Scotland has had a centre for excellence for the residential sector, the Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care (SIRCC) since 2000. SIRCC was primarily funded by the Scottish Government and was established with a remit to improve outcomes for children and young people in residential care.
The focus of SIRCC's activities has been the development of the residential childcare workforce through among other things the provision of qualification courses and continuous professional development.
In April 2011, CELCIS, which incorporates the work of SIRCC, was set up to establish a new centre for excellence that has a holistic rather than a sectoral focus and is more outward-facing, rather than serving one specialist group of professionals.
CELCIS is extending its reach to the wider looked after children workforce, including teachers, healthcare workers, kinship carers, advocates and all those whose daily work has an impact on the outcomes of looked after children. The old focus of SIRCC’s activities – workforce development – has remained an important area, however, there is an increased focus on practice improvement; direct support to sector institutions, including local authorities; and support of the Looked After Children Strategic Implementation Group (LACSIG) to ensure it can drive forward the ambitious programme of change it has been tasked to deliver.
CELCIS builds on the very positive international reputation established by SIRCC and is envisaged to become a hub of international good practice and learning.