Dr Louise Hill

Policy Implementation Lead

Centre for Excellence for Children's Care and Protection

Personal statement

My background involves research, policy and practice issues for children who experience challenges in their lives. My work is underpinned by a social justice perspective. My research experience has included working as a Research Fellow for the Centre for Learning in Child Protection  (NSPCC/University of Edinburgh) and Barnardo's. I have also conducted research for a range of voluntary organisations on child welfare issues, prior to this I was a Children's Rights officer for children in care in England. I have a PhD in Social Policy from the University of Edinburgh. My doctoral thesis explored children's experiences of growing up with parental alcohol problems using participatory research methods as part os an ESRC Case Collaborative PhD Studentship with Barnardo's.  I became increasingly interested in influencing national policy and legislation to improve children's lives.

In 2011, I joined CELCIS as a Policy Officer. CELCIS has a unique role in combining international research excellence, critical social policy analysis and delivering world-leading innovations in professional development to improve outcomes for children and young people in need of care and protection. I use my academic expertise to positively impact on social policy for the benefit of society. My key responsibilities include:


  • Direct Impact on National Legislation, Policy and Guidance – I lead on the critical analysis of national legislation, policy and guidance related to social policy and child welfare. I have had a key role in the National Child Protection Review (2016-17) and have written National Statutory Guidance for the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. My role involves collaborative development of evidence-informed written and oral responses to Scottish Parliamentary Inquiries, Scottish Government, Care Inspectorate and other relevant public bodies.
  • Raising our Academic Profile – Reputational enhancement of the University of Strathclyde through high-level strategic engagement with the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government, relevant public bodies and strategic leaders across the social and political spectrum. Publications in a wide range of high quality journals, practice journals, research briefings and production of podcasts to share academic knowledge beyond university settings. Presentations at national and international conferences. Current research projects included: Lifelong Links for children and young people in care (longitudinal mixed method study with the University of Oxford and Family Rights Group, 2018-2023); evaluation of Scotland's first care experienced theatre company with the Citizens Theatre (2019-2020) and a review of the implementation of support for families where children may become looked after in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.
  • Knowledge Exchange Leadership – Develop innovative knowledge exchange programmes to connect research, policy and practice. Lead on design, deliver and disseminate knowledge exchange activities, including sourcing funding and overseeing budgets. For example, I initiated a successful KE bid with the University of Strathclyde, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow and partners – Getting it Right for Looked after Disabled Children and Young People (2012-2013).
  • Developing and Sustaining Research, Policy and Practice Collaborations - Lead and develop networks across the University of Strathclyde and external national and international networks to inform social policy influencing and implementation roles. Provide advice and support to colleagues on social policy related issues. Chair and participate in national and local committees, working groups, research symposiums and innovative roundtable events.   


How did kinship care emerge as a significant form of placement for children in care? A comparative study of the experience in Ireland and Scotland
Hill Louise, Gilligan Robbie, Connelly Graham
Children and Youth Services Review (2019)
Supporting Families : a Review of the Implementation of Part 12 : Children at Risk of Becoming Looked After as Set Out in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
Hill Louise, Fowler Nadine, Porter Robert
Response to a Consultation of Working Together for People Who Go Missing in Scotland
Kennedy Lisa Ann, Hill Louise
'Don't make us talk!' : Listening to and learning from children and young people living with parental alcohol problems
Hill Louise
Children and Society Vol 29, pp. 344-354 (2015)
Being counted? Examining the prevalence of looked-after disabled children and young people across the UK
Hill Louise, Baker Claire, Kelly Bernadette, Dowling Sandra
Child and Family Social Work (2015)
'No-one runs away for no reason' : understanding safeguarding issues when children and young people go missing from home
Hill Louise, Taylor Julie, Richards Fiona, Reddington Susan
Child Abuse Review (2014)

more publications


Lifelong Links
Hill, Louise (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 29-Jan-2020
Lifelong Links
Hill, Louise (Principal Investigator)
Lifelong Links developed by Family Rights Group (FRG) is an innovative approach to supporting looked after children, young people, and their families. It addresses concerns about permanence and how the networks of children and young people in care become fragmented. This can lead to a lack of stability, identity and belonging, poor experiences and negative outcomes for the child and young person. Together with colleagues from the Rees Centre (Oxford University), CELCIS has been working with FRG as they develop the Lifelong Links model and consider how its effectiveness might be measured. The Lifelong Links approach aims to identify and engage relatives and other supportive adults, including those who have been estranged or not yet known. By identifying adults who are willing to make a life-long commitment to the looked-after child, it is hoped to increase their sense of permanence, security, and wellbeing. It is hoped the resulting continuity and permanence of relationships will provide ongoing support, provide an explanation of historical events and reinforce identity, belonging and a sense of self for the young person.

Lifelong Links is now being piloted across England using funding from Department for Education (DfE). Additional funding sources from Esmee Fairbairn Foundation have been secured by the Family Rights Group (FRG) to allow the model to be piloted in three Scottish sites. The longitudinal mixed-method evaluation is now underway in collaboration with Dr Lisa Holmes (Director, Rees Centre) responsible for the English sites and Dr Louise Hill (Policy Lead, CELCIS) working with the Scottish Sites. The evaluation will conclude in 2023.
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2023
Children in Kinship and Fostercare
Farrugia, Ben (Principal Investigator) Hill, Louise (Co-investigator) Welch, Vicki (Co-investigator)
08-Jan-2013 - 28-Jan-2014
Achieving Permanence for Disabled Children and Young People in Foster Care: A knowledge exchange project
Stalker, Kirsten (Academic) Hill, Louise (Academic) Brabender, Liz (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2013 - 31-Jan-2014

more projects


Centre for Excellence for Children's Care and Protection
Curran Building

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