My own background is within childhood studies and particularly children's human rights. I work within and across a number of policy areas, from education to family law to child protection, on such topics as children affected by domestic abuse, children with disabilities and additional support needs, and child marriage. In particular, we have a collaborative programme with children, young people, adult stakeholders and academics, on children and young people’s participation in decision-making. This includes how to involve children and young people meaningfully and ethically within research, as well as policy-making and formal decisions. I have the opportunity to learn from work here in Scotland as well as cross-national work with colleagues in such places as Brazil, Canada, China, India, Norway and South Africa.
I previously worked within social policy in the School of Social & Political Science, here at the University of Edinburgh. I also have worked outside academia: from 1999-2003, for example, I held a joint post between the University and Director of Policy & Research at Children in Scotland (the national umbrella agency for organisations working with children and their families).
I have an undergraduate degree in social studies from Harvard University, a PhD in Social Policy from the University of Edinburgh and a LLB from Strathclyde University.