External evaluation summary

November 21st 2019

A summary of Iconic Consulting’s organisation-wide evaluation of Clan Childlaw

Clan Childlaw is pleased to reveal the results of our organisation-wide evaluation reporting by Iconic Consulting.

The evaluation was commissioned earlier this year to independently assess the delivery and impact of Clan’s services from 2016 to 2019 and sought to identify key achievements, strengths, challenges and potential areas for development.

According to the report, Clan Childlaw has maintained delivery across all the workstreams while expanding the team from eight staff in 2015 to 15 in 2019, covering extended periods of parental leave, opening an office in Glasgow, developing new partnerships and initiatives such as Street Legal and the Care Leavers project, progressing high profile strategic litigation cases, and re-organising internal support and administration.  

Representation and information provision

Throughout the period 2016-19, Clan has successfully represented young people in 413 cases and responded to 1,304 enquiries.

Outreach was identified by staff and stakeholders as a key factor in successfully engaging young people. The young people decide where and when they will meet Clan and this child-centred approach makes the service accessible. It also illustrates to the young person that Clan is there to support and empower them.

  • In 96% of cases young people better understood their situation.
  • In 90% of cases young people made their opinions known more. 
  • In 90% of cases young people were more involved in decision affecting them.
  • In 85% of cases the issue could only have been addressed by the young person having a solicitor. 
  • In 80% of cases Clan had achieved what it set out to do.

Other organisations that were interviewed as part of the evaluation were complimentary about Clan’s staff and the way they had successfully engaged and supported young people, as illustrated by the following quotes.  

“Clan understand the cohort and understand the need to get the young people help at that point or else we might lose them and we won’t see them again for months”. (Partner organisation)

“The way Clan support young people at Hearings is very professional, and very considered. They are really good at preparing the young person. They are also good at keeping us in the loop – they don’t just work in isolation from the advocacy workers, they’re really good communicators”. (Partner organisation)

Partner organisations have said they benefit from their relationship with Clan Childlaw, and were able to apply their experience and learning to improve their own support to young people. For example, one consultee commented: 

“I’m not a lawyer, obviously. But I would say my experience of working with Clan helps me deliver legally informed advocacy. I now know things like when a council can’t do things or should be doing something and this is really helpful in my job”. (Partner organisation)


Strategic Litigation and Policy

Clan Childlaw co-ordinates the Children’s Rights Strategic Litigation Group, and is keen to promote the use of strategic litigation as a means to influence policy.

One of Clan’s most notable achievements in this area was their successful intervention in the Supreme Court case which found the information sharing provision of the Named Person scheme incompatible with Article 8 of European Convention on Human Rights. Clan subsequently advised Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament on potential amendments to the legislation.

Alongside the Named Person case, Clan has been described as a critical friend to the Scottish Government and this aptly sums up this relationship.

All consultees stressed that Clan was an excellent partner that they benefitted from working with. This was very evident, for example, when Clan Childlaw opened their Glasgow office and took a proactive approach to build strong relationships with both public and third sector organisations. 

“Their passion and commitment are definitely there. The information they provide is very accurate”. (Partner organisation)

“It is a direct pipeline to expert advice for young people on the edge or in extreme situations”. (Partner organisation)


Clan trained 1,224 professionals between 2016-2019 on Children’s Rights, the Children’s Hearing System, Care Leavers Rights, and other topics related to improving the knowledge of children’s advocates on the law in Scotland. Clan Childlaw also successfully implemented a new approach to training during the period 2016-19. This has involved training being delivered by several staff to specific partner organisations as part of the organisation’s overall service delivery.

Clan’s child-centred approach is very successful at engaging vulnerable young people and their intervention impacts positively on young people and the challenging situations they seek help with.