About the Children's Law Centre

The Children's Law Centre was established in September 1997.

It is founded upon the principles laid down in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Centre works to protect the rights of all children living in NI particularly those who are the most disadvantaged, e.g. children with disabilities, special educational needs, mental ill health, homeless young people.

  • We use the law to access critical services for children and young people and to challenge the discrimination and disadvantage suffered by many of our most vulnerable children.
  • We provide a free legal advice service and legal representation for children and young people.
  • We also work to create a society where all children can access all necessary services and opportunities they need to enjoy their childhood and realise their full potential.
  • We are committed to giving a voice to the most disadvantaged and voiceless children.

Children’s Law Centre is a company limited by guarantee, No NI33998

Northern Ireland Charity number: NIC 101148


CLC move to our new premises
on the Ormeau Road, Belfast

Meet the team

Emma Rose Duffy

As a solicitor I work with children, young people and their families to protect their rights and ensure their voices heard.

Diane Hammond
Advice Worker

I provide legal information and advice on the rights of children and young people.

Rachel Hogan
Special Education Needs Representative

I work within the legal team, giving specialist support on special educational needs and disability issues.

Paddy Kelly

I am responsible for the management, development and resourcing of CLC. Working with colleagues and CLC’s Management Committee, I ensure CLC is enabled to support children and young people to claim their rights.

Claire Kemp
Policy Officer
I work on policy which includes writing consultation responses, briefings to decision-makers and delivering training on children’s rights issues.
Liam Mackle
Advice Manager

My job is to provide legal information and advice on the rights of children and young people.

Catherine Maguire
Advice Worker

I provide legal information and advice on the rights of children and young people.

Sarah McAuley
Receptionist/Administration Assistant

I am the receptionist and admin support. I am usually the first person you see, or voice you hear, when you call CLC.

Maria McCloskey
Immigration Solicitor

I represent unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and advise local authorities on queries about the immigration status of young people in care.

Eamonn McNally
Mental Health Solicitor

I provide advice and representation for children and young people with mental health needs at the Mental Health Review Tribunal and take judicial reviews on their behalf.

Sinead McSorley
Youth Participation and Advocacy Worker

I work with our youth advisory panel and lead rights-based projects to encourage young people to advocate for their rights.

Barbara Muldoon
Immigration Solicitor

My job is to protect the rights of children and young people in the care of the HSC Trusts, who need assistance with immigration issues.

Helen Rafferty
Head of Administration and Finance Unit

As part of the Senior Management Team I am responsible for office and admin management including financial implementation, HR, payroll and procurement.

Kathryn Stevenson
Head of Legal Services

As Head of Legal Services, I am responsible for the operational management and strategic direction of CLC’s legal team.


CLC Management Committee

Yvonne Campbell
Committee Member

Yvonne is a consultant, currently working with a range of grant-making organisations to design new funding programmes.  Previous roles have included, working as Senior Portfolio Manager at the National Lottery Community Fund; Director of Operations and Development for Pause, Creating Space For Change, an organisation working with women and their children who are at risk of being taken into care; Social Impact Bond Director; and Assistant Director at The Children’s Society.  Yvonne is also a Trustee with the National Children’s Bureau and chairs the Strategy Advisory Group.

Claire Edgar
Committee Member

Claire is a Partner at Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors. She previously worked in Kosovo as a legal advisor for the United Nations before returning home to Northern Ireland to pursue her legal career. Claire specialises in family law and represents both parents and children in public law cases having been appointed to the Children Order Panel in 2007 and the Guardian ad Litem Panel of Solicitors in 2012. She was appointed to the International Children Law Panel of Solicitors in 2019.

Chris Quinn
Committee Member

Chris is Director of the Northern Ireland Youth Forum, supporting young people to affect positive change for themselves and for their communities. He has over 25 years of experience working in youth and community work, including work on Belfast City Council’s ‘Bytes’ project. Chris has a master’s degree in community youth work, specialising in youth participation in decision making

Paula Rodgers
Vice Chairperson

Paula is the Policy Coordinator at Include Youth, focusing on youth justice and ensuring research is informed by young people, practitioners and evidence-based practice, underpinned by children's rights principles. Paula also advocates on behalf of children and young people at risk of entering the criminal justice system, raising issues with government departments and politicians to effect change.

David Simpson

David works at Colin Neighbourhood Partnership since 2015 where he manages a range of Colin Early Intervention Community programmes, including parenting support, speech & language therapy, and counselling services. He is on the committee of Colin Sure Start and is also involved in the South Eastern Children & Young People's Outcomes Group. He has served on the CLC management committee since 2009.

Alicia Toal

Alicia is the Chief Executive of Voice of Young People In Care (VOYPIC) a children’s charity that promotes the rights and voice of children in care, aiming to ensure that every child has a safe, stable, and positive experience of care and is involved in decisions about their life.

Kathryn Wilson

Kathryn is the family law partner at Magennis and Creighton Solicitors in Newtownabbey and has been practicing in this area of the law for over 20 years.

Our Vision

A society where all children can participate, are valued, their rights are respected and guaranteed without discrimination and every child can achieve their full potential.

Our History

The Children's Law Centre was established in September 1997. It is founded upon the principles laid down in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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