Secure Care Group minutes: June 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the Secure Care Group on 1 June 2022.

Attendees and apologies

  • Laura Caven, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) (Chair)
  • Jillian Gibson, COSLA
  • Nick Hobbs, Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland (CYPCS)
  • Mary Geaney, Rossie Young People’s Trust
  • Donna Munro, Scottish Government (SG) Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Pathways
  • Janine McCullough, Education Scotland
  • Rod Finan, SG Office of the Chief Social Work Advisor
  • Alison Gough, Good Shepherd Centre
  • Nicola Dodd, Police Scotland
  • Gary Peebles, Kibble Safe Centre
  • Chris Wright, Care Inspectorate
  • Kevin Miller, St Mary’s Kenmure
  • Vivien Thomson, Social Work Scotland
  • James Mackenzie, Scotland Excel
  • Emily Casserly, NHS Ayrshire & Arran
  • Melissa Hunt, Scottish Children's Reporter Administration (SCRA)
  • Lily Humphries, Children's Hearings Scotland (CHS)
  • Gill Robinson, Scottish Prison Service (SPS)
  • Ruby Whitelaw, Child and Young Person's Centre for Justice (CYCJ)
  • Debbie Nolan, SG Youth Justice & Children’s Hearings
  • Aileen Blower SG CAMHS Psychiatry Adviser
  • Liz Murdoch, SG Youth Justice
  • Alison Melville, SG Youth Justice
  • Karen Strain, SG Youth Justice


  • Ben Farrugia, Social Work Scotland (SWS)
  • Jane Donaldson, Police Scotland
  • Maria Galli, CYPCS
  • Fi McFarlane, Promise Scotland
  • Zoe Brawn, Scotland Excel
  • Andy Sloan, Care Inspectorate

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Laura welcomed all to the meeting and invited introductions from those new to the group.

Note of the last meeting

Laura gave an update on the action points from the meeting held on 29 March 2022.

Action: Raising awareness of STARR – Beth‑Anne to send a letter to COSLA to circulate to SOLACE.

Progress: Outstanding - Jillian will follow up with Beth-Anne

Action: Secure Care Standards Scrutiny Approach - Group members to let Chris Wright know of engagement opportunities and of young people who may wish to be involved in inspections.

Progress:  Ongoing – Chris has had useful conversations with CYCJ, the STARR Group and SG so progress has been made. Members should continue to let him know of possible engagement opportunities.

Action: Secure Transport – specification and issues log to be added to agenda for next meeting.

Progress: Complete

The Group were content to agree the note which will be published on the SG website.


A update paper was circulated prior to the meeting.

Deprivation of Liberty Order Regulations – Liz confirmed that the Minister for Children and Young People had taken part in an evidence session on the draft Cross Border Placements (Effect of Deprivation of Liberty Orders) (Scotland) Regulations 2022. A motion to approve the regulations has been passed by the Committee but has still go to a vote.

Nick expressed the Commissioner’s office’s concerns that the regulations are not sufficiently strong to protect children in these placements. When Maria and Nick gave evidence to the Committee, they made recommendations on how the legislation could be improved.

Secure transport

The secure transport sub-group has been meeting to develop a national specification based on an outline that was shared by Scotland Excel. The document sets out high expectations for secure transport and is currently being refined and updated following consultation with young people from Rossie, Good Shepherd and Kibble.

The young people thought it was important that transport is provided by those they know and made some suggestions around how staff could put them at ease, eg no smoking, driving speed, radio, snacks and breaks. The vehicle should be spacious as the young person is often in the back seat with other people. There should also be sufficient storage so they can travel with their belongings as this often goes missing.

The sub-group have identified issues around secure transport which need to be addressed. The draft specification sets out high expectations for secure transport which should fix some of these issues, but there are some that are outwith the scope of the group. Further discussions are required about how the specification might be used nationally and whether current providers are able to deliver the standards required.

Janine suggested that if it was difficult to get the right type of transport and expect providers to have the right training, we could offer to extend training which is already happening in centres to ensure consistency. Whilst Alison G thought this was sensible, any suggestion of revisiting the secure care contract in terms of what centres would be able to absorb would have to be carefully worked through.

