As Director, Fiona leads CYCJ towards its ambition of ensuring that Scotland’s approach to children and young people in conflict with the law is rights-respecting, contributing to better outcomes for children, young people and communities. This involves supporting professionals from all disciplines who work with children and young people on the cusp of or involved in offending by promoting best practice based on up-to-date evidence and research.
Prior to and since joining CYCJ in 2013, Fiona has been committed to ensuring the rights of children in conflict with the law are upheld. Her aim is to provide leadership across all sectors where children are involved to ensure children are treated as children. Her work to date includes the Expert Group on Preventing Sexual Offending Involving Children and Young People, Expert Review on Mental Health and Young Offenders, Age of Criminal Responsibility, Restorative Justice, Children’s Rights and supporting the work of the Youth Justice Improvement Board. Fiona currently chairs the Age of Criminal Responsibility Data and Research Group and Children’s Rights Group.
Before joining CYCJ Fiona was seconded to the Scottish Government youth justice team for three years as a professional social work advisor to lead on the Scottish Government policy of the Whole System Approach, which was implemented across Scotland. Prior to this, she worked for ten years as a social worker and social work manager within the fields of youth and criminal justice within rural and urban areas of Scotland. Fiona is a member of Social Work Scotland.
Fiona has appeared extensively in the media, commenting on a range of issues, including secure care placements, alternatives to custody, justice reform, criminal exploitation of children and sentencing guidelines for young people. She is also a well received speaker at national conferences and seminars. If you would like to interview Fiona or book her for a talk, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Fiona’s recent journal article on ‘Exacerbating, illuminating and hiding rights issues: COVID-19 and children in conflict with the law’ in the International Journal of Human Rights.