Reimagining Secure Care Governance Group minutes: January 2023

Minutes from the meeting held on 24 January 2023

Attendees and apologies

  • Liz Murdoch,  SG Youth Justice
  • Alison Melville, SG Youth Justice
  • Rachel Dowle, SG Office of the Chief Designer
  • Maureen Roberts, Children’s and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ)
  • Donna McEwan, CYCJ
  • Fiona Dyer, CYCJ
  • Kate Tobin, Dartington Design Lab
  • Jillian Gibson, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, (COSLA)
  • Vivien Thomson, Social Work Scotland (SWS)
  • Ben Farrugia, SWS


  • Laura Caven, COSLA

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Liz welcomed everyone and members introduced themselves.

Background and remit

Liz advised that the secure care redesign work has been discussed with stakeholders and providers for the past year regarding the necessary changes to support the provisions of the Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Bill and meeting the Promise. Child and Young Person's Centre for Justice (CYCJwill be working collaboratively with secure care providers, children and young people and other key stakeholders over the next 18 months to support this work on behalf of the Scottish Government. A key aspect of this work being no 16 to 17 year-olds in Polmont although the wider context also needs to be considered regarding:

  • amendments and contingencies needed for secure care for those children who would have previously been placed in Polmont
  • cross border placements and the monetisation of care;
  • transport
  • Scotland Excel contract has been extended for a year, any new contracts will need to have and understanding of what’s happening by summer 2023 to inform contract design and development
  • health needs
  • National Care Service whether children will be included is still being considered

Liz stated that the Reimagining Secure Care Governance Group will feed into the Secure Care Group, co-chaired by the Scottish Government and COSLA to support progress and delivery of the work. Secure care providers are keen to be involved and are welcoming of this work and its collaborative approach. Liz had received an email from one provider who shared some concerns about the need for a collaborative approach and to ensure that historical matters relating to secure care are understood to avoid partners having to repeat the issues in a number of different forums. Liz advised she has yet to respond to the email as she wanted to raise it with the Governance group first. Fiona informed that the current work will be considering the way forward for secure care as opposed to what may have occurred in the past. Kate suggested that this group should be a safe and transparent collaborative space, with members agreeing. It was agreed that Liz would share the concerns raised from the email with the group.

Ben suggested that clear boundaries are needed to show the difference between project governance and wider political governance.

Scottish Government redesign process

Rachel delivered a presentation on the service design work for the Children’s Hearing System Redesign Working Group and programme of support for transformational change. Rachel shared some of the learning in terms of the service design process:

  • complexities when collaborating with many partners
  • benefit of doing background research
  • taking a pragmatic approach
  • importance of system blueprints outlining the current policy and legislative landscape
  • importance of participation
  • processing and gathering information is time consuming

Discussion took place between members regarding the need for the work to be collaborative and transparent, particularly in terms of resource constraints. Also, having an awareness of other ongoing work across the sector and the challenges this could bring in particular for social work’s capacity for involvement.


Discussion took place regarding membership of the Governance group as there was some crossover between this and the Secure Care Group. Due to time constraints Liz suggested members contact her with any further suggestions, and this can be confirmed at the next meeting. Alison advised that the last meeting of the Secure Care Group was in August 2022. Alison will advise members of the work of this project and the Governance group.

Terms of reference (ToR)

Due to time constraints, it was agreed that the ToR would be considered by members out with the meeting and any comments or suggestions sent to Liz for agreement at the next meeting.

Project team update

Maureen shared that the project team have had preliminary meetings with the following partners since December 2022:

  • Youth Justice Team, Scottish Government
  • Service Designers from Dartington Design Lab
  • Scotland Excel
  • Secure Care Operational Group at their meeting in December

The project team are also due to attend SWS Children and Families Standing Committee on 27 January 2023 to introduce work and seek advice regarding recruitment of social work and will be visiting the Good Shepherd Centre on 7 February 2023.

Project planning with Dartington had also commenced, which Kate presented via MIRO Board to the group.

Next  steps – key actions and timescales

  • Maureen to arrange and confirm initial visits to other secure care centres
  • Maureen to provide group with project plan and tracker  
  • Maureen to attend SWS Children and Families Standing Committee for advice regards SW involvement
  • members to email Liz with comments/suggestions re membership and ToR
  • Kate to facilitate reflective group session at next meeting;
  • Alison to contact members of Secure Care Group to make them aware of this work

Any other business

There was no other business.

Date of next meeting

It was agreed that the group would meet again at the end of February/beginning of March to allow sufficient progress to have been made for reporting back to the group.

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