National Child Protection Leadership Group


The Child Protection Systems Review – Protecting Scotland's Children and Young People: It is Still Everyone's Job – recommended that a National Leadership Group be established to support, strengthen and improve, from a national perspective, activity on child protection across Scotland.

The role of the group is to identify collaborative solutions in order to deliver more effective, consistent protection and support for children and families and to reduce duplication of effort. The group also provides scrutiny and advice to Scottish Government on proposed policy changes.

In particular, the group:

  • advises on national child protection policy and have oversight of implementation of the actions in the Child Protection Improvement Programme
  • reviews arrangements for child protection across planning and service delivery processes including Integration Joint Boards and in relation to the duties set out in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
  • considers the findings of Child Protection Learning Reviews and advise on recommendations of national importance
  • advises on the content and structure of Chief Officers' leadership events and consider themes and issues raised
  • makes appropriate links to emerging child protection issues and other relevant pieces of work
  • has due cognisance of developing policy issues which will impact on child protection
  • supports Chief Officers to strengthen delivery of their responsibilities, as set out in the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2021), and to identify areas where further work is required; and
  • works with Child Protection Committees Scotland to support local areas to deliver robust continuous improvement programmes


  • Natalie Don MSP, Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping the Promise (Chair)
  • Laura Caven, Chief Officer Children and Young People, COSLA
  • Cathie Cowan, Chief Executive, NHS Forth Valley
  • Eddie Docherty, Executive Nurse Director for NHS Lanarkshire
  • DCS Samantha Faulds, Head of Public Protection, Police Scotland
  • Alison Gordon, Chief Social Work Officer, North Lanarkshire and Social Work Scotland representative
  • Brian Houston, Head of Support, The Promise Scotland
  • Neil Hunter, Principal Reporter/Chief Executive, SCRA
  • Elliot Jackson, National Convenor of the Children’s Panel and Chief Executive of Children’s Hearings Scotland
  • Sally Ann Kelly, Chief Executive, Aberlour
  • Joanna MacDonald, Deputy Chief Social Work Adviser, Scottish Government
  • Lindsay MacDougall, Head of Child Protection, Scottish Government
  • Jackie Irvine, Chief Executive, Care Inspectorate
  • Mairi MacPherson, Deputy Director, Improving Health and Wellbeing, Scottish Government
  • Caren McLean, Head of Protection and Permanence, CELCIS
  • Professor Alex McMahon, Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government
  • Jane Moffat, Deputy Director for Strategy, GIRFEC and the Promise Division, Scottish Government
  • Moira Price, Head of Victims and Witnesses Policy, COPFS
  • Angela Scott, Chief Executive, Aberdeen City Council. Strategic Lead for Children and Education, including Child Protection, SOLACE
  • Alan Small, National Chair, Child Protection Committees Scotland
  • Dr Gregor Smith, Chief Medical Officer, Scottish Government
  • Professor Kay Tisdall, Professor of Childhood, Edinburgh University
  • Michael Wood, Professor of Education, University of Dundee and General Secretary, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • Dr Laura-Ann Currie, Head of Inclusion, Wellbeing and Equality, Education Scotland
  • Claire Burns, Co-Director, CELCIS and Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures




Siân Robson
Policy Advisor, Child Protection

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