Attendees and apologies
- Mark McDonald (Chair), Minister for Childcare and Early Years
- Iona Colvin, Chief Social Work Adviser, Scottish Government
- Judith Ainsley, Head of Child Protection, Scottish Government
- Susan Hannah, Head of Children and Young people Improvement Collaborative, Scottish Government
- Aileen Nicol, CELCIS, depute for Claire Burns
- Karen Reid, Chief Executive, Care Inspectorate
- David Cumming, Child Protection Committees Scotland, depute for Anne Houston
- Sally Ann Kelly, Chief Executive, Aberlour, and Chair of Committee on Care & Support for Children and Young People, Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland (CCPS)
- Kerry Miligan, NHS, depute for Wendy Mitchell
- Lauren Bruce, COSLA representative until Spokesperson appointed
- ACC Telfor, Police Scotland, representing DCS Lesley Boal
- Peter Diamond, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
- Angela Leitch, Chief Executive, East Lothian Council. Strategic Lead for Children and Education, including Child Protection SOLACE
- Kate Rocks, Social Work Scotland, Depute for Alison Gordon
- Kay Tisdall, Professor of Childhood, Edinburgh University
- Neil Hunter, Principal Reporter/Chief Executive SCRA
- Leona Solley, Child Protection, Scottish Government
- Louise McLean, Child Protection, Scottish Government
Items and actions
1. Welcome, introductions and apologies
The Minister welcomed everyone to the meeting and apologised for the late change in meeting times. He thanked everyone for their efforts to accommodate that change. The Minister also noted that the Vice Chair role was awaiting the appointment of a COSLA Spokesperson for Children and Young People. Lauren Bruce noted that a Spokesperson would be appointed around 30th June.
UPDATE: Councillor Stephen McCabe from Inverclyde Council has been appointed as COSLA’s Spokesperson for Children and Young People.
Karen Reid clarified she is the Chief Executive of Education Scotland on an interim basis, whilst remaining as the Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate.
2. Paper 1 - Remit
Judith Ainsley presented the Remit to the group, asking the group to consider if we have the remit, membership, frequency and format right to enable the group to drive forward real practice change. Also to discuss how the group will link in with Child Protection Committee’s Scotland (CPC Scotland).
- The Minister noted that he wants to see the group drive improvement in leadership across the Child Protection landscape.
- Training for all practitioners involved in child protection to be added to the remit was raised. This to be for the workforce in its broadest sense, not only the social work workforce. It was agreed this would be supported through the work on regional events.
- It was agreed the 2nd bullet of the remit needed to be broader than ‘links to emerging pieces of work’. An example of policy development and the need for Child Protection to be involved is ‘1140 hours’. The Minister noted an action point to include ‘due cognisance of developing policy issues which will impact on Child Protection’. AP: Update Remit to include ‘due cognisance of developing policy issues which will impact on Child Protection’.
- It was agreed the Leadership Group needs to collaborate and ensure the emerging messages and actions are incorporated into existing ways of working. It is not the intention that a separate strand of work will emerge from the Leadership Group.
- Child Protection Lead Officer’s will have a key role to play so communication is vital.
- Concerns were collectively raised on information sharing. It was noted that Information Sharing guidance is not good enough for frontline staff. The Group agreed the that they need to find ways to improve on the sharing of information. AP: To invite Helen Fogarty, Head of Better Life Chances Unit, Scottish Government to join the Leadership Group.
- The group also discussed all of the Child Protection work being part of GIRFEC so the group must remain under that umbrella as it moves on. Reinforcing the need to invite Helen Fogarty onto the group.
- David Cummings suggested the Leadership Group consider linkages with transitions to adult protection. This was echoed by Karen Reid who wants to make links to adult protection in the new inspection regime. Karen noted that a letter was on its way to the Minister proposing this. Judith pointed out the CHIP recommendation from the Systems Review but the group felt the transition to adult protection was wider than that. This is a developing policy issue and should be considered as a future agenda item. AP: Transitions to adult protection to be considered as a future agenda item.
- The issue of the voice of the service user being heard on the Leadership Group was raised. It was noted that users should lead practice. The Minister noted there is an expectation that the members would reflect the service user experience as well as bringing their corporate leadership experience. The group felt that the membership as is could represent the voice of the service user. It was agreed however, an invite to Fiona Duncan, Chair of Independent Care Review into Scottish Care System, to speak at the next meeting would strengthen the voice of the service user. AP: Invite Fiona Duncan to speak at next meeting.
- The group noted the frequency of the meetings and agreed to have working groups take forward specific pieces of work, for example Regional Events and Joint Investigative Interviews.
