Undertaking an Adoption Assessment in Scotland cover

Undertaking an Adoption Assessment (Scotland)


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The guide is primarily based on Part 1 of the PAR(S) 2020 for Scotland, which pulls together information about the applicant – individual profile; family and environmental factors; present circumstances and becoming adopters. It now includes the additional experience, skills and understanding needed by prospective adopters in their role as foster carers when being dual approved under both fostering and adoption regulations or when considering a concurrent placement, and ideas for evidencing the relevant skills and experience of foster carers wishing to adopt a child in their care.

Each section of the guide presents a list of trigger questions that can facilitate further discussion and encourage exploration of different areas and suggestions as to how this can be analysed to assess an applicant’s suitability, or not, to adopt.

Who is this book for?

All those undertaking adoption assessments and of particular use to those who are new to the task, overwhelmed by it or concerned about covering all necessary aspects.

What you will find in this book

Logically structured and very accessibly presented, this guide will:

  • assist the assessing social worker in collecting some of the basic information necessary to complete a comprehensive assessment
  • prompt the worker to analyse the information they have collected with regard to its effect on the application
  • alerts the assessing worker to relevant guidance and regulations.

The guide includes worksheets to help assessors to plan and keep track of ongoing assessments, worksheets for adopters, and useful checklists about safer caring, completing ecomaps and health and safety issues.

Appendix IV - Worksheets for adopters    Download worksheets

Read the contents page and introduction


Elaine Dibben has over 20 years’ experience of working in adoption and fostering in local authority and voluntary adoption agency settings. She was manager of the Independent Review Mechanism, which she set up, until taking on a role in BAAF as a trainer consultant. She was CoramBAAF’s Adoption Development Consultant for many years, alongside acting as a panel chair for both adoption and fostering panels.

Helen Runciman qualified as a social worker inn 1993 and currently works as team manager in a local authority Parenting Capacity and Assessment team. Helen has worked for AFA Scotland since 2019, currently as an associate trainer/consultant.

Robin Duncan has over 30 years’ experience working in fostering and adoption and wider children’s services, and has been director of AFA Scotland since 2016.