Reimagining Secure Care Governance Group minutes: November 2023

Minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Liz Murdoch (Chair), Scottish Government (SG) Youth Justice
  • Ben Farrugia, Social Work Scotland (SWS)
  • Vivien Thomson, SWS
  • Donna McEwan, Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ)
  • Fiona Dyer, CYCJ
  • Maureen Roberts, CYCJ
  • Sally Howard (notetaker), CYCJ
  • Jillian Gibson, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities(COSLA)
  • Katie Upsdale, Dartington Design Lab (DDL)


  • Tom McNamara, SG Youth Justice and Children’s Hearings
  • Alison Melville, SG Youth Justice
  • Donna Munro, SG Mental Health
  • Nathan Sheach, DDL

Items and actions


Liz welcomed everyone to the meeting and advised that she would chair in Tom’s absence.

Previous minutes and actions

Previous minutes agreed by everyone and actions from previous meeting completed.

Reimagining Secure Care (RSC) interim report

Maureen advised since the previous version was shared with members, the interim report has been updated. The update is to reiterate the longer term aims of the project and more details added to the ‘what children and young people told us during phase 2. CYCJ will be publishing the report on 4 December 2023 which will also coincide with the launch of the RSC web page within the CYCJ site where project information and outputs will be housed. STARR will work alongside RSC participation advisors to compile an accessible version of the report.

Liz stated that the report had been shared with Ms Don, Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping the Promise for her information. Jillian raised the report should have been shared with the COSLA board. Given publication date has already been delayed, Jillian will highlight the report at the COSLA board meeting on 1 December 2023. Jillian will provide dates of future board meetings to ensure COSLA are included in reviewing the final report prior to publication.

Project feedback

Maureen advised that the interim report provided an update on phases one (discover) and two (define) and we are now in phase three (develop) which started in October.

This phase with stakeholders has a two-tier approach with sessions facilitated separately for senior managers and practitioners with representation from 14 local authorities, secure care providers, care inspectorate, CAMHS, Foxgrove Action for Children and police amongst others. The 7 completed sessions to date have included 106 participants and we have gathered a vast amount of data from each theme which is then analysed and synthesised to inform the next session. This process has been extremely time consuming and unfortunately resulted with the ‘mindsets and culture’ sessions being rescheduled. Consequently, the final reflective joint session has now been rescheduled from December 2023 to January 2024.

We have had some difficulty in encouraging participants during online sessions to consider a reimagined future before, during and after secure care as opposed to the here and now.

In relation to the phase three workshops with children and young people, one session has been arranged at St Marys Kenmure for 30 November 2023 with others planned for after the festive period. Ideally, these sessions would have run parallel to the stakeholder sessions in order for information to be shared between groups.

We continue to have ongoing difficulty engaging with parents/carers, despite support from providers, Families Outside and Cyrenians. After the festive period, our participation advisors will attempt to engage parents/carers using other strategies such as attending prison visiting centres.

There is a huge appetite for change, and although we have had a wide reach and involved many stakeholders via the online sessions. To provide the Scottish Government with detailed options for the final report, it could be relevant for us to have further co-design sessions in person with smaller groups consisting of targeted individuals who can be much more specific in each themed area. Given this, and the high expectations surrounding RSC, we have submitted a proposal for the project to be extended, which would also provide more time to engage with children, young people, and their parents/carers.  

Member feedback

All agreed that further discussion regarding the detail of the proposal and associated costings would need to be considered further with the Scottish Government and Maureen will arrange a separate meeting with Liz/Tom. Members also recognised that there were significant stakeholders including health and education who required to be involved if an extension was granted. There was consensus from members regarding the need for key players in any further phases of the project and all were supportive of the project team’s decisions on who should participate in smaller, more focussed groups in order to meet the objectives and longer term aims of the project.

Key actions and timescales

  • RSC interim report to be published by CYCJ on 4 December 2023
  • Jillian to share RSC interim report at COSLA board meeting on 1 December 2023
  • Jillian to provide dates of future COSLA board meetings to ensure RSC final report is considered by COSLA board
  • RSC project team to provide costings for extension to project and arrange meeting with Liz/Tom for review

Any other business

For information the next COSLA board meetings are 2 February 2024 and 5 April 2024

Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting is 10 January 2024.

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