Coronavirus (COVID-19): Children and Families Collective Leadership Group


The COVID-19 Children and Families Collective Leadership Group began its work in May 2020 and concluded in November 2022.

This group brings together national and local government and a broad range of other partners. The Group was set up in May 2020 with the remit to review data, intelligence, research and policy to identify and respond to immediate concerns for children, young people and families with vulnerabilities during the pandemic. The Group is now also focusing on providing longer term support for the recovery phase.

The group’s action plan for supporting children, young people and families during the pandemic covered 10 main workstreams, including:

  • access to services
  • child protection awareness
  • workforce resilience
  • domestic abuse
  • respite care
  • care leavers

The Group’s current work includes action to deliver holistic family support; create a wellbeing outcomes framework; and promote skills development and training across the workforce delivering services for children, young people and families.

The Group is also helping to take forward broader priorities including incorporating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) across services; improving mental health and wellbeing; reducing child poverty; and Keeping the Promise.  The Group’s work is underpinned by engagement with and feedback from children, young people and families.


The COVID-19 Children and Families Collective Leadership Group was established in May 2020 as an operational leadership group with the following aims to tackle the impact of the pandemic on children, young people and families with vulnerabilities:

  • review regular intelligence on children, young people and families with vulnerabilities, identify issues requiring action, and provide leadership in delivering a response. This includes children and young people from pre-birth to 18 years and their parents/carers, pregnant women and families identified as vulnerable or requiring additional support in preparation for a child’s arrival
  • review evidence and actions relating to broader health and wellbeing impacts across the population of children and young people, and with the data and intelligence on services for adults, and the impact of Covid-19 on vulnerable adults
  • consider the issue of holistic family support

Related policies:

Related groups:

Related documents:


  • Des Murray (co-chair)
  • Michael Chalmers, Scottish Government, Children and Families Directorate (co-chair)
  • Association of Directors of Education in Scotland 
  • Care Inspectorate
  • CELCIS, University of Strathclyde
  • Children and Young People's Centre for Justice
  • Children’s Hearings Scotland
  • Children in Scotland
  • Child Protection Committees Scotland
  • Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland
  • Disabled Children and Young People Advisory Group
  • Education Scotland
  • Improvement Service
  • Inspiring Children’s Futures, University of Strathclyde
  • NHS Chief Executives
  • Police Scotland
  • Public Health Scotland
  • Scottish Ambulance Service
  • Scottish Children's Reporter Administration
  • Scottish Social Services Council 
  • Social Work Scotland
  • Scottish Youth Parliament
  • The Promise


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