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Our board

We are very lucky to have a diverse and committed Board of Directors who guide and support the work we do.

The Board is responsible for our overall governance and strategic direction and accepts ultimate responsibility for the sound professional, legal and financial management of Children in Scotland as a charity. They also agree our vision and values, set overall strategy and policies for all key activities, oversee implementation and monitor our progress to plans.

As well as sitting on the Board, Directors may also undertake other roles within the organisation such as being part of working groups or committees involved in the planning or delivery of our work.

Children in Scotland and our Board of Directors function within the legal requirements set out by the Office of the Scottish Regulator (OSCR).

Our work in 2020-21

The year in numbers across projects, engagement, services and managed funds

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Our work in 2019-2020

Find out more about our work and achievements between April 2019 and March 2020

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Our work in 2018-2019

Find out more about our work and achievements between April 2018 and March 2019

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Vision and values

Find out more about about these guiding principles

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Annual report and financial statement 2019-20

Find out more about our work and achievements between April 2019 and March 2020.

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Our work in 2017-2018

Find out more about our work and achievements between April 2017 and March 2018

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Esther Black

Vice-convener

Esther joined the Board in August 2018. She is currently Head of Corporate Operations at Crown Estate Scotland, a public body that manages land, property and seabed across and around Scotland. Esther’s remit there covers communications, policy, engagement, and people / HR.

Esther has worked in strategic communications for 20 years.

She started her career as a journalist before working in the Scottish Parliament, then moved into consultancy supporting campaigns and public relations for international environmental NGOs, as well as Scotland's Children's Commissioner and a range of private sector companies.

Esther sits on Business in the Community Scotland's Advisory Board. She is passionate about responsible business and about finding new ways that business can work with the public and third sectors to deliver wider social, economic and environmental value.

Esther lives in Edinburgh with her partner and young daughter.

Karen Conaghan

Director

Karen Conaghan is currently a local councillor at West Dunbartonshire Council.

She is Convenor for Educational Services, a member of the Council’s Fostering and Adoption Panel, and sits on Cosla’s Children and Young People’s Board. She joined the Board of Children in Scotland in October 2017.

Ms Conaghan graduated in 1993 from Strathclyde University with a BSc Hons in Technology & Business Studies and has worked in a variety of different roles since then, ranging from insurance to housing and roads, with an ongoing interest in education.

Previous jobs have allowed her to see first-hand the real effects of poverty and deprivation on so many within our communities and how damaging this is to the life chances of children in Scotland. She is passionate about improving the lives of children.

Ms Conaghan is married with three daughters, two cats, and an extended family. She enjoys walking in the beautiful countryside around West Dunbartonshire and beyond, relaxing with friends, and reading.

Professor Brigid Daniel

Director

Professor Brigid Daniel joined Children in Scotland’s Board in 2016.

She originally studied psychology and carried out research in infant perceptuo-motor development.

Following qualification as a social worker, she practised in Edinburgh before moving to Dundee University to teach on post-qualifying courses in childcare and protection. She moved on to Stirling University as Senior Lecturer in Social Work and then returned to Dundee as the Professor of Child Care and Protection and Director of Studies of Child Care and Protection.

She was Professor of Social Work and Director of the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling.

In 2017 she moved away from social work to a take up the post of Dean of the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Professor Daniel has written and researched in the areas of child neglect, the child protection system, children’s resilience and child development. Her recent research projects include Permanently Progressing?, the first stage of a planned longitudinal study of outcomes for children in Scotland looked after away from home under the age of five.

She was Scottish lead for the Nuffield-funded four UK nation study Identifying and Understanding Inequalities in Child Welfare Intervention Rates.

She has an MA (Hons) degree, a PhD and Certificate of Qualification in Social Work.

Jo Derrick

Vice-convener

Jo is the CEO of Staf – the Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum – and is an active Vice-President for the International Foster Care Organisation (IFCO) and Board Member for Children's Hearings Scotland.

Jo joined the Board of Children in Scotland in August 2018, and was appointed as Vice-convener in October 2019.

For the past 15 years Jo has held leadership roles in the fostering and children’s services sector, across the UK, and has dedicated her career to making a positive and lasting difference in the lives of children and young people, their families and by extension their communities.

As Chair of the Youth Committee and Vice-Chair of the Training, Research & Development Committee for IFCO Jo has gained experience from an International perspective on evidence-based practice in action whilst her prior involvement in Social Work Scotland as an Executive Committee member has developed a breadth of knowledge across Scottish specific priorities for children and families.

