About Us

Meet the Centre Team

Centre Director - Professor Brigid Daniel, Faculty of Social Sciences 

Brigid Daniel, MA (Hons), PhD, CQSW, is a qualified social worker with a background of practice in Edinburgh. She is Professor of Social Work in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Stirling University and academic advisor to WithScotland. Her research interests and publications are in the areas of child development, children’s resilience, child welfare inequalities, looked after children and child neglect. Brigid is also a member of the International Association for Outcome-based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children’s Services (iaOBERfcs) about which more information can be found at http://www.youthsay.co.nz.

Helen CheyneDeputy Director - Professor Helen Cheyne, Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP RU)

Helen Cheyne PhD MSc (Med Sci) RM RGN, is a midwife with experience of working in both urban and rural maternity units in Scotland. She is Professor of Maternal and Child Health  and the Royal College of Midwives (Scotland) Professor of Midwifery Research.  She is based in the Nursing Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit.  Her research interests include models of maternity care, postnatal care, women’s experience of maternity care, reducing the impact of inequalities in maternal and infant health and wellbeing.

Cate WatsonDeputy Director - Professor Cate Watson, Faculty of Social Sciences

Cate Watson PhD, MA, MSc, MEd, BSc (Hons), ARCS, has a practice background in the education of children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. She is Professor of Education in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling. Her research interests and publications are in the area of education policy, professional learning and educational  leadership. 

Adressa GaddaResearch Fellow - Dr. Andressa Gadda

Andressa's (PhD, MSc, MA (Hons)) educational background is in Sociology and Social Work. Her research interests are on the experiences of looked after children and their families; children’s rights, particularly in their participation in decisions that affect their lives; and on welfare practices and policy. Andressa is also interested in the intersection between care and protection; on post-theories; and research co-production. 

Julie TaylorHonorary Professor - Professor Julie Taylor

Julie Taylor [PhD; FRCN; RN; MSc; BSc (Hons)] is a nurse scientist specialising in child maltreatment. She is Professor of Child Protection in the School of Health and Population Science at the University of Birmingham, in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Julie’s work is at the leading edge nationally and internationally in reframing child maltreatment as a public health concern. Her research programme is concentrated at the interface between health and social care and is largely underpinned by the discourse of cumulative harm and the exponential effects of living with multiple adversities (domestic abuse, parental mental ill health, substance misuse, disabilities etc). In recognition of her work in child protection in 2013 Julie was awarded a prestigious Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing.‌‌

Joan's profile pictureHonorary Professor - Professor Joan Forbes

Joan Forbes EdD, MA(Ed), BA, PGCE/P, PGCE/S, PGD/SEN(HI), PGC/SEN has practitioner experience as a teacher educator and for children with specific language and communication needs.  Previously school Director of Research, and Director of the Centre for Children’s Services Research and Policy Study at the University of Aberdeen, her research studies and outputs are located at the interface of education and social policy; inter/professional, and inter-agency collaborations for children; poverty and children; and elite schooling and social justice. 

‌‌Honorary Senior Research Fellow - Beth Smith MSc, DipSW, CQSW

Beth is a registered social worker with extensive experience in leading, directing, managing and delivering services. Beth has worked in a range of social work management posts and previously held the role of Chief Social Work Officer. 

From 2009 to 2016, Beth was the Director of WithScotland, the first national hub for child protection based within the Faculty of Social Sciences. Beth now works as an independent consultant and her research interests include child protection and the interface between research, policy and practice. 

Calum's profile pictureSeamless Services PhD student - Calum Lindsay

Calum Lindsay is a PhD student with the Seamless Services Project, looking at the current children services framework from a social work perspective and analysing its impact on the lives of children in Scotland. He received an MA(Hons) in International Relations and Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews in 2012 and an MSc in Social Work from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2016, for which he completed original research on the age assessment of unaccompanied children in Scotland.  His research interests include: sociomaterial approaches to the connections between practice and policy; ethnographic and qualitative research methods; decision-making in social work environments; integrated approaches to children’s services; and poverty, inequalities and childhood in Scotland and beyond.

Seamless Services PhD student - Katherine Allen

Katherine Allen MSc, BA (Hons), has not only been a student, mentor, and community advocate, but also an educator, policy maker, and academic researcher in the United States and Scotland. Her work has always been strongly interdisciplinary, with a focus on children, education, and policy. She is currently working on a funded studentship through the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection, studying the role of the education system in Scotland within the multidisciplinary support network for children.

Nikoletta's profile pictureSeamless Services PhD student - Nikoletta Komvoki

Nikoletta Komvoki (MSc, BSc) is a qualified Early Years Teacher with experience of working with children and young people in many different settings both in Scotland and Greece. She commenced her PhD studies, which are funded by the NHS Forth Valley, in Health Sciences at the University of Stirling in May 2016. Her research interests include child development, early years, early intervention, family studies, educational policies and children's rights.


Doctoral researcherKate Kyriakou

Kate Kyriakou (BSc, MSc, MA) is a doctoral researcher and she started her PhD studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences in October 2016, funded by a collaborative scholarship between the University of Stirling and the children’s charity Action for Children.  She is currently working on a research project which focuses on the primary prevention of neglect in Scotland, and will aim to explore the potential for adopting a public health approach to tackle child neglect. Her research interests involve child protection policy, public health interventions, wellbeing of children and young people, qualitative research methods, as well as child abuse and neglect prevention.

Our Partners and Collaborators

Funding partners

We are currently working in partnership with Aberlour Child Care Trust, Children in Scotland, NHS Forth Valley and Social Work Scotland on Seamless Services.

Children in Scotland is the uniting voice for the children’s sector in Scotland. Its vision is to make Scotland a world leader in achieving the wellbeing of every child and improving the quality of every childhood.

Social Work Scotland  is the leadership organisation for the social work profession, representing social workers and other professionals who lead and support social work across all sectors.

NHS Forth Valley is governed by a Board of Directors and is accountable to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well-being through the Scottish Government Health Directorate. The Board controls an annual budget of £550 million, and is responsible for providing health services and improving the health for the population of Forth Valley.

Aberlour Child Care Trust is a charity that focuses on children, young people and families across Scotland, helping transform their lives for the better by supporting them through challenges like living with a disability, growing up in and leaving care, and the impact of drugs and alcohol on families. 

Child Wellbeing and Protection Research Group

The research group underpins the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection and brings together staff from across the University of Stirling who are engaged in research of relevance to children’s wellbeing and protection. Further information about the group's membership can be found here.

Other partners

Other partners with the Centre include The Department of Social Policy at the University of YorkAction for Children and Adoption and Fostering Alliance Scotland and we have collaborative links with the Centre for Research on Children and Families, University of East Anglia, the Institute of Child Care Research, Queen’s University, Belfast; CASCADE, Cardiff University; the Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Birmingham; the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education, University of Oxford and the Australian Centre for Child Protection at the University of South Australia, Adelaide.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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