scottish Government has transferred the work of Scotland’s Adoption Register and funded a national adopter information helpline for Scotland to St Andrew’s Children’s Society today.
“This has been a difficult decision for the board. We would like to thank all our donors, members and partners who, for over 30 years have enabled BAAF to provide services of the highest quality and make a difference to the lives of vulnerable children in care.”
We are happy to respond to a request at very short notice from the Scottish Government to take over the running of register
Some other functions of the BAAF, including research, policy and development; membership administration; professional advice and professional development; publications; National Adoption Week, and Adoption Activity Days have transferred to Children's charity and adoption and fostering agency Coram.
St. Andrew’s Children’s Society has agreed to run Scotland’s register from its Edinburgh offices until March 2017, when a new tendered contract to run this service on behalf of the Scottish Government will be in place.
Stephen Small, St. Andrew’s Children’s Society director, said: “We are happy to respond to a request at very short notice from the Scottish Government to take over the running of register.
“We are keen to ensure that there is as little disruption to the operation of the register as possible at this difficult time.
“The register is a valuable way of helping children, who cannot remain with their birth families, to find new families through adoption.”
The charity will also launch a new adoption advice line for Scotland in the coming weeks to complement the work of the register.
Small added: “At this time of upheaval for the register it is important that we continue its smooth running.
“We also believe that it is important to look at other ways to make it as relevant as possible to prospective adopters and social work professionals by providing general advice on adoption matters.
“We hope this dedicated phone help line will be operational in the coming weeks.”