Coronavirus (COVID-19): Children and Families Collective Leadership Group minutes - 7 May 2020

Minutes from the meeting of the group held on 7 May 2020.

Leadership group remit (paper 01(01))

Iona Colvin summarised the paper and emphasised this about continuing GIRFEC agenda but increasing our understanding of C-19 impacts and engendering collective leadership across the system. The LG will review the ongoing data returns, engage with children and young people (CYP) and report to Ministers.


  • crucial to ensure the voice of CYP is heard throughout the process, requested that this looked at in more depth
  • are potential overlaps with Education Recovery Group. Noted that links are already being made and will continue to be made and cross-over in terms of membership. Also noted that remit of LG is about all CYP (including pre-birth, early years) so is broader than education focus
  • there were concerns about the definition and use of term ‘complex additional support needs’. [Note: The terminology used in the LG proposal paper is taken from the definition used in the context of ELC/school closures, but that definition might be reviewed and LG members can include comments on this in their feedback]
  • request for clearer articulation that role of LG is to influence action
  • agreement that the LG should provide an overview of what the reshaping of services for children might look like into the future, as there is an opportunity here for positive change

Discussion points relating to data and annexes A and B are captured in the section below on ‘data and reporting’.

Membership (annex C):

  • comments are invited on the membership [Note: additional requests for membership have been made from SSSC and CELCIS to date]

It was noted that the Children and Young People’s Commissioner will not be joining the LG, given his independent position, but is supportive of the aims of the LG and will be taking a keen interest


  • all – email further comments on proposal paper 01(01) and membership to:

  • SG – to follow-up on comments about CYP involvement, language, links with education recovery group (including an annex with education workstreams)

  • SG – to follow up with Fiona D regarding her offer to help with development of plans for involving CYP

  • Karen R and Sam A (SG) – to discuss flow of information between the LG and the education recovery group

Data and reporting (papers 01, 02 and 03) 

Bill Alexander summarised the data reporting to date and plans going forward. It was highlighted that the C-19 crisis has exacerbated existing challenges for families and created new challenge for other families; and that services have transformed quickly to respond. There will also be other needs and demands on services once lockdown is eased

  • we need to develop qualitative data alongside quantitative data, hence the importance of this LG considering trends and emerging issues
  • evidence from past pandemics shows critical role of linking bottom-up data to centralised decision-making, important that we understand what is happening in communities and services and why
  • important role of third sector in supporting families and providing feedback on what’s happening in communities was emphasised
  • transitions are not currently captured in the data, which are well known risk points for CYP, further thought needed on transitions and linking with work of the education group
  • suggested that it would be useful to develop ‘prompt’ questions for COGs to consider in relation to the children’s data set
  • there can be a mismatch between system data and the data that matters to CYP. It was noted that both aspects are important and the challenge is how we capture more of what’s important to CYP
  • data is important for understanding what is working well and what not working well and where LG need to recommend change (e.g. important to understand how direct payments working, if need to further respond to GBV, mental health issues)
  • suggested that the narrative useful for distilling good practice, but also needs to reflect the challenges that still need to be addressed, as well as the solutions and positives that can come out of this situation

Emphasis on importance of using data collected and that delivering services is the priority. 


  • all to email further comments on data and reporting and papers 01(02 and 03) to:

  • Diane Stockton to link with Carolyn Wilson (SG) on health data

  • Alison Gordon and Bill Alexander to consider transitions as these are currently not mentioned in the proposal paper

  • Eddie Follan to link with CoSLA Communities work, regarding financial support for families, including advice from other agencies

  • Fiona DuncanCorra Foundation to provide information, from their work managing SG funds, about financial support to families

  • Neil Hunter/SCRA to provide additional data on referrals and whether can be broken down by local area to Bill A (SG)

  • Iona Colvin  to look at getting data from mobilisation plans

Family support

There has been a direct commission from the Deputy First Minister for work on family support. Laura Holton summarised the key issues and stated that questions were included in the paper about we can coalesce to best work with families and make the biggest difference. Due to time constraints the paper was not discussed, but written comments on the paper were invited, as well as offers for members (or colleagues from their organisations) to contribute to the development of the work.


  • all to email comments on Paper 01(04) and offers of volunteers for short-term/condensed work on family support to:

  • Laura Holton to review comments and liaise with volunteers and bring updated paper to next LG meeting

Digital inclusion 

Due to time constraints, this discussion will be rolled-over to the meeting on 14 May 2020.


  • to include at next meeting

Next meeting 

Next meeting on 14th May at 2pm to 4pm. 

Proposed agenda items:

  • updated remit paper
  • data and reporting update
  • feedback from Education Recovery Group
  • family Support
  • digital inclusion
  • child Protection


  • SG to issue agenda and diary and explore use of video technology
  • all to email any comments and suggestions re. agenda items to:
  • all to advise SG which video software you have access to. Send email by close Monday 11th to:
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