01 April 2020

New leadership to drive international and local efforts to do our best for children

 - Announcement about CELCIS and Inspiring Children’s Futures -

Just like each and everyone the world over, we are dealing with the public health crisis that’s affecting all our lives. In light of this humanitarian crisis that is emerging globally, it’s important to be sure we continue to uphold the rights of all children and ensure that support is in place to care and protect children, young people and their families. Indeed, in these times of crises, making sure rights are realised and needs are addressed becomes ever more critical.  

It is in this context that the leadership of CELCIS will be changing from today, 1 April 2020 and for the next 18 months, in order to maximise our contributions to supporting care and protection of children and families here in Scotland and across the globe.

Professor Jennifer Davidson will be leading the efforts of the Justice for Children initiative, and supporting UNICEF and other partners on the COVID-19 response globally, in a full time role as Executive Director of the University of Strathclyde’s Inspiring Children’s Futures initiative, and Claire Burns will become Director of CELCIS (Acting) to guide and lead CELCIS.  

At CELCIS, we’re grateful about the opportunities this brings for added awareness, attention and action for children and their families who face the greatest disadvantage.

CELCIS will continue to deliver on our 2019-2024 strategy Building Brighter Futures, work to support new activities across Scotland to deliver on the outcomes of the Independent Care Review and support the sector to face the unprecedented challenges in the current context.

Professor Jennifer Davidson said:

“Surely now more than ever, we’ve become acutely aware of how internationally inter-dependent we are, right around the globe.
“And caring well for children who face the greatest adversity in our current circumstances is likewise a truly global challenge.
“Inspiring Children’s Futures will be working with partners around the world to help address the immediate and longer term challenges facing children, to uphold the rights of every child, and ultimately to strengthen our global response to COVID-19, and its aftermath. In doing so, we will help ensure we leave no child behind.

“With Claire Burns' values-driven and reliable leadership, I have every confidence that the dedicated CELCIS team will work in important ways to support partners to deliver the best care and protection practice and policies with children and families in Scotland in these difficult months ahead.”

New Director of CELCIS (Acting), Claire Burns, said:

“CELCIS’s new five year strategy provides the opportunity to put our efforts where these will be most impactful.
“I am confident that our existing partnerships with local authorities, Community Planning Partnerships, the third sector, universities, national governments and agencies and funders, will make the changes we all want to see much more possible. We are built on firm foundations of knowledge, trust and relationships, supported by a strong, talented and committed leadership team.

“All this has been made possible under Jennifer’s leadership and I want to acknowledge the contribution she has made to date in establishing and sustaining CELCIS, and the vital role that Inspiring Children’s Futures will play in responding to vulnerable children and families on a global scale.
“I know that there are significant challenges for providers at the moment – not least the continued impact of austerity and the newly emerged threat of COVID-19. This means that what we offer the sector and how we support children and families in need of care and protection may look quite different in the coming weeks. We remain committed to CELCIS being the innovation and improvement centre dedicated to helping all those who are working to support Scotland’s children and families.
“I look forward to working with you all.”