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University academics share their expertise in child welfare

25 May 2018

Experts in child welfare met at the University of Stirling to explore topics relating to children’s wellbeing, safety and relationships.

The one-day conference was organised by the University’s Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection to provide a snapshot of the work being carried out by staff affiliated to the centre.

Centre director Professor Jane Callaghan said: “We are committed to doing research that has a real impact, and that makes a positive difference in the lives of children and those who support them. It is therefore important for the Centre to connect to the community in which we are located, and who we collaborate with and serve.

Watch a short video with highlights from the day.

Considering child neglect and domestic abuse in the context of GIRFEC

16 February 2017

Towards the end of last year, Professor Brigid Daniel contributed to three seminars funded by the Scottish Government and organised by Children in Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid. The seminars brought together consideration of child neglect and domestic abuse in the context of GIRFEC.

Befrienders could boost new mothers’ mental health

1 February 2017

Women experiencing mental health difficulties directly before and after giving birth could benefit from a charity’s befriending service, a University of Stirling report has revealed.

The finding emerged from health and social science researchers’ independent evaluation of Aberlour Child Care Trust’s Perinatal Befriending Support Service, which launched in 2015. The Service helps new mothers with mental health issues who are at risk of becoming socially isolated immediately before and after giving birth.

The report, Aberlour Perinatal Befriending Support Service: An Evaluation of the Pilot Delivery, shows the Service enhances mothers’ wellbeing and confidence, has a positive effect on alleviating anxiety and depression, and boosts their self-belief, confidence and attachment to their children.

Helen Cheyne, Professor of Midwifery in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, said: “It’s estimated that 30% of women are affected by mental health issues directly before and after birth, which can have long-term impacts for new mothers and their children."

The full press release can be accessed here.

The Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection has been commissioned by Scottish Government as part of its Child Protection Improvement Programme

30 November 2016

There are three distinct parts to the work which the Centre of Child Wellbeing and Protection is undertaking; a follow-up survey (baseline 2012) to Child Protection Committees asking about how they record information about children who may be living with neglect and the services offered locally; a rapid analysis of national policy and UK-wide initiatives in relation to services offered to children and families and of wider policy that may impact on the lives of children; and a review of recently published research articles and wider literature to identify possible messages of what approaches or programmes might work and in which situations.

The work is underway, findings from this pilot will be used to inform further neglect improvement activity.

Helpful links:

Vacancy: Research Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling

20 October 2016

We wish to appoint a Research Fellow to assist with the development of the Stirling Centre for Children’s Wellbeing and Protection. This is a new, fulltime post on a fixed term contract for six months.

This Research Post is based in the Faculty of Social Sciences, supervised by Professor Brigid Daniel.

This post would be suitable for secondment.


  • Full time, Fixed term contract for 6 months
  • The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 20 November 2016
  • Interviews are expected to take place on Tuesday 13 December 2016

CCWP's Director, Prof Brigid Daniel, and Prof. Karen Broadhurst key notes at the first CELCIS Annual Lecture

30 September 2016

CCWP's Director, Prof Brigid Daniel, and Prof. Karen Broadhurst are the key note speakers in the first CELCIS Annual Lecture: Helping Families Flourish. The lecture is taking place on Thursday 6 October at Strathclyde Business School from 17:30 to 20:00.

Group of experts call to action on maternal and infant mental health in Scotland

19 September 2016

The Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection was part of a group of individuals and representatives of organisations actively involved in delivery of care, education and research in the field of perinatal and infant mental health who have met in May 2016 to discuss current issues in maternal and infant mental health in Scotland. As a result of this meeting a call to action was produced reflecting the concerns and priorities identified by the group.

‌‌Joining the dots: our call to action

Maternal and Infant Mental Health in Scotland: Call to Action (JPEG)

You can also read more via articles published in The Herald and The Glasgow Evening Times.

The Rose Project: Best for Babies

22 August 2016

We are delighted to publish the report from this recently completed research.

