Head of Department

The team is lead by Alex Tennant

Policy and Research 

The Commissioner has a duty to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law, practice and services relating to children and young people. She also must provide advice to relevant authorities, and can publish research, information or guidance on any issue relating to children’s rights and best interests. This work can cover a wide range of issues affecting children’s lives such as play and leisure, education, social care, health services and justice. 

You can find out more here.

There are three Policy and Research staff:


We work to support organisations in achieving best practice in terms of children and young people’s participation in civic life. We are also responsible for the Commissioner’s Youth Panel. There are over 40 members of the Youth Panel who support the work of the Commissioner and advise her on key issues.

You can read more about our Participation work here.

There are three Participation staff: 

  • Ken Smyth- Senior Participation Officer Ken@niccy.org 028 9031 6390 
  • Laura Croskery - Participation Officer Laura@niccy.org 028 9031 6381 
  • John McCullough - Participation Officer John@niccy.org 028 9031 6396