Emma McDowall

Emma has experience in the law, education, social care and charity work.  She has a particular interest in childhood and children's rights, but is passionate about helping vulnerable, isolated and/or marginalised people to live the best lives they can, at any age.

Emma is Moira & John's daughter, and grew up learning the importance of ideas such as inclusion, dignity, citizenship and equality.  She spent her teenage summers working at Support for Ordinary Living; providing admin support to various projects while continuing to develop a belief in the importance of supporting the most vulnerable in society.

Emma went on to study law at the University of Aberdeen, and was inspired to focus on children's rights and child protection.  She set up a UNICEF group at the university.  She graduated in law in 2010 and completed a PGCert in the Socio-Legal Issues of Childhood the following year.  Not feeling that she wanted to go into legal practice, she worked in administrative roles at ChildLine Aberdeen and Clan Childlaw, and spent 1 year as an intern at Christian Aid Scotland.

She later worked in various primary schools and qualified with a PGDE in Primary Education, then moved on to work in social care.  She was a Team Facilitator at Enable Scotland - leading teams of staff to support children with additional support needs in Edinburgh and the Lothians.  She enjoyed being able to centre the needs of more vulnerable children and families, and worked with her staff to consider GIRFEC, SHANARRI and UNCRC principles as a core part of their support.  Emma later took on the manager's role at a Home-Start scheme, where she lead a team of staff and volunteers supporting families with young children during challenging times.  She steered the organisation through most of the COVID pandemic and recovery, ensuring that the team were able to provide as much support as was safe throughout.  She was also the Child Protection Lead for the organisation.

Emma went on to join the team at Parent and Infant Mental Health Scotland in 2022, partly motivated by her own experiences after the birth of her first baby.  She joined Radical Visions at the same time.  She provides practical support to individuals and families around issues such as staff recruitment, training and supervision, getting administrative/payroll systems set up and researching/interviewing care providers.  She is the go-to person for thinking about legal issues and, in particular, cases involving children.  She has completed service audits for one of our organisational clients. She also supports John and Frances with comms, edits the podcast together and updates the website.

Outside of work, Emma spends most of her time taking her wee girl, Hannah, to any toddler group/activity she can find.  She is married to Colin, who works for the National Trust for Scotland, and they live in Biggar.  Emma likes reading, running and watching Coronation Street.