Family Support Delivery Group minutes: September 2021

Minutes of the Family Support Delivery Group (FSDG) meeting which took place on 23 September 2021.

Attendees and apologies

  • Mairi Macpherson, Chair, Improving Health and Wellbeing, Scottish Government
  • Jackie Brock, The Promise Scotland
  • Sarah Bruce, Family Unit, Scottish Government
  • Lindsey Byrne representing Judith Tait, Care Inspectorate
  • Christine Carlin, Children’s Sector Strategic Forum
  • Deborah Davies representing Donna Martin, Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC), Scottish Government
  • Nancy Fancott, Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland
  • Jillian Gibson, COSLA
  • Mary Glasgow, Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland
  • Douglas Guest, Children’s Sector Strategic Forum – Third Sector Interfaces 
  • Gavin Henderson, The Promise, Scottish Government
  • Laura Holton, Family Unit, Scottish Government
  • Maureen McAteer, Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland
  • Emma Hanley representing Claire Burns, Centre for Excellence for Chldren’s Care and Protection (CELCIS)
  • Jaime Neal, Family Unit, Scottish Government
  • Angie MacDonald representing Fiona Steel, Children’s Sector Strategic Forum
  • Kathryn Ramsay representing Lindsay Linning, Scottish Women’s Aid
  • Bryony Revell, Strategy and GIRFEC Hub, Scottish Government
  • Darren Rocks, Public Health Scotland
  • Gavin Russell representing Diana Beveridge, Children and Young People’s Collaborative (CYPIC), Scottish Government 
  • Ann Sangster, Children’s Sector Strategic Forum – Third Sector Interfaces 
  • Christina Spicer, The Promise Scotland
  • Darren Tierney representing Jackie McAllister, Social Justice Delivery Unit, Scottish Government


  • Fiona Clements, Strategy, GIRFEC and Promise Division, Scottish Government
  • Dafni Dimna, Analytical Services, Scottish Government
  • Eddie Follan, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Joanna MacKenzie, Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government
  • Joanna McDonald, Deputy Chief Social Work Adviser, Scottish Government
  • Susan McGhee, Social Innovation Partnerships
  • Wendy Mitchell, Chief Nursing Officer Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Jacqui Pepper, Perth and Kinross Council
  • James Simpson, Strategy and GIRFEC Hub, Scottish Government


  • Mary Sloan, Family Unit, Scottish Government
  • Brandon Blundell, Family Unit, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Mairi welcomed everyone to the meeting, in particular those attending for the first time.

Mairi went on to note a re-structuring within Scottish Government. To support alignment with the Promise, family support policy will now move to the Strategy, Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) and Promise Division, headed up by Jane Moffat. Laura Holton and the rest of the team are moving to Jane’s division to provide continuity. Going forward, Jane will replace Mairi Macpherson as co-chair of the Family Support Development Group (FSDG). 

The National Care Service (NCS)

A National Care Service for Scotland consultation ends at the beginning of November. The consultation includes four questions specifically on children and young people’s services.

FSDG were asked to consider what the NCS proposals might mean for family support. In discussion, the following points were made:

  • clarity was required about the rationale for including children’s services, and concerns raised that children would get lost in an adult-focused NCS 
  • if children’s services were included, they would need a clear identity and adult services would need to have a family focus
  • the consultation needed to better reflect the complexities of children’s services - the NCS could bring an opportunity to reduce complexities within the system
  • collective leadership and specific commitments on resources will be needed
  • there was a need to map action to deliver The Promise either into NCS or whatever the agreed alternative is 
  • collaboration is important - there are examples of good practice across Scotland but there is huge variation in how children’s services are delivered, guidance is interpreted in different ways at local level
  • partnerships need to be strengthened and leaders need to be held to account on collaboration and in consistency in interpreting guidance


  • FSDG to email Iona Colvin directly with comments/views
  • Scottish Government to submit FSDG views to the Collective Leadership Group

Whole Family Wellbeing Funding (WFWF)

Laura Holton reminded the group of the Programme for Government (PfG) commitment of £500 million over the life of the Parliament for WFWF, and also the commitment that from 2030, we will be investing at least 5% of all community-based health and social care spend in preventative whole family support measures.

She noted the funding will give impetus to the work initiated by FSDG, with the routemap and associated activity providing the foundation on which the funding could build. Work was ongoing to develop the scope and operation in collaboration with the sector, and with children and families. It was intended that the funding should be truly transformational, to help us deliver the system change necessary to deliver the Promise. 

As part of this year’s budget process, work was underway to repurpose funding from across portfolios to deliver the funding.

In discussion, FSDG raised the following points on the scope, priorities and gaps for the fund:

  • need to look at the evidence on how to make transformational change
  • need infrastructure to get consistency in delivering services across Scotland and need to consider how services should be resourced to do that 
  • the capacity to look at the data is also needed to facilitate consistency
  • the will to provide consistent services is there but not the capacity or resources
  • there is a need for sustainable resourcing, collaborative working and evaluation
  • Children’s Services Planning Partnership (CSPP) Strategic Leads are key to knowing what happens in local areas now and in shaping what good looks like
  • a review of children’s services plans is underway which will help support this work – to be completed around October time


  • FSDG to get in touch with Laura Holton with queries/comments
  • FSDG to feedback through Teams or email

Workstream updates

Workstream A - Testing funding change and scaling up of services:

  • covered during the fund discussion

Workstream B - Testing whole system change

Workstream C - Developing criteria and indicator framework for family support

Workstream D - Improving commissioning and procurement:

  • Jillian shared a list of actions at the last meeting
  • discussion with the strategic leads on Tuesday for input/feedback
  • will update in the Teams channel before the next meeting


  • FSDG members invited to volunteer, or nominate, to work on the scoping and delivery of workstream B
  • FSDG members to volunteer to develop the framework
  • FSDG to feedback on the Principles
  • FSDG invited to volunteer to help with workstream D


There was no AOB.

Date of next meeting

To be arranged following discussion between Jacqui Pepper, co-chair, and the new co-chair, Jane Moffat.

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