Disabled young people: National Transitions to Adulthood Strategy Strategic Working Group minutes - 2 August 2023

Minutes from the meeting held on 2 August 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Dr Alison Hunter, NHS Lothian, representing Adult Health (AH)
  • Anne-Marie Sturrock, Borders College, representing College Practitioners (AMS)
  • Anne Wilson, National Managed Clinical Network, Children with Exceptional Healthcare Needs (AW)
  • Claire Vekic, Colleges Scotland (CV)
  • Eilidh Fulton, Scottish Funding Council (EF)
  • Esther Bates, Children’s Health Scotland (EB)
  • Fergus McMillan, Skills Development Scotland (FM)
  • Fiona Whelan, Universities Scotland (FW)
  • Dr Gavin Cobb, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (GC)
  • Gemma Richardson, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (GR)
  • Iain Wilson, Independent Living Fund Scotland (IW)
  • James Fletcher, Scottish Transitions Forum Parent Carer Network & ARC Scotland (JF)
  • Jenny Miller, Promoting a More Inclusive Society (PAMIS)​ (JM)
  • John Urquhart, COSLA (JU)
  • Kayleigh Miller-Lambie, Scottish Government (KML)
  • Marianne Tyler, The Health and Social Care Alliance​ (The ALLIANCE) (MT)
  • Mark Smith, Social Work Scotland (MS)
  • Michelle Wilson, Children’s Health Scotland (MW)
  • Rachel Bell, Scottish Government (RB)
  • Rebecca Williams, ARC Scotland (RW)
  • Sam Nicholson, Education Scotland (SN)
  • Sarah Lawson, Scottish Government (SL)
  • Stephen Cotter, New College Lanarkshire, representing College Practitioners (SC)
  • Suzanne Parker, ARC, parent/carer representative (SP)

Items and actions

Welcome and review of previous meeting minutes and actions

RB welcomed attendees, including SP, today’s representative from the Scottish Transitions Forum Parent Carer Network, and recapped actions from the previous meeting on 4 July 2023. The agenda and meeting outcomes were shared:

  • to contribute to the engagement planning and accessibility considerations for testing the Statement of Intent
  • to consider and contribute to the Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) for the strategy

Engagement on Statement of Intent

The group were reminded that we hope to publish a Statement of Intent, including in accessible formats, in September, which will set out the proposed scope, vision and areas of focus for the strategy. This will be accompanied by a questionnaire which seeks to sense check with a wider range of young people, families and others with a role in supporting transitions that we are on the right track for drafting the strategy. Group members offered to review the questionnaire in advance of publication.

SL shared a calendar of existing stakeholder events that we will attend to promote the published Statement of Intent and seek feedback using the questionnaire. Group members made some additional suggestions, including of offers of support from group members to share the published Statement and questionnaire amongst respective networks.

Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA)

SL confirmed a Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) has been started for the National Transitions to Adulthood Strategy, to proactively consider the potential impacts of this policy on children’s wellbeing and rights as it develops. The CRWIA, amongst other impact assessments, will be regularly reviewed and updated as this policy progresses, with a children’s rights impact evaluation completed after a period of implementation.

Group members were invited to contribute to this initial stage of considerations of impact of this developing policy on – and compatibility with – children’s wellbeing and rights, by considering the following:

  • sources of evidence on numbers/groups, views/experiences of young people likely to be affected by this policy  
  • other groups, in additional to disabled children and young people, potentially affected by this policy
  • potential negative impacts on children’s rights and considerations for modification/mitigation
  • foreseen positive impact on children’s rights
  • impact on the eight wellbeing Indicators – safe, healthy, achieving, nurture, active, respected, responsible and included
  • communication and engagement with children and young people
  • planning for the review of this policy’s impact on children’s rights

Reflections from the group under specific considerations included:

Consideration one - members suggested data sources including:

There was also a suggestion that data regarding home or privately educated young people should be considered. SN highlighted some potential challenges around this in relation to the cessation of statutory duties in some of these cases.

Consideration two - consideration also be given to:

  • young people recovering from a long-term medical condition
  • young people affected by poverty and digital exclusion (in terms of where information and support is hosted)
  • disabled children in military or travelling families
  • siblings and sibling carers of disabled young people

Consideration three - language and terminology used within the policy could risk exclusion, rather than inclusion, if definitions are too rigid. RB reflected that the Child Rights Impact Evaluation element of the CRWIA, following a period of policy implementation, will be an important step in evaluating the policy’s effects on children’s rights. Group members will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed language and terminology within the written draft Statement of Intent, as a first step to ensuring we get this right for inclusion in the strategy.

Consideration four - JM reinforced the concern previously shared by the group around a lack of available resources and services presenting a significant barrier to achieving the intended aims of this policy, and GC and SC suggested more work needs to be done to make the reality of resourcing within adult services, and the potential limitations it could effect on this policy, clear to disabled young people and families. RB reflected it will be important to focus our priorities for this strategy where we think they can have the maximum intended impact.

Consideration five - ‘achieving’ - SC suggested ongoing targets for young people when they leave school could be valuable.

Consideration six - JF shared their experiences of engaging with young people and noted, in their experience, engagement questions that are meaningful to policy makers aren’t necessarily meaningful to young people.

Consideration seven - SM noted any implementation and review period agreed needs to give the strategy time to work. They suggested the strategy, and associated Child Rights Impact Evaluation, may benefit from an interim review to measure progress. Implementation and monitoring will be considered further by the group.

Any other business, future meeting date, next steps and close

Any other business:

  • last meeting minutes will be published on the group’s webpage shortly
  • Care Inspectorate are undertaking a national thematic review to find out more about social work’s contribution to how well disabled children and young people’s needs are assessed, planned for, and met
  • reminder Principles into Practice and Compass are now launched

RB closed the meeting and confirmed the next meeting date and time will be 29 August 2023 from 3pm - 4.30pm.


  • group members are invited to review a written draft of the Statement of Intent, which will be available via Objective Connect until 18 August, and provide any feedback using comments or tracked changes
  • group feedback on the questionnaire will be added as an agenda item for the next meeting of the group on 29 August
  • group members are invited to circulate and promote the Statement of Intent and questionnaire amongst relevant stakeholder networks once published. Any feedback gathered by group members from respective networks should be presented to officials anonymously (i.e. not contain any personal or sensitive data of individual respondents)
  • group members are invited to send any existing published data on disabled children and young people’s experiences of social care to DCYPtransitions@gov.scot, for forwarding for consideration in the Care Inspectorate’s national thematic review
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