Our international work

We are making a difference to the experiences and life chances of looked after children right here in Scotland, but our influence and expertise in the development of care systems is also recognised internationally. And in our work with the international child care community, Scotland enjoys a two-way learning process. This makes sense, because concern about children who don't have parental care is a global one.

What we do

Our own work overseas with international partners is focused on reforming care systems through information sharing and the promotion of good practice. We exchange experience about many aspects of preventing children becoming unnecessarily separated from parents and of children in care with overseas partners and projects. We share our own knowledge and expertise through our consultancy, advisory and training services. Our work is informed by an evidence-based, improvement approach, and we are also able to connect and link partners for an exchange of practice models, research, literature and learning, right across Europe and the wider world.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

We are fully committed to promoting the rights of children living in and on the edges of care, and our approach is driven by the principles within the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. These recognise the essential role of preventing unnecessary separation and good quality family-based alternative care for children out of their parents' care, within a range of alternative care settings.

Our partners

A high proportion of our international work is delivered in partnership with government bodies and major agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations, including UNICEF and Terre des Hommes. We've been invited to contribute to projects in countries as diverse as Turkey, Malawi and Estonia.

An international gateway

We provide a gateway to Scotland and the UK for overseas enquiries and visitors. As a source of information and expertise, we are able to respond to requests for data, research and information quickly and effectively. We take pride in our ability to connect people from different countries to share good practice and developments in service delivery for children in alternative care.

Welcoming visitors also lets us acknowledge the challenges we still face and the distance we still have to travel to make marked improvements in the lives of looked after children here in our own country.

Day of general discussion

Share your views and find out more about the 2021 UNCRC Day of General Discussion on Children’s Rights and Alternative Care here.

Examples of our international work

Prepare for leaving care logo

Prepare for Leaving Care – A Child Protection System that Works for Professionals and Young People

Leaving the formal alternative care system is an important phase both for young people and the service providers responsible for their care and development. CELCIS partnered with SOS Children’s Villages International to develop and deliver training for care professionals and elaborate policy guidelines to help ensure that child protection systems adequately support young people leaving alternative care.



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Safe places - thriving children

Safe Spaces Thriving Children-Embedding Trauma-Informed Practices into Alternative Care Settings

CELCIS has partnered with SOS Children’s Villages International and their member associations in six European countries to develop and deliver training for care professionals, and support for organisations providing alternative care services to embed trauma-informed practices into their daily work. The partnership will also formulate policy recommendations to help ensure that child protection systems support children and young people who have been affected by trauma.

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CELCIS and SOS villages logos

Function, quality and outcomes of residential care practice – Rapid Evidence Review

Since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), growing attention has been devoted to the rights and circumstances of children who are without, or at risk of losing, parental care. CELCIS has conducted a Rapid Evidence Review on the purpose, function and quality of residential care options. The research, commissioned by SOS Children’s Villages International, provides an overview of literature on residential care carried out between 2015-2019. 


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Looking for support?

We spread the word at international conferences, and work with a tremendous range of international partners.

Get in touch with our team to chat about how we can work with you.

CELCIS publications

Changing mind-sets and pioneering social work in Tajikstan: Evaluation of setting up pilot fostering project

In this evaluation, we report on the initial set up of a pilot fostering project in Tajikistan.

Case Study

Moving Forward: Implementing the ‘Guidelines for the alternative care of children’

Moving Forward provides practical guidance on alternative care provision for children.