Secure Care National Advisor
I joined CYCJ as Secure Care National Advisor in August 2015. This role was commissioned by Scottish Government to undertake an independent, strategic, practice focused review of secure care in Scotland, known as the Secure Care National Project. The key messages from this review were published by CYCJ in the report Secure Care in Scotland: Looking Ahead in November 2016. The findings were based on a year-long programme of fact finding and stakeholder engagement, including focused conversations with nearly 60 care experienced young people, two national multi-agency seminars and CYCJ research into the role of Chief Social Work Officers and secure care in Scotland. The Scottish Government has extended the project to the end of December 2017 to take forward some of the recommendations arising from the review, and the focus of Alison’s work during 2017 is on supporting the establishment of a Strategic Board for Secure Care to move things forward.
My career has focused on supporting children, young people and their families, and in particular looked after children and young people. After qualifying as a social worker in 1991, I worked in various Scottish local authority social work practitioner and management roles and then as a service manager in the Scottish voluntary sector, including for nearly five years as Head of Service running a residential school care resource. I joined Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) as the Director of Panel and Area Support in December 2011 and was part of the Executive team which established the new organisation and supported the implementation of the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 and new National Standards for the Children’s Panel.
I am passionate about ensuring that all policy and practice developments are underpinned by learning from lived experience.