National Bairns’ Hoose Governance Group


The National Bairns’ Hoose Governance Group (NBHGG) provides collective leadership, specialist input, and expert challenge to promote and support the development and establishment of an evidence-based, comprehensive, child-friendly national Bairns’ Hoose model for Scotland.

The model will be based on the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), providing a child-centred approach to delivering justice, care and recovery.  

Based on the European Barnahus Quality Standards, the model will also be aligned with the Scottish Government’s policy programmes of Keep The Promise and Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC), which recognise that all children must receive the right help at the right time.  

The NBHGG is independently chaired by Val de Souza and held its inaugural meeting on 12 October 2022. 


  • Val de Souza, Chair - National Bairns’ Hoose Governance Group (Chair) 
  • John Burns, Chief Operating Officer NHS Scotland - Scottish Government
  • Laura Caven, Chief Officer, Children and Young People - Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) 
  • Andrew Watson, Director of Children and Families - Scottish Government 
  • Iona Colvin, Chief Social Work Advisor - Office of the Chief Social Work Adviser 
  • Laura Buchan, Procurator Fiscal, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Services - Crown Office 
  • Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive, Children 1st - third sector representative
  • Jane Connors, Deputy Chief Constable QPM - Police Scotland
  • Alistair Hogg, Head of Practice and Policy - Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration
  • Jackie Irvine, Chief Executive - Care Inspectorate
  • Sally Ann Kelly, Chief Executive, Aberlour - CCPS representative
  • Chantelle Lalli, Justice Lead, Bairns’ Hoose Unit - Directorate for Justice, Scottish Government
  • Louise Long, Chief Executive – Inverclyde Council - SOLACE representative
  • Professor Alex McMahon, Chief Nursing Officer - Scottish Government
  • Cat Dalrymple, Director of Justice - Scottish Government
  • Lesley Swanson, Head of Bairns’ Hoose Unit - Directorate for Children and Families, Scottish Government 
  • John Trainer, Chief Social Work Officer and Head of Child Care and Criminal Justice - Renfrewshire Council - Social Work Scotland representative




National Bairns' Hoose Governance Group Secretariat: 

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