10 October 2022

CELCIS asked by the Scottish Government to undertake independent research on children’s services in Scotland

CELCIS, the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection, has been asked to undertake research to improve the understanding of the current service delivery models in Scotland and internationally and their effectiveness in supporting the needs of children and their families.

This work is designed to inform the Scottish Government’s decision about the future of children’s services in the light of the introduction of the new National Care Service, and aligns with the commitment to keep The Promise of the Independent Care Review.

CELCIS, based at the University of Strathclyde, is a leading, internationally-recognised research, improvement and innovation centre which specialises in providing insight into the wellbeing and experiences of children and young people in need of care and protection, their families and carers.

An Independent Steering Group for Children’s Services Research has been established to provide independent oversight of the research. The Minister for Children and Young People, Clare Haughey MSP, has appointed Professor Brigid Daniel, Professor Emerita at Queen Margaret University, as the Chair of the Steering Group. Professor Daniel has a wealth of knowledge and experience of research in the field of social work with a particular focus on child protection and neglect.

Claire Burns, Director of CELCIS, said:

“Scotland is on a journey of commitment to improve the lives of children, young people and their families, with Scotland’s Getting Care Right for Every Child approach and the aspirations of The Promise.

“It is a privilege to undertake this significant piece of work to investigate how to ensure that children and their families receive the support they need when they need it. This research will attend to what a wide range of evidence can tell us all about how to optimise the circumstances in which services can be delivered effectively, and by whom.

“We very much look forward to working with Professor Daniel and the Steering Group who will be overseeing and providing guidance on this research. The answer to what makes real, meaningful change always lies in the experiences of those who use services and those who plan, manage and deliver services.”

The research study will be led by CELCIS’s Head of Evidence and Innovation, Dr Heather Ottaway, who will head up the multi-disciplinary research team. Having started her career as a children and families social worker in Scotland, Dr Ottaway has led national organisational research in Wales which informed the development of the National Adoption Service, and has a strong research profile nationally and internationally, particularly in the field of family-based care for children.

The research will take place over the next year, concluding in 2023. A final report will be provided to Ministers to be considered along with outputs from engagement and co-design activity conducted by the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government has committed that the National Care Service will be established by the end of the Scottish Parliament’s current session in 2026.