Family Support Delivery Group minutes: January 2022

Minutes of the Family Support Delivery Group (FSDG) meeting which took place on 27 January 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Jane Moffat, Scottish Government (SG) Strategy, The Promise and Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)
  •  Jacqui Pepper, Perth and Kinross Council


  • Christian Barry, SG Early Learning and Childcare
  • Jackie Brennan, SG Social Justice Delivery Unit
  • Jackie Brock, The Promise Scotland
  • Sarah Bruce, SG Family Unit
  • Christine Carlin, Children’s Sector Strategic Forum
  • Cara Cooper, SG Strategy and GIRFEC Hub
  • Nancy Fancott, Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland
  • Nicola Forrest, SG Early Learning and Childcare
  • Lyndsay Fraser Robertson, Children in Scotland
  • Jillian Gibson, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Mary Glasgow, Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland
  • Douglas Guest, Children’s Sector Strategic Forum – Third Sector Interfaces 
  • Emma Hanley representing Claire Burns, Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection (CELCIS)
  • Laura Holton, SG Family Unit
  • Arshia Ramzan, representing Darren Tierney, SG Social Justice Delivery Unit
  • Anne Lee, representing Darren Rocks, Public Health Scotland
  • Franca Macleod, SG Analytical Services
  • Maureen McAteer, Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland
  • Susan McGhee, Social Innovation Partnerships
  • Fraser McKinlay, Consultant
  • Jaime Neal, SG Family Unit
  • Bryony Revell, SG Strategy and GIRFEC Hub
  • Gavin Russell, representing Diana Beveridge, SG Children and Young People’s Improvement Collaborative (CYPIC)
  • Ann Sangster, Children’s Sector Strategic Forum – Third Sector Interfaces
  • Christina Spicer, The Promise Scotland
  • Fiona Steel, Children’s Sector Strategic Forum
  • Judith Tait, Social Work Scotland


  • Lindsay Linning, Scottish Women’s Aid
  • Joanna MacKenzie, SG Early Learning and Childcare
  • Joanna McDonald, SG Deputy Chief Social Work Adviser
  • Wendy Mitchell, SG Chief Nursing Officer Directorate


  • Mary Sloan, SG Family Unit

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Jane Moffat welcomed everyone to the meeting, in particular those attending for the first time and introduced herself as the Deputy Director for the Strategy, GIRFEC and The Promise Division within the Children and Families Directorate.

Future focus of FSDG

Jane reflected on the group’s progress to-date (the Routemap, the Principles for good family support, identifying priority areas) and noted, following discussion with Jacqui Pepper as Co-Chair, that it was an appropriate time to revisit the group’s role and to consider how it was best placed to add value within the new context of the Whole Family Wellbeing Funding (WFWF).

Laura presented on the proposed governance of the WFWF. It was proposed that for 2022 to 23 the Scottish Government Directors’ Group provide lead cross-portfolio governance and assurance of the WFWF. It would be important that their discussions were informed by expertise and input from across the sector.

It was therefore proposed that FSDG moves into a formal advisory role, where the group would assess and comment on proposals and WFWF activity, to inform advice put to the Directors’ Group. Members would use their networks to gather feedback, suggest areas for improvement, test ideas and highlight issues, based on their collective expertise and experience. In this way the new Family Support Advisory Group would formalise its role as a key collaborative partner within the WFWF governance structures.

Sarah Bruce discussed proposals around membership, which included:

  • more refined membership but retaining cross-sector representation
  • bringing in expertise where there are gaps at present, ie from Children’s Services Planning Partnerships (CSPPs), rural/urban social work, education (Equity Fund and Attainment), child poverty
  • ensuring consistency of attendance, ie the same person attending each meeting who would engage with their networks and report back on a regular basis
  • having more regular meetings aligning to the governance arrangements, ie 6-weekly cycle

Members welcomed the proposals and provided a number of suggestions/comments:

  • need to be mindful of smaller organisations and impact
  • virtual meetings are easier
  • good to understand the timeline of activity
  • there are a number of people who sit on multiple groups, need to understand how they interact
  • representation from CSPPs might be a challenge as partnerships work differently according to local need
  • need multi-layer representation from those on the ground up to strategic level
  • essential to engage the voice of children and families - SG is engaging with the Design School on how to do this
  • Social Innovation Partnerships work well with people on the ground - helpful way to bring people with lived experience to this group


  • SG to share timeline of how the various governance groups could work/interface
  • SG to map out groups doing similar work to reduce duplication and support connections
  • members to advise on the groups they sit on

Governance of the Whole Family Wellbeing Funding (WFWF)

Laura Holton talked in more detail about the governance proposals which proposed that the existing SG Directors’ group would provide senior governance for the group in the first year. It comprises representation from health, social justice, education, children and families and The Promise. SG is also considering additional representation to help meet the cross-portfolio reach of this work. Governance for future years is likely to have less of an SG focus. Underpinning the governance structure was the principle of collaboration at every level.

Points raised:

  • the group agreed that collaboration was essential – with FSAG playing an active role, providing the feedback loop
  • need to be ready in 2023 to 2024 to invest more than in 2022 to 2023
  • 2022  to 2023 will help determine how best to spend in following years
  • greater transparency of the Directors’ group would be welcome as it feels remote from people in local areas
  • need connectivity between existing groups, partners, children and families and the SG Directors
  • need to think about the infrastructure, how to sustain change and how to achieve the outcomes in the first phase of funding


  • SG to set out who is on the Directors’ Group and what areas are represented

WFWF: proposals for spend

Laura Holton outlined the high level proposals for spend in 2022 to 2023, which had three tranches:

  • tranche 1. National policy interventions
  • tranche 2. Building local service capacity
  • tranche 3. Supporting whole system change at local and national level

The proposals were at an early stage, and SG welcomed the views of the Group and their networks. A paper providing more details was being developed and would be shared as part of a wider engagement process.

There was general support for proposals with the following points raised by members for SG consideration:

  • further information/clarity on what the outcomes we are seeking to achieve would be welcomed
  • whole system change - gaps aren’t the same everywhere
  • the principles should set out what is required of the planning partnerships
  • everyone will be at a different stage, need to ensure they all get support to scale up
  • need to be clear and give messages about doing things differently when allocating spend
  • want to move away from crisis management
  • co-designing and engaging with families on outcomes takes time
  • equity of access has to be explicit in the principles
  • purpose and intent looks really good but concerns raised based on learning from previous programmes that the follow through and accountability is often disconnected from original purpose
  • right approach to go through CSPPs but with local flexibility, need to ensure equity of services across Scotland and longevity of funding


  • SG to clarify the outcomes we are seeking to achieve
  • SG to share a paper with proposals for members to review and discuss with their networks

Any other business

Nancy Fancott updated the Group on the commissioning sub-group. Initial work on the issues had been done but needs further development. Discussions were taking place with Scotland Excel regarding training opportunities. Community Care Providers Scotland (CCPS) was running an event on 10 February on collaborative commissioning.

National Care Service development was on schedule for a Bill in June this year. The NCS consultation responses would be published on 31 January and the consultation findings would be published in the next couple of weeks. The Cabinet meeting on 22 February was scheduled to discuss the scope of the Bill.

Date of next meeting

Next meeting would likely take place at the end of February/early March.

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