Scotland’s Adoption Register is a project funded by the Scottish Government and hosted by St Andrew’s Children’s Society. The Register has a remit to facilitate family finding across Scotland with the aim of increasing the numbers of children that are placed for adoption and to make the linking and matching process work as well as possible for children and prospective adopters . We offer a number of family finding services at no cost to agencies. These are described in more detail below:
National Linking Service
An online system that allows social workers to share information about children who have a plan for adoption with approved adopters in Scotland. The system uses an IT system provided by the social enterprise ‘Link Maker’ to enable social workers and adopters to share information and to explore possible links in the knowledge that the information is protected by the highest levels of security.
Regulations introduced by the Scottish Government in 2016 require local authorities and adoption agencies to refer children and adopters to the Register through the national linking service – within three months of the child being registered for adoption or, for adopters, within 3 months of being approved at panel.
Scottish Children Waiting
Until 2016 a quarterly newsletter ‘Scottish Children Waiting’ was produced, providing information about some of the children referred to the Register. With the introduction of the on-line system in November 2016, the profiles of all children waiting for placements are now available immediately and the newsletter will no longer be produced.
Adopter and child led matching events
The Register plays a key role in providing opportunities to bring prospective adopters into direct contact with information about some of the children who are waiting for a new forever family. We do this by hosting events such as adoption exchange days and adoption activity days as well as offering direct advice to local authorities about family finding for individual children or sibling groups. The aim is to enable adopters to be part of the process of linking with a child, to encourage them to consider children they may not previously have thought about adopting and ultimately to create new families.
Facts and Figures
The Register provides facts and figures about adoption activity in Scotland, publishes an annual report and makes regular updates about activity levels available on the website (see the ‘News & Events’ tab).
We offer advice to Local Authorities on care planning, for example about the likelihood of placement for children with particular needs, as well as collated data about the demographics of children and adopters referred – including information about the number of referrals, children’s ages, sibling groups, ethnicity and religion, contact, legal issues and additional specific needs.