- The group discussed in detail the sharing of good practice both at a local and national level. It was widely felt that culture at the moment is to focus on what went wrong and perhaps the Leadership Group could bring more focus to the sharing of good practice. The members raised more questions; how do we share good practice, how do we drive improvement and get it into practice, how do we create an interface with Chief Officer’s groups. AP: Ask the working group for regional events to take these questions forward.
Working with CPC Scotland
- It was agreed that CPC Scotland will not report to the Leadership Group.
- It was further agreed that the Leadership Group will discuss the role and purpose of CPC Scotland at their next meeting in September. AP: add ‘what do we see the role and purpose of CPC Scotland as’ onto the Agenda for next meeting.
- It was also agreed that having 1 or 2 representatives from CPC Scotland on each working group will help give a fuller perspective.
Paper 2 – Role of Chief Officer’s and Chief Social Work Officer’s
Karen Reid, Care Inspectorate, opened this agenda item with a presentation. See attached.
- Karen stated that those who have an unsatisfactory or weak inspection will be re-inspected 12 months later. Karen drew to the members attention that all facts in the presentation were evidenced based.
- Kate Rocks pointed out that before improvement can happen there needs to be stability.
- Karen pointed out that the best inspections came from areas where the Chief Officers and CSWO’s used data to inform practice.
Role of Chief Officer’s and Chief Social Work Officer’s Discussion
- The Minister noted the variability of the roles of Chief Officers and this is a concern for him.
- Lauren Bruce pointed out that the new Spokespeople will be given training on how they look at reports and how to ask the rights questions from data and analysis. This linked to the discussion around Chief Officer’s engaging with elected members.
- Angela Leitch offered to do a piece of work on supporting relationships between Chief Execs and CSWO. It was noted however, that this needs to be broader than this and that NHS and Chief Officer’s need to be included. AP: Angela Leitch to take the ‘supporting relationships’ work forward.
- Members discussed how we will support healthier relationships and encouraging respectful challenges. The group felt that there was too much competitiveness between local authorities, benchmarking themselves against neighbouring authorities rather than it being a national push for better child protection. Discussions around tapping into Improvement Methodology and linking in with Third Sector who have a good track record of this.
- Judith Ainsley suggested we use regional events working group to finalise how the Leadership Group can/will support Chief Officer’s and Chief Social Work Officer’s. AP: Regional Events working group to discuss how the Leadership Group can/will support CO’s and CSWO’s.
- The CELCIS Demonstrating Improvement questionnaire was not able to be considered today and will be re-circulated via correspondence. The Minister asked that the questionnaire be circulated round the members and comments back by Friday 7th July. CELCIS to collate responses, finalise, disseminate and report back to the group by the next meeting 21st September AP: CELCIS to re-circulate questionnaire, collate responses, finalise the questionnaire and send to all CPC Lead Officers and Chairs for completion.
- Working group will take forward Regional Events. AP: CELCIS to take forward Regional Events working group and report back to the Leadership Group at the next meeting in September.
Paper 3 – Joint Investigative Interviews
Kate Rocks presented this report, noting it was quickly drawn up and still required scoping out. The group agreed to a working group to take this forward. : Kate Rocks/Alison Gordon to set up working group to take forward JII’s
Future Meeting Dates 2017/18
- 21st September (9.30-12.30), Edinburgh
- 13th December (9.30-12.30), Edinburgh
- 27th March 2018 (9.30-12.30), TBC
Action Points Summary
- AP: Update Remit to include ‘due cognisance of developing policy issues which will impact on Child Protection’.
- AP: To invite Helen Fogarty, Head of Better Life Chances Unit, Scottish Government to join the Leadership Group.
- AP: Transitions to adult protection to be considered as a future agenda item.
- AP: Invite Fiona Duncan to speak at next meeting.
- AP: Ask the working group for regional events to take these questions forward.
- AP: add ‘what do we see the role and purpose of CPC Scotland as’ onto the Agenda for next meeting.
- AP: Angela Leitch to take the ‘supporting relationships’ work forward.
- AP: Regional Events working group to discuss how the Leadership Group can support CO’s and CSWO’s.
- AP: CELCIS to re-circulate questionnaire, collate responses, finalise the questionnaire and send to all CPC Lead Officers and Chairs for completion.
- AP: CELCIS to take forward Regional Events working group and report back to the Leadership Group at the next meeting in September.
- AP: Kate Rocks/Alison Gordon to set up working group to take forward JII’s.
Policy Officer, Child Protection Team