School of Health in Social Science

Practitioners & collaborators

Useful information & resources specifically for professionals working with children &/or animals

Photograph of Scottish SPCA Education Officer working with children in a classroom

Our collaborators

We work closely with the following animal welfare organisations:

  • The Scottish SPCA

  • Fostering Compassion

  • The Dogs Trust

  • The Link Group


  • Canine Concern Scotland (Therapets)

  • Strength and Learning through Horses

  • Paws for Progress

Practitioner reports

To accompany some of our reflective workshops for practitioners working with children and/or animals, we have produced practitioner reports - one page summaries of key points arising from each day. There are also research briefings that can be found if you click on the workshop number in the first column below.

Workshop 1    

The 'pet effect': What effect do pets have on children's development and health?

Workshop 2

Children's emotional attachment to pets: Implications for vulnerable, looked after and accommodated children

Workshop 3

Cruelty to animals: What does it mean and who is ‘at risk’?

Workshop 4          

Animal welfare and animal-assisted interventions with children

Workshop 5

Children's relationships with different companion animals

Workshop 6

New advances in animal cruelty prevention

Workshop 7 Listening to children's voices in relation to animal cruelty

Guidance on planning, evaluating and adapting interventions

If you are currently engaged in, or planning, any animal welfare education/harm prevention interventions, you may find our new page useful. It is currently being developed, but you will find it, in due course, on our new Animal Welfare Education Intervention Toolkit web page.

Concerns about childhood animal cruelty

If you are concerned that a child may be harming/rough-handling an animal, please refer them to the ‘Animal Guardians’ (Scottish SPCA/University of Edinburgh) programme. This is a free resource being offered to primary school aged children who have been recognised as requiring additional support to build empathy towards animals. However, if the child is older, please still contact the Scottish SPCA, to identify whether this would also suit them. The programme is designed to nurture children’s empathy and compassionate behaviour towards animals. Details on how to refer a child are provided in the document below:

Animal Guardians Information Pack