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We are rooted in research. We believe the greatest improvement in the lives of looked after children comes when a systematic approach is taken, one which bridges the gap between knowledge about what works well for children and their families, and the way services, policy and systems are delivered in the real world.

By bridging that gap, and by developing and sharing our collective knowledge and understanding, services and policies can be designed which match the needs of looked after children far more effectively. These new ways of working will make long-term, tangible improvements in children's life experiences and outcomes.

What we do

We work in tandem with partners and our research contributes significantly to an expanding evidence base which is easily accessed by everyone. We play a leading role in the collation and dissemination of existing and new research for the sector in Scotland, and across the UK, with our own research findings being regularly added to the mix.

How we can help

In practical terms, our research team can provide specialist support and guidance on a one-off or ongoing basis. We offer qualitative and quantitative research expertise using a range of approaches using data gathered from interviews, surveys, online tools, focus groups and other methods.

A further string to our research bow is evaluation - evaluation of our own work as well as evaluating work being delivered by others in the sector. By applying robust and sensitive evaluative processes, we’re able to accurately assess the effectiveness and impact being made by individual projects, services and whole systems.

Looking for support?

Our research team can tell you all about our research and evaluation services and how we can help in your workplace. 

Get in touch with the team

CELCIS research

The digital divide| The impact on the rights of care leavers in Scotland

Findings from research carried out to understand care leavers’ experiences of digital exclusion before and during the COVID-19 restrictions in Scotlan…

Voluntary Accommodation of Infants, Children, and Young People in Scotland (Section 25): An initial exploration

Findings in relation to the purpose, frequency, and variation in us of section 25 orders.

CELCIS response to the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee consultation on the economic impact of COVID-19 on young people

Although the impact of COVID-19 will be felt by many, evidence suggests that young people will be disproportionately impacted by the effects of the pa…

CELCIS evaluation

An evaluation of the We are Citizens! Ensemble care experienced theatre company project

In 2018 the Citizens Theatre, in partnership with CELCIS, was awarded funding from the Life Changes Trust’s Creative and Active Lives initiative, to e…

Child Participation in Child Protection Processes

This report presents the main findings of a self-evaluation survey that looked at the arrangements in place in local areas to support child participat…

Lifelong Links briefing

An overview of the evaluation of a trial of Lifelong Links – an innovative approach to supporting children and young people who are looked after away …


How can it be that ‘being a student with care experience is very daunting’ and ‘…..supportive, inclusive, diverse and fun… a joy actually’?

First published in Exchange Wales on 5 August 2019.

I used to, but ...

Research into how music could and should help shape the experiences of children and young people in residential care settings.