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A short history of CELCIS

CELCIS was born on 30 September 2011. Although we were all new and shiny, our foundations were strong with more than 20 years of experience and expertise in improving the lives and life chances of some of Scotland's most vulnerable children and young people.

Our experience and expertise in residential child care

Our origins go back to 1995 when the Centre for Residential Child Care (CRCC) was set up in the University of Strathclyde. CRCC supported and developed those working in residential child care to provide the best possible services for children.

In 2000, the Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care (SIRCC) was established (following a successful tender process) to meet increasing demands to support the residential child care workforce in developing the skills and knowledge they required to meet the needs of children and young people in their care.

SIRCC was a partnership made up of the University of Strathclyde, Robert Gordon University, Langside College, Who Cares? Scotland and Save the Children. Its work attracted international and UK recognition - the quality of its education and training, practice materials, research, and publications was second to none.

SIRCC's impact and success was clear: evaluation evidence demonstrated its significant contribution in developing and improving residential child care workers and services, and in improving young people's experiences and outcomes.

SIRCC contributed to the:

  • Improvement of residential child care in Scotland
  • Improvement of the outcomes of children and young people
  • Development of policy, regulations, standards and legislation

SIRCC also raised the professional profile of residential child care, and:

  • Increased the proportion of qualified residential child care workers
  • Increased the knowledge and skills of the residential child care workforce
  • Improved management and leadership in residential child care
  • Increased evidence-based practice in residential child care
  • Increased the participation of children and young people
  • Increased the amount and quality of research on residential child care


A new centre for excellence for looked after children

A number of national developments led to the creation of a new centre for excellence for looked after children.

'No Time to Lose: A Manifesto for Children and Young People Looked After away from Home' (2006) emphasised the importance of looking at residential child care within the wider issues for looked after children.

In 2009 SIRCC, on behalf of Scottish Government, led the National Residential Child Care Initiative (NRCCI) - the most significant review of residential child care in Scotland's history. The NRCCI involved over 120 public, private and statutory organisations. Children, young people and their families also participated so that they too could help shape a better future.

The NRCCI published the Higher Aspirations Brighter Futures reports which all recognised residential child care as a significant cornerstone in the care of our most disadvantaged children and young people in Scotland.

A scoping study then considered the merits of a new centre for excellence for all looked after children, and Scottish Government then decided to create a new centre that would build on the successes of SIRCC.

CELCIS continues to make a difference in residential child care

Residential child care is embedded within the work of CELCIS, including training and support from our expert consultants. We also continue to offer services in residential child care:

Consultancy - get tailored support from our experts
Scottish Jpurnal of Residential Child Care
Knowledge Bank Large Jump