GIRFEC National Implementation Support Group meeting: October 2019

Minutes and papers from GIRFEC National Implementation Support Group meeting, held on 1 October 2019.

Attendees and apologies


  • Calum Campbell, (Chair), NHS Lanarkshire
  • Alistair Gaw, ADES
  • Mike Burns, Glasgow Council
  • Malcolm Graham, Police Scotland
  • Liam Purdie, South Lanarkshire
  • Paul Gilroy, Crossreach CCPS
  • Lorna Aitken, Education Scotland
  • Jacqueline Cassidy, Children in Scotland
  • Brian Mitchell, Children in Scotland
  • Janice Brown, Care Inspectorate

Invited guests:

  • Bill Alexander, Children in Scotland

Policy support:

  • [Redacted], Scottish Government
  • [Redacted], Scottish Government
  • [Redacted], Scottish Government 
  • [Redacted], Scottish Government
  • [Redacted], Scottish Government


  • Louise Long, Inverclyde
  • Margo Williamson, Angus
  • Kevin Mitchell, Care Inspectorate
  • Val Desouza, South Lanarkshire
  • Nancy Fancott, CCPS
  • Sharon Robertson, Care Inspectorate
  • Fiona Nicholson, Shetland
  • Brian Johnson, Police Scotland
  • Eddie Follan, COSLA

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed Liam Purdie,  IJB representation, South Lanarkshire Council to the group. No actions arising.

Lead: Calum Campbell, Co-Chair

Update on the Ministerial Statement of 19 September 

[Redacted] - SG provided an update on the ministerial statement of 19 September as well as work to refresh GIRFEC policy and practice guidance.

NISG members reflected on how the ministerial statement had landed in their respective organisations and networks, and action they had taken to ensure accurate interpretation of the statement.

Action: NISG members to forward suggestions for supporting engagement around development of refreshed policy and practice guidance.

Status/completion date: Ministerial statement and policy statement available.

Lead: [Redacted] - SG

Communications and engagement 

[Redacted] - SG spoke to the proposed staged communications plan set out in paper ‘NISG(19) 04 – Draft Comms & Engagement Strategy’. 

Michael Chalmers, Director for Children & Families advised NISG members of plans to issue an open letter from senior leaders responsible for standards and practice in health, social work, social care and education to practitioners. The open letter is intended to reaffirm the shared commitment to Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) and emphasise the need to ensure that consistent good practice is sustained across agencies.

NISG members offered suggestions for tailoring communications to different groups of practitioners, including families.

Action: NISG members to offer comments on how they could support delivery of the draft comms plan.

Status/completion date: open letter

Lead: [Redacted] - SG

Next steps 

Michael Chalmers updated the group on the role and remit of the Improving Outcomes for Children and Young People Strategic Forum which he chairs. 

The Forum comprises leaders from across Children’s Services, and has been established to improve how partners work together to improve outcomes for children and young people across Scotland by supporting improvement in leadership, culture and collaboration across relevant sectors.

Action: NISG members to consider whether there is potential overlap in the work of the two groups (the Forum & NISG) and if so, whether there is appetite to merge the groups and/or amend the role/ remit/representation at NISG in order to add value to the work of the Strategic Forum. 

Lead:[Redacted] - SG, Michael Chalmers


  • Bill Alexander updated the Group on the trial of the GIRFEC Leadership programme and associated regional leadership seminars. No actions arising.

Lead: Bill Alexander, Children in Scotland

  • The Group is scheduled to meet on 16 January 2020 in Dundee subject to the views on next steps.

Action: Secretariat to consider views of members on item 4 and confirm if next meeting will proceed as currently planned.

Lead: Calum Campbell, Co-Chair.

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