The Rose Project: Best for Babies a collaborative research project between The Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection, University of Stirling and Aberlour. The project explored the issue of babies in prison, and in particular, how they are supported to stay with their imprisoned mothers where this is in their best interests. Interviews with professionals and with mothers provided valuable insights into the processes, and the practical and emotional realities of supporting a baby in a prison environment and of determining whether or not a baby should be there in the first place. It was possible thanks to the generous legacy of Dr. Elizabeth Rose, additional funding from the Barrow Cadbury Trust and resources from Aberlour. Please watch this space for a formal launch event with keynote speakers in Spring 2017.


Adelle Gardiner, Independent Researcher
Professor Brigid Daniel, CCWP, University of Stirling
Cheryl Burgess, CCWP, University of Stirling
Liz Nolan, Aberlour

Read the full report here

Professor Brigid Daniel reflects on what we need to do to tackle neglect in Scotland

2 June 2016

Following the sentencing of Rachel and Nyomi Fee for the murder of two-year-old toddler Liam Fee, Centre’s director Professor Brigid Daniel reflects on what we need to do to tackle neglect in Scotland. You can also hear her interviews with Radio Scotland and Victoria Derbyshire.

The relationship between poverty, child abuse and neglect: an evidence review

7 April 2016

A new report linked to our Welfare Inequalities Project can now be downloaded from here. This review was carried out by our colleagues at Coventry University for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Despite some limitations in terms of the evidence available the authors' conclude that there is a strong link between family poverty and a child's chance of suffering abuse and neglect.

Launch of the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection‌

‌Scotland’s children were at the forefront of everyone’s minds as over 150 delegates congregated at the Stirling Court Hotel to celebrate the launch of the University of Stirling’s Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection on Monday the 14th.

Speaking at the launch Ms Olivia McLeod, director for Children and Families at the Scottish Government, said:

We have all of the right ingredients in place in Scotland to make a difference to children’s lives and can be proud of our collective effort towards Getting It Right for Every Child. But we know that more can be done to improve the wellbeing and protection of children in Scotland – and particularly for those most vulnerable children. And that will depend on strengthening further our knowledge base, our practice and our partnership. The Stirling Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection is therefore an exciting and timely addition to our national landscape, with an important role to play towards our collective goal of making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up.

The Centre’s director, Professor Brigid Daniel, added:

It is wonderful to welcome so many people from all sectors, including representatives from local and national governments, to the University of Stirling to celebrate the launch of our new centre. The fact that so many people have joined us this afternoon is a clear demonstration of the importance we all place on the wellbeing of Scotland’s children. The University of Stirling has a strong track record of research and education in the areas of child protection, health and education, and the launch of our new centre is both timely and opportune in bringing together many of the foremost researchers in these fields to work together to make a real difference to the lives of all children in Scotland but in particular those children who are at highest risk of long-term disadvantage.

The celebrations started with welcome speeches by Professor Judith Phillips, Deputy Principal Research (Pro-Vice Chancellor) and Professor of Gerontology; Ms Olivia McLeod, Director for Children and Families at the Scottish Government; and the Centre's Director, Professor Brigid Daniel.

They were followed by presentations from the two key note speakers: Professor Marian Brandon, Director of the Centre for Research on Children and Families at the University of East Anglia; and Professor Julie Taylor, Professor of Child Protection at the University of Birmingham and Honorary Professor at the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection. Delegates also had the opportunity to watch the StreetsAhead DVD produced by the Children's Parliament. The day ended with an uplifting concert by the children and young people from the Big Noise Raploch.

All available presentations can be accessed below:

Professor Brigid Daniel: Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection welcome
Professor Marian Brandon: Some foundations of practice relevant research for child wellbeing and protection Some foundations of practice relevant research for child wellbeing
Professor Julie Taylor: Better together: political rhetoric or moral imperative in child protection
Ms Cathy McCulloch: StreetsAhead DVD
Ms Ashley Camero‌n: Showing young people that we care about their protection and wellbeing