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

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 25 September 2019.

Items and actions

Welcome and actions from previous meeting 

The group reviewed the actions from the last meeting.  

Terms of reference 

The terms of reference for the ERG were discussed. Small amendments were requested to the draft paper.


  • the updated final version of the terms of reference, incorporating comments will be circulated for agreement by members

Expressions of interest - grant funding 

Scottish Government informed the group the expressions of interest was published and applications invited by organisations, by a closing date of 25 October 2019. Any interested organisation should be encouraged to contact Scottish Government should they want anything about this clarified.

The group raised nothing more under this agenda item.  


In order to progress work strands at pace in between full ERG meetings, members were invited to volunteer to be part of three sub-groups focussed on: Legislation and Regulations, Communications, and Engagement and Training and CPD.  

The group were advised that sub-group work plans were being formulated and the Scottish Government team would be in touch with sub-group volunteers (starting with legislation and regulations sub-group) soon.


The group discussed the policy and matters needed to be considered in the new regulations or changes to current law and procedural rules necessary to ensure that children’s advocacy services within children’s hearings will operate effectively.


  • the Scottish Government is to develop a questionnaire to gather further written feedback from ERG members

Consent process 

This was recognised as an important matter. It must be the responsibility of each organisation to ensure its operations are General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 compliant. The group were invited to review information from Barnardo’s and Who Cares? Scotland on consent policies as examples. 

Article 8, recitals 38 of GDPR provides for instances where a child’s consent may not be needed. “The consent of the holder of parental responsibility should not be necessary in the context of preventive or counselling services offered directly to a child.” (e.g. under 12 and parent will not provide consent on their behalf, but child wishes to take up offer of advocacy.  


  • consent will remain a standing agenda item on ERG meeting outlines
  • copies of Pilot reports and case studies to be shared with the group


Clan Childlaw asked the group views and suggestions about the legally-informed training being devised. The remit for Clan Childlaw is to provide knowledge on legal implications for the advocacy providers in relation to the Children’s Hearings system, not to train advocacy workers to be advocacy workers.

Consideration to be given (at a later date) to exactly what the ‘Qualification’ will look like and how it will be resourced.

A reminder was given of a privacy consultation being carried out by Who Cares? Scotland, commissioned by SCRA. Members were encouraged to provide views.


  • members to contact Clan Childlaw with views to inform the training content
  • communications and Engagement strategy to be updated to ensure local conversations are being held with local authorities to raise awareness of the advocacy provision and arrangements
  • contact Glasgow Advocacy Project with regard to information about the qualification which is currently available
Back to top