The Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection

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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.

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

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.

More information on the Scottish Government's Child Protection Improvement Programme

The Centre of Child Wellbeing and Protection, has worked with colleagues to produce various publications and reports, links to which can be found here: 


What is Child Neglect?

Helpful links:


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

Further information


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.

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 & 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

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.

Authors –

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.

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. Read the article here.

You can also hear her interviews with Radio Scotland and Victoria Derbyshire.

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.

Published 7 April 2016 

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 directorProfessor Brigid Daniel, added:

Picture of Brigid delivering her presentation

 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.  Stirling University 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 and to hear from Ms Ashley Cameron, a student of History and Politics at the University of Stirling and a Care Leavers ambassador for Who Cares? Scotland. 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: Welcome and setting the scene for the new Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection
  Professor Marian Brandon: Some foundations of practice relevant research for child wellbeing and protectionSome foundations of practice relevant research for child wellbeing and protection
  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

If you would like to be added to the Centre's mailing list to be kept up to date with future events and news please email

Published 30 March 2016


About Our Events

Detailed below are some of our previous and upcoming events. To ensure you are kept up to date with and have the opportunity to attend, future events please email to be added to the Centre's mailing list. 

You can also read about our inspiring set of seminars on ways in which creative arts can help nurturing the resilience of neglected children here

Upcoming Events

The Rose Project Launch: Best for Babies

12th May, 9am - 3pm (Iris Murdoch Building)

This public seminar will highlight the publication of Rose Project: Best for Babies, a recent report produced in collaboration with the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection and Aberlour – Scotland’s children’s charity.

The Rose Project: Best for Babies considers the intersect between a baby’s best interests and the custodial options for women in Scotland. When a pregnant women or a mother of an infant is given a custodial sentence, in what ways does the women’s custodial estate support the best interests and wellbeing of her baby? How are babies supported to remain in their mothers’ care, where this is in their best interests? And how do the existing custodial options support a baby’s best interests when they do stay with their mother or are likely to return to their mother’s care? Through interviews with imprisoned mothers and relevant professionals, The Rose Project gathered information about the current situation for the babies of imprisoned mothers. The interviews yielded rich data and a broad range of emerging themes.

At this seminar the emerging themes will be explored, as well as providing examples of current good practice; we will identify areas for improvement and topics for further research.  

Keynote speakers

Speakers include Dame Elish Angiolini, St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford, Professor Brigid Daniel, University of Stirling, Tam Baillie, Office of the Children’s Commissioner.  

The event will be chaired by Aberlour CEO SallyAnn Kelly, who has more than 25 years of experience working in children’s services and is the chair of the Committee on Care and Support for Children and Young People within the CCPS (Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland)

Lunch will be provided.

Register here


Previous Events


  • The Rose Project Launch: Best for Babies We were delighted to welcome Dame Elish Angiolini and Tam Baillie in May to the launch of the report we produced in collaboration with Aberlour considering the intersect between a baby’s best interests and the custodial options for women in Scotland. You can hear the day’s presentations here and read the report here.


  • LaunchOver 150 delegates from all sectors, including academics, policy makers and the third sector, attended the official launch of the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection that took place on March 2016.
  • Shifting the Curve – In a very well attended seminar in May Naomi Eisentadt, Independent Advisor on Poverty and Inequality for the Scottish Government, considered the recommendations she made in her report to the government to further tackle poverty in Scotland and how the third sector can work more effectively with statutory agencies to implement these recommendations. This event was organised in partnership with Circle
  • A Kinship Care Practice Framework: Building knowledge for practice We were delighted to welcome Professor Marie Connolly, Chair and Head of Social Work at the University of Melbourne, in June for an informal seminar where she told us more about the development of a kinship care practice framework. You can access the presentation slides here where you can find out more information about the framework, as well as links to further reading.
  • Named Person Seminar This seminar brought together practitioners and researchers to consider the implementation of the Named Person role. Harla Sara Octarra, PhD research in Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh shared some of her research findings on the implementation of the Named Person in one Scottish local authority; and Lara Neri, Lead Officer (GIRFEC – Education) at East Lothian, talked about East Lothian’s journey to implement GIRFEC into practice. You can access their presentations here.
  • Poverty and children: creating creative spaces for children’s participation and agency Joan Forbes, CCWP’s Honorary Professor, and Elspeth McCartney, Strathclyde University, reflected on the learning from a seminar series, funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, that explored children and young people’s experiences of poverty and disadvantage in Scotland. You can read more about it here.




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