Children's Services Research Independent Steering Group minutes: August 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the children's services research steering group 29 August 2023

Attendees and apologies

Iattendance from the Children's Services Research Independent Steering Group

  • Professor Brigid Daniel, Research Steering Group Chair, Professor Emerita, Queen Margaret University
  • Dr Ruth Astbury, Lecturer and Programme Leader, School of Health and Life Sciences, University of the West of Scotland
  • Lisa Buntin, Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queens University Belfast
  • Professor Barbara Fawcett, Professor of Social Work and Policy Studies in the School of Social Work and Social Policy, University of Strathclyde
  • Professor Ruth Jepson, Director of The Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy, Edinburgh University
  • Barry McLeod, Programme Manager,  Public Service Improvement Framework
  • Professor Sandra Nutley, Professor Emeritus, School of Management, University of St Andrews
  • Allister Short, Service Director for Women's and Children's services within NHS Lothian
  • Professor Margaret O'Brien, Professor of Child and Family Policy, Social Research Institute (Thomas Coram Research Unit), University College London

In attendance from Centre for Excellence for Children's Care and Protection (CELCIS)

  • Dr Heather Ottaway, Principal Investigator
  • Carol Ann Anderson, Co-investigator - Data Analyst
  • Michael Anderson, Co-investigator - Data Lead
  • Dr Leanne McIver, Co-investigator - Research Associate
  • Dr Alex McTier, Co-investigator - Evidence and Evaluation Specialist
  • Dr Joanna Soraghan, Co-investigator - Data Analyst
  • Emma Young, Co-investigator - Research and Evaluation Associate
  • Robert Porter - Lead – Rapid evidence review (strand 1)
  • Michaela Manole - Co-investigator – Workforce survey (strand 4)
  • Nadine Fowler - Co-investigator  - Rapid evidence review (strand 1)
  • Susan Reid - Administrative support to research team
  • Jane Scott - Lead – strand 5 and co-investigator for rapid evidence review (strand 1)
  • Kate MacKinnon - Co-investigator – rapid evidence review (strand 1) and deep dive (strand 2)
  • Maria Flores-McGinty - Administrative support to research team


  • Childrens Services Reform PMO


  • Professor Leah Bromfield, Claire Stuart

Items and actions

Welcome, introduction and apologies

The Chair opened the meeting

Apologies were noted from Claire Stuart and Leah Bromfield

Chairs Update

The Chair thanked CELCIS for their work to date.

Members approved the minutes from the previous meeting on 13 June 2023.

The Chair provided an update on the Verity House Agreement to ensure members had full understanding of the context.


Research update

Dr Ottaway noted thanks to the members for their continued support and acknowledged the amount of work completed by the research team.

CELCIS provided an update on the following;

  • progress of strand 3 and publication date
  • progress of strand 4
  • plan for the final report

Strand 3 - Mapping integration and outcomes across Scotland

  • CELCIS noted the original publication of strand 3 was removed due to a change in classification of a local authority that was not included in the available delegation information
  • further investigation was required to ensure the data on delegation was correct for all Local Authorities
  • new date for publication of strand 3 -  31 August 2023

Strand 4  - Children's Services workforce experiences of supporting children, young people and families

  • CELCIS noted the online survey closed midnight 29 August 2023
  • a soft close has been applied to allow those who have started the survey more to time to submit to ensure a good response rate for analysis
  • CELCIS noted a good response to registration for focus group interviews

Final Report

CELCIS discussed with members the proposed structure and content for the final report. Noting the following

  • the final report will include a summary of each strand
  • will provide an analytical approach for the report
  • will include analysis of the key themes

CELCIS noted the following key dates;

Strand 4 - Children’s Services workforce experiences of supporting children, young people and families

  • 2 October 2023 – Draft Report shared with Steering Group
  • 9 October 2023 – Comments due back from Steering Group members
  • 25 October 2023 - Publication of workforce survey report and summary report

Final Report

  • 6 October 2023 – Draft report shared with Steering Group
  • 13 October 2023 - Comments due back from Steering Group members – Professor Daniel respectfully requests all members of the steering group to respond with comments and/or a note of contentment to the draft final report.
  • 31 October 2023 – Publication of final report and summary reportNo further business was noted.

Professor Daniel advised she would write a foreword, a draft of which will be circulated with members in due course.

No further business was noted

Next meeting

10 October 2023  







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