Children's Hearings Advocacy Expert Reference Group minutes: November 2019

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 6 November 2019.

Items and actions

Items and actions

This note provides an overview of the discussion and key action points from the meeting of the Children Hearings System: Expert Reference Group (ERG).

The meeting took place in the Prince’s Trust Offices in Glasgow on 6 November 2019. 

Welcome and actions from previous meeting

The group reviewed the actions from the last meeting. Terms of reference were agreed.


  • Scottish Government will update the actions grid following this meeting

Expressions of interest - grant funding 

A number of applications were received. Scottish Government has worked on the evaluation of applications and conclusions have been reached.  

The group suggested that a template should be created for all organisations to use which will detail definitions and language about what is "unmet demand".


  • Scottish Government will communicate the outcomes of the expressions of interest exercise as quickly as possible


Update provided on plans for the Legislation and Regulations sub-group meeting immediately following this ERG meeting. It would include consideration of oral and written feedback provided by members at and after the group discuss in September meeting.


  • outputs from the Legislation and Regulations sub-group will be shared with the ERG

Communications and engagement 

Communications and engagement strategy was discussed. Ideas were raised to further develop the detail, with timelines and strategic messaging.  

Scottish Government gave an update that it had created a section on its website to publish the groups terms of reference and summary of work plans and actions arising from the meetings. 


  • Scottish Government will set up communications and engagement sub-group meeting soon

Representation to be made to Children 1st, Children’s Hearings Scotland, Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, Scottish Legal Aid Board and other organisations to ask for children’s advocacy provision to be an agenda item for discussion within these organisations.  


No matters were raised under this item.

Any other business

Discussion held regarding the roles and responsibilities of advocacy workers and other key professionals and people involved in the children’s hearings.


  • tailored core messages for professionals working alongside advocacy workers, i.e. safeguarders, solicitors should be developed  
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