SCRA operates under the direction of a Board, which reflects a range of experiences and backgrounds in relation to children and young people. The Board plays a significant role in setting the strategic direction and in challenging and supporting SCRA to deliver its plans. As a Non-Departmental Public Body, SCRA’s Board, although acting independently, is accountable to Scottish Ministers.
Board meeting papers can be viewed by clicking on the arrow to the right of ‘Our Board’.
Chair – Michelle Miller (appointed 2018)
Michelle has worked primarily in local authority children and criminal justice social work services, first in England, moving to Scotland in 1985. In 2002, Michelle took up the post of Depute Chief Inspector of Social Work with what was then the Government’s Social Work Services Inspectorate. Michelle was Chief Social Work Officer for the City of Edinburgh from 2007 to 2018. She was President of the Association of Directors of Social Work (now Social Work Scotland) in 2010/11.
Michelle’s experience includes managing all forms of statutory social work and social care, with a special interest in children and community justice services. Michelle is a passionate believer in the Children’s Hearings System, which sits at the heart of Scotland’s policies on inclusion, promoting rights of children and young people and tackling inequalities.
Board Member – Bernadette Docherty (appointed 2010)
Bernadette previously held the post of Corporate Director of Social Services for North Ayrshire Council.
She was President of the Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW) in 2007-08 and, prior to that, was Convenor of the Association’s Children and Families Standing Committee. In June 2013 her long standing commitment to children’s social work services was recognised when she was awarded an MBE.
Board Member – Catherine Robertson (appointed 2013)
Catherine is a qualified actuary who had a career in financial services, holding various senior management positions in finance, pensions and risk and governance.
She is currently deputy chair of the Pensions board of her professional body, is a member of a board of the Financial Reporting Council and a co-opted member of the Patient’s Council of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Board Member – Anela Anwar (appointed 2014)
Anela Anwar, a graduate of law, is UK Programme Manager for Oxfam Scotland where she seeks to challenge poverty and inequality in the UK through the development and implementation of innovative programmes which identify and tackle the root causes of poverty and empower people living in poverty.
Anela has over fifteen years’ experience in Scotland’s third sector working with vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, addressing a range of issues such as abuse, mental health issues, health and wellbeing, youth empowerment and community development. She also holds directorships of the Poverty Alliance and the Voluntary Action Fund.
Board Member – Sam Anderson (appointed 2016)
Sam Anderson is the Director and Founder of The Junction (young people, health and wellbeing), an award-winning charity based in Edinburgh which works with and for young people on a range of health issues. Prior to setting up The Junction, Sam worked for two Edinburgh based voluntary organisations with a focus on homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues and childhood sexual abuse. Her experience of these reactive services led Sam to develop a proactive, early intervention service, The Junction.
Sam is also an Associate of Oasis, a human relations organisation focused on the development of individuals, teams, groups and organisations through whole person learning. She is also a Specialist Fellow of the Clore Social Leadership Programme, a member of GSK/Kings Fund IMPACT Award Winners Network, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Board Member – Martin Toye (appointed 2016)
Martin is a Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. Before undertaking a PhD in Psychology he trained as a Teacher and served as a chairing member of the Children’s Panel.
Martin has worked in three Local Authorities and three Scottish Universities. He was chief investigator on a National Research Ethics Service registered project as part of his PhD and held honorary contracts with two NHS Health Boards.He is an elected member of the Developmental Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society.
Board Member – Suzanne Vestri (appointed 2016)
Suzanne Vestri is Director of Koru Consulting where she provides training and organisational development services to third sector organisations and Scottish Local Authorities. She specialises in governance, board development and strategic planning. She has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
Prior to this Suzanne was Director of ‘see me’ – a government-funded national programme to end the stigma and discrimination related to mental illness. The programme won media-industry awards and promoted the active involvement of people with lived-experience of mental illness, as well as over a thousand young people in shaping the campaigns. Suzanne has worked in the third sector for 30 years, in the areas of mental health, education, equalities and social housing. Having grown up within the care system, Suzanne became a Children’s Panel Member in 1994 and retired as a member of SE Scotland Area Support Team in September 2016.
Board Member – James Edgar (appointed 2017)
James Edgar is a qualified accountant with substantial finance and operational experience in the public sector at Director level. Most of his experience has been with DWP and its predecessors and he also had a spell as Finance Director at the Scottish Legal Aid Board.
Jim also has experience as a Non-Executive Director, first with (the then) Stevenson College, Edinburgh serving two terms including four years as Chair. Most recently until August 2016 he completed two terms with the Scottish Qualifications Authority, including as Chair of the Audit Committee.