The University of Stirling Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection, focused on improving the lives of children by turning research into action, launched in Stirling on Monday 14 March.
The new research hub brings together experts from across the University, including staff and students from social work, education and health, who are carrying out research in the fields of child wellbeing and protection. Its vision is to ensure that research inspired and led by staff and students at the University of Stirling is beneficial to children, particularly those at risk of compromised development.
Ms Olivia McLeod, Director for Children and Families at the Scottish Government, formally launched the Centre and 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.”
Supported with investment from the University of Stirling, the Centre will also lead new research for a range of partners and organisations.
Speaking at the launch, attended by over 150 delegates, Centre Director Professor Brigid Daniel, said: “It is wonderful to welcome so many people from all sectors, including representatives from local and national government, to the University of Stirling, to celebrate the launch of our new centre. The fact that so many people have joined us 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 this 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 launch event closed with a concert from Stirling’s Big Noise Orchestra, a programme that fosters confidence in children and young people.
The Centre already has a number of research projects under way, including the Seamless Services project, a collaboration between the University of Stirling, Aberlour Child Care Trust, Children in Scotland, NHS Forth Valley and Social Work Scotland.
Three PhD students are joining the Centre to critically examine the impact of Scotland’s framework for children’s services upon the wellbeing of children in Scotland and make recommendations for policy and practice.
As well as carrying out research the Centre will promote knowledge exchange activities and post-qualifying education focused on the improvement of children’s wellbeing and protection.