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Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) Practice Development Panel: final report

Final report from the GIRFEC Practice Development Panel, including recommendations on information sharing in support of the named person and child’s plan aspects.


2 The Getting It Right For Every Child Practice Development Panel

2.1 Panel Membership

The Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, established the Panel in February 2018 and appointed Professor Ian Welsh OBE, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland as its Chair. The Panel is independent and membership is made up of experts from education, health, third sector and legal professions, namely:

  • Mike Burns, Social Work Scotland
  • Chris Creegan, Scottish Commission for Learning Disability
  • Eddie Docherty, Scottish Executive Nursing Directors
  • Maureen Falconer, Information Commissioner's Office
  • Lorna Greene, Royal College of Nursing
  • Juliet Harris, Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)
  • Peter Hessett, Society of Local Authority Lawyers and Administrators
  • Annette Holliday, Unite/Community Practitioners and Health Visiting Association
  • Anne Houston, Chair, Child Protection Committees Scotland
  • Brian Johnston, Police Scotland (replaced Norman Conway on 31/05/18)
  • Sally-Ann Kelly, Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland
  • Jennifer King, Association of Directors of Education Scotland
  • Professor Paul Martin, Child Protection Committee Scotland
  • Joanna Murphy, National Parent Forum Scotland
  • Susan Quinn, Educational Institute of Scotland
  • Norma Shippin, Central Legal Office, NHS National Services Scotland

The following were also invited to attend and contribute at some Panel meetings:

  • Maria Galli, South Ayrshire Council and member of Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)
  • Dr Kenny Meechan, Head of Information Governance Glasgow City Council Corporate and Property Law and member of the Law Society of Scotland's Privacy Law Committee

2.2 Legal Focus Group

In order to inform the Panel’s considerations, a Legal Focus Group was established which had legal expertise to support the Panel’s work. This included members from the Panel and various legal organisations from the public and third sectors. The members included:

  • Maureen Falconer, Information Commissioner's Office
  • Peter Hessett, Society of Local Authority Lawyers and Administrators in Scotland
  • Norma Shippin, Central Legal Office, NHS National Services Scotland

Guest members included

  • Alison Reid, Principal Solicitor and Chief Executive of CLAN Childlaw
  • Maria Galli, South Ayrshire Council and member of Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)
  • Dr Kenny Meechan, Head of Information Governance Glasgow City Council Corporate and Property Law and member of the Law Society of Scotland's Privacy Law Committee

2.3 The Panel’s Remit

The Panel was set up to develop and produce, by consensus, an authoritative draft Code of Practice for Information Sharing (the “Code”). It was also invited to provide recommendations on Statutory Guidance and other materials required to support commencement of Part 4 (Provision of Named Persons) and Part 5 (Child’s Plan) of the 2014 Act, as amended by the Bill.

The Panel's objectives were to:

  • ensure the draft Code and Statutory Guidance required under the 2014 Act, supported by other materials, properly reflect relevant legal requirements, are workable, comprehensive and user-friendly for children and young people, parents and practitioners
  • make sure that the information sharing experience, expertise and practical knowledge of those in public services and rights holders (i.e. children and their families) are the foundation for the development of the authoritative draft Code, Statutory Guidance and other supporting materials

It was anticipated that the draft Code would be presented to the Deputy First Minister in October 2018, who would then forward on to the Committee, enabling resumption of Stage 1 of the Bill.

The Chair of the Panel wrote to the Deputy First Minister in October 2018 providing a progress update on developing a draft Code of Practice for Information Sharing. The update included information on the Panel’s approach to the draft Code and matters which the Panel wished to consider. This approach, and the considerations of the Panel, are set out below.

Contact

Email: girfec@gov.scot

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