New Faces of CYCJ: Karen Suszek

Next up in our ‘New Faces of CYCJ’ series, it’s Practice Development Adviser Karen Suszek. 

Q1: Can you a tell us a bit about your background and interests, and how they’ve led you to CYCJ at this point in your career? I know you worked for my old employers at The Mungo Foundation at one stage…

Yeah, so I worked in hospitality for a long time and after volunteering as a Panel member I realised I wanted work with children. I was lucky enough, 15 years ago now, to begin my journey working in an amazing residential service for children and young people with homeless and substance mis-use issues. It was a massive eye-opener but an amazing experience, seeing how they could thrive with the right supports, though sadly not without. That realisation never left me. I moved to work in a family rehab then a supported accommodation service for young care leavers before doing my social work degree. I worked in Children and Families before moving a few years ago to youth justice, an area I was passionate about. I loved working with children and young people more directly, at an age where they have more autonomy, but also incorporating family work. All our children and young people have so much potential and seeing this so often lost down to structural inequality and systems that aren’t so child friendly, I couldn’t not take the opportunity to work at CYCJ, who are instrumental in driving and embedding the changes in policy and services which promote the rights of children and young people. So here I am!

Q2: What’s the nature of the work that you’ll be doing with CYCJ? What do you think the biggest challenges will be? How are you settling in so far?

I will be working within the Re-imagining Justice Service, primarily within the Youth Court Service, and anything else that comes my way, which I’m learning could be anything! The biggest challenge for me will be not being out and about with children and young people, but I’m settling in well, have met some great people and learned loads already.

Q3: What do you get up to outside the world of youth justice? What are your other hobbies and interests?

More now than before I moved job! I like keeping fit and getting out of the city when I can. But then I also like a night out, going to a gig or a pub quiz, though not because I’m any good!

Q4: I know you lead a pretty healthy, active lifestyle. What’s your gym routine / favourite way to burn off some energy, and what do you have in your headphones to keep you going?

I like being busy, glad it comes over as healthy! Mainly swimming, yoga and a wee body combat when I’ve had a really bad day! I like a lot of different types of music, but currently I can’t see past Young Fathers, everyone should check them out! Public Service Broadcasting and Talking Heads are up there too at the mo, but it all goes downhill come Eurovision season!

 Q5: How would someone reach you if they want to get in touch or follow you on social media?

Via the CYCJ website, ideally to offer me a session on how to work social media! If only I knew someone who worked in comms…

Karen can also be contacted on 

Contact Us

Children's and Young People's Centre for Justice
University of Strathclyde
Lord Hope Building, Level 6
141 St. James Road Glasgow G4 0LT

(0141) 444 8622

Stay informed

Subscribe to our e-newsletter and get all the latest advice and news.

Latest Discussion

Follow us on Twitter >>

Connect with us