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

Relationships in Foster Care Professional Role survey

Are you a foster carer? Take this short questionnaire and share your experiences of fostering.

Integrated Children’s Services in Scotland

An assessment of progress and improvement in integrated children's services, published by Social Work Scotland, and a literature review.

Child Protection Committees’ processes and practices in relation to Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: description of self-evaluations

The National Child Sexual Exploitation Group asked all Child Protection Committees (CPCs) to complete a self-evaluation of their activities around Chi…

CELCIS evaluation

Supporting Kinship Families

Report from the evaluation of the Notre Dame Centre’s support programme for kinship families

Parents in Partnership 2017: North Ayrshire Evaluation Report

This is an evaluation of the outcomes of the implementation of Parents in Partnership, a six week project which aims to promote parental/carer involve…

Aberlour Life Works Service – a qualitative evaluation

This mixed-methods evaluation describes the person-centred model that has evolved within the life works service.


I used to, but ...

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

Young people's research at Barnardo's

Guest blogger Fiona Bennett of Barnardo's Scotland describes the Family Firm Action Research project.
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