Jo has a keen interest in learning and professional development. Having completed a combined honours in Marketing & Sociology in 2000 she has since then undertaken an MBA with a Specialism in Leadership Studies on a flexible learning basis through the University of Strathclyde and hopes to complete this soon. In 2017 Jo completed a PG Certificate in Child Protection & Welfare through Stirling University and is a committee (lay) member for the Child and Family Law sub-committee for the Law Society of Scotland.

 

Jane Devine

Director

Jane Devine has been a member of Children in Scotland’s Board since 2016 and was appointed Vice-convener in August 2018.

Jane is currently the Chief Executive of Four Square, a homeless charity in Edinburgh.

Prior to that Jane was the Director of Social Work Scotland, the professional leadership body for social workers in Scotland. She joined the organisation in December 2008, initially as a Parliamentary and Communications Officer.

Jane has held posts in national organisations throughout her career, including COSLA and Audit Scotland, and also previously worked at the Scottish Parliament. Her interests lie in organisational development and relationship building. She has a particular interest in communications and from 2012-2014 wrote a weekly opinion column for the Scotsman newspaper. She currently chairs a national work stream focussed on promoting the public value of social services on behalf of the Scottish Social Work Services Forum.

Jane has a Masters Degree in Politics and Geography and a post-graduate Masters Degree in Scottish Politics and Sociology from the University of Edinburgh. She also has a postgraduate qualification in Management and Leadership of Public Service from Glasgow Caledonian University.

She lives in Edinburgh with her partner and two children, is a keen cyclist, and has too many bikes.

Rohan Gunatillake

Director

Rohan Gunatillake joined the Children in Scotland Board in August 2020.

He is head of product at a team within NHS Scotland building national health and care data infrastructure.

Rohan has more than fifteen years’ experience in a range of technology and innovation roles in public, private and non-profit sectors.

Previous roles include innovation lead for the Edinburgh Festivals, social innovation for Nesta and public sector business change for Accenture.

Rohan has a deep expertise in the intersection of wellbeing, technology and design and is well known as the creator of buddhify, the best-selling mindfulness app and host of the popular podcast Meditative Story.

Rohan lives in Glasgow with his young family. When not parenting, cooking and getting behind on emails, Rohan enjoys videogames, running and exploring Scotland in the family campervan.

Maureen McGinn CBE

Convener

Prior to joining the Children in Scotland Board in December 2019, Maureen was formerly the Chair of the Scotland Committee and UK Board Member of the National Lottery Community Fund (previously the Big Lottery Fund) for several years.

She has been engaged in grant-making and charity funding since helping set up the Laidlaw Youth Project and Trust from 2004. That focused on supporting effective work with children and young people, emphasising partnership working and evaluation.

Maureen joined the first Big Lottery Fund committee in 2007 and also acted as an advisor for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Before becoming Scotland Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, she was a trustee of several charities including, Evaluation Support Scotland, ASH Scotland and Hearts and Minds as well as co-chair and member of the first Scottish Poverty Truth Commission.

Maureen's early career spanned the public and voluntary sectors, including working for a national charity, a local authority, a trade union and as a senior civil servant. She is now a trustee of the Thistle Trust, a member of the Advisory Board for Scotland's Bravest Manufacturing Company as well as a Justice of the Peace.

Maureen was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List 2021.

Satwat Rehman

Director

Satwat is the Chief Executive of One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS).

OPFS is the leading charity working with single parent families in Scotland providing expert advice, practical support and campaigning with parents to make their voices heard to change the systems, policies and attitudes that disadvantage single parent families.

Satwat has more than 30 years’ experience in the voluntary and public sector in Scotland and England, working in the fields of equalities, education, employability, economic development/regeneration and early years and childcare.

Since joining OPFS in 2011, she has been a member of several commissions and advisory groups including the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls and the Scottish Government's Social Renewal Advisory Board. She is on the boards of Child Poverty Action Group (UK)  and Families Outside.

Satwat lives in Edinburgh with her partner and two children.

Ben Supple

Director

Ben joined the board in August 2020. He is currently Director of Engagement with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, with responsibility for the wildlife conservation charity’s public facing activities, including business operations and the visitor experience at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park.

Having started his career as a journalist with DC Thomson, Ben has spent most of his career in the voluntary sector, including more than a decade with the Scottish SPCA. He has also worked with the Scottish Ambulance Service and served as a charity trustee with Keep Scotland Beautiful and on the Diabetes Scotland Advisory Board.

Ben lives in Glenrothes with his wife Michelle, children James and Jessica and their rescue dogs, cat and tortoise.