Child Protection systems review group: meeting summary, August 2016

Summary of the first meeting held by the Child Protection Review Group, exploring the role and function of Child Protection Committees.

Items and actions


9.30 Refreshments

10.00 Welcome from Independent Chair, Catherine Dyer

10.15 Opening address: Minister for Childcare and Early Years Mark McDonald MSP

10.30 Role and remit of the group

  • Terms of reference
  • Structure of the review
  • Engagement from membership
  • Questions and comments

11.15 Refreshments and comfort break

11.30 Past and present reflections on Child Protection Committees

  • Overview of current role and function
  • Open discussion: strengths and challenges – fit for purpose?
  • Horizon scanning

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Future of Child Protection Committees

  • Small group discussions

15.00 Refreshments and comfort break

15.15 Agreed actions for the wider group to reflect upon, share with organisation/networks and provide feedback on at our next meeting.

15.45 Feedback: What worked well and would work even better if...

16.00 Thank you and close


1. The National Child Protection Review Group met for the first time on Friday 19 August 2016. During July and August 2016, face-to-face or telephone interviews were conducted with all members of the group to inform and guide the direction of the review. A background paper outlining the research, policy, legislation and practice developments on the role and function of Child Protection Committees was circulated prior to the group to inform discussions.

2. The meeting opened with some introductory remarks by the Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Mark McDonald, who welcomed the commitment to further improvement in the sector and noted that the aim of the review was to build on the best of Scotland’s systems and practice and constructively challenge and change those aspects that could work better.

3. The group identified some amendments to the draft Terms of Reference for the review, reflecting a need to further emphasise the importance of listening to the views and experience of children and families. The group also asked that a representative from the Association of Directors of Education (ADES) and a further health representative should be invited to join the group.

4. The group then explored issues around the role and function of Child Protection Committees (CPCs) in Scotland. In particular the group looked at:

  • current strengths and limitations of CPCs
  • potential benefits and limitations of CPCs being put on a statutory basis
  • critical elements in CPCs meeting their core functions
  • the role of CPC Scotland in supporting CPCs
  • how CPCs are using the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) concept of wellbeing at strategic level
  • potential benefits and limitations of merging CPCs and Adult Protection Committees
  • what we could learn from other countries

5. Some of the issues emerging from the discussion included:

  • acknowledgement of the high level of variation between different areas
  • importance of leadership and vision
  • benefits of a single person specification being drafted in respect of requirements of all CPC Chairs and members
  • issues around governance and the role of Chief Officers’ Groups
  • arrangements for budgets for CPCs
  • the impact of health and social care integration, including the different arrangements relating to children’s services in different parts of the country
  • the impact of multiple government strategies, policies, guidance and working groups on local delivery
  • horizon scanning – an ability to identify current and future risks to children

6. Members of the group agreed to share the issues emerging from the discussions with others in their organisations and networks and bring back feedback to the next meeting.

7. The next meeting of the review group will be held on 27 September 2016. The group will further consider the role and functions of CPCs and will go on to look at Child Protection Registers and Child Protection Case Conferences.


Email: – Central Enquiry Unit

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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