About us

We are CELCIS, the Centre for Excellence for Children's Care and Protection, based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

We are dedicated to making positive and lasting improvements in the wellbeing of children and young people living in and on the edges of care, and their families, across Scotland, and the globe - children who, through no fault of their own, are not able to enjoy the same positive experiences and outcomes as many of their peers.

In our partnership work with carers, social workers, teachers, nurses, charities, the police, local authorities, the Scottish Government, we work to understand the issues, introduce the best possible practice and develop solutions. Furthermore, to achieve effective, enduring and positive change across the board, we take an innovative, evidence-based implementation approach.

We do this by providing a unique package of services and working alongside our partners across the children's sector. We share our valuable experience in five main areas: Consultancy, Learning and development, Policy, Qualifications and Research.

Our consultancy services support a wide variety of agencies, organisations and local authorities in designing, improving and implementing care services for children and their families. Our advice is evidence based and strives to bring about good practice through collaboration improvement and we work alongside practitioners and professionals to bring about the best outcomes for children and families who need care and support. Our consultants have worked in hundreds of settings across the length and breadth of Scotland, and beyond, to deliver consultancy for frontline staff, strategic leaders, teams and organisations. Our specialist experience covers Health and wellbeing, Education, Attachment informed practice, Permanence, Throughcare and aftercare, Understanding self-harm and suicide, Historical abuse and International care systems.

Our Learning and development specialists deliver an extensive programme of training workshops and tailored training packages that support the development of a confident and well-equipped workforce. That workforce includes everyone and every organisation whose work may affect the lives of looked after children and their families: social workers, police, health professionals, carers and care workers, teachers and teaching assistants, educational psychologists, local government officers, civil servants and court officials. We offer training workshops and bespoke training packages that support the development of a well-equipped and confident workforce. We also run a series of event and conferences that help to share knowledge, information and good practice to all people who care for children and young people.

We play a critical role in influencing and implementing legislation and policy. With data driven evidence and first-hand experience, we help to shape the landscape within which organisations, professionals and carers work, helping to support, rather than impede, the kind of practice that will improve the lives of looked after children and their families. We work with a diverse range of partners (such as Scottish Government, local authorities and health boards) and we influence legislation, policy and guidance which is implementable, progressive and a realistic assessment of what organisations can deliver. We play a crucial role in helping in helping to get the policy right through our multi-faceted approach, involving research, data analysis, discussion, small-scale diagnostic tests and implementation activities, and we act as a valuable conduit between different parts of the children’s sector and between policy makers and practitioners.

CELCIS have played a major role over the years in developing qualifications for practitioners who work on the children’s sector. We are working with the Scottish Social Services Council and the Scottish Government towards the professional development of those working in residential child care with the launch of a new qualification at level 9. Alongside our partners in higher education, we deliver qualifications at degree and Masters level, and we are proud to contribute our own experience and skills to the delivery of learning for the sector. We have also had huge success around the world with our free, online learning course. Over 50,000 people worldwide have taken part in our Caring for Vulnerable Children online course.

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. We collaborate with various partners and our research contributes significantly to an expanding evidence base which is easily accessed by everyone. 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.  

Find out more

CELCIS publications

Building Brighter Futures - CELCIS Strategy 2019-2024

We've published our new strategy, Building Brighter Futures, setting out our direction and purpose over the next five years. Our vision is one where "…


Practice Exchange Workshop: Pre-birth planning, Assessment and 'Getting it right from the start'

The PACE (Permanence and Care Excellence) team at CELCIS hosted a Practice Echange Workshop on 15 November 2018 in Glasgow, with almost 70 delegates a…