Mary highlighted the National commissioning model in the Promise and asked whether this can be extended to include secure care. She also asked that the specification is circulated widely, along with more information on the numbers of young people who require the service.

Alison G reminded all that the Secure Care Strategic Board (this group’s predecessor) intended that issues such as legislation, scrutiny, localised commissioning and tendering need to be addressed nationally. Laura agreed that the Secure Care Group need to take ownership of this work.

The Care and Justice Bill consultation is currently seeking views on whether legislative provision is needed around secure transport.

Action point: Specification to be shared with group members

Action Point: Issues outwith the scope of this group to be raised with the Youth Justice Improvement Board and Social Work Scotland.

Care and justice bill consultation

The Care and Justice Bill consultation runs until 22 June. Debbie provided an overview of the areas of the Bill most relevant to the group:

Secure Care

  • simplifying and clarifying the regulatory landscape and definition of secure care;
  • ensuring any child who needs it has a route to secure care;
  • revisiting funding and placement arrangements;
  • requirements for secure transport;
  • enabling children to remain in secure care beyond their 18th birthday.

Children’s Hearings System

  • raising the age of referral to the principal reporter;
  • protective and preventative measures (amending or enhancing existing measures including MRCs);
  • maximising the use of the Children’s Hearings System where needed (remittal and post-18).

Criminal Justice System

  • ending children being accommodation in Youth Offenders’ Institutions (YOI), instead with secure care as the last resort where necessary;
  • a statutory prohibition on YOI placement for under 18s;
  • strengthening duties to assess and support children and care leavers who are deprived of their liberty.

Residential Care and Cross-Border Placements

  • increased role for the Care Inspectorate;
  • introduction of pathways and standards for residential care for children and young people in Scotland;
  • access to local advocacy for all children;
  • clearer law and guidance on restraint.


There was a lot of discussion around cross-border placements and the difference in regulation and monitoring between those placed in secure care and residential care.

Mary asked what the enhanced role for the Care Inspectorate in cross-border placements would look like. Debbie confirmed that nothing had been agreed and the consultation is seeking views on what should be considered, ie whether there should be specific registration requirements or whether additional factors need to be considered during inspection of cross-border placements.

It was agreed there is a need to ensure that what is inspected for secure care is also inspected in other settings. Alison G noted that currently the National Health and Social Care Standards, the Care Inspectorate’s regulatory framework for secure care and the Pathway and Standards already apply for children from other UK nations.

Chris suggested that the Care Inspectorate’s review of children and young people placed on Deprivation of Liberty orders may provide useful information on those placed in residential care.

Any further queries relating to the Bill should be directed to

Joint delivery board and Forensic CAMHS in-reach to secure care

The Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Joint Delivery Board (JDB) has been formed to meet new and ongoing priorities agreed by Scottish Ministers and COSLA spokespeople. Hannah summarised the work of the JDB and its 8 key deliverables, which are set out in the attached paper.

Mary highlighted that Rossie are not getting the same services as secure centres in the central belt with no in-reach service. She asked how she could influence NHS Tayside’s decision making. Hannah agreed to pick this up in CAMHS discussions with NHS Tayside and will link in with Mary.

Aileen advised that the Mental Health Strategy published in 2017 had several actions around the needs of young people in or on the edges of secure or in community settings in conflict with the law. The CAMHS specification which was developed sets out the standards that anyone in Scotland can expect from their local CAMHS. One of the key principles is equity and while there will be local variation, there should be equality and young people shouldn’t be excluded.

The specification talks about groups of young people who by virtue of their circumstances or conditions need more specialist input than community CAMHS, including those in/on the edge of secure. Aileen will be working with Donna Munro on developing this pathway and the first meeting of the Forensic-Secure Care Outreach CAMHS Advisory Group will take place on 8 June 2022. The terms of reference for group will be agreed at that meeting.

Action point: Hannah to provide Rossie with a contact for NHS Tayside

Action Point: SG to circulate membership of the Forensic Secure care outreach CAMHS Advisory group

Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on 31 August 2022 and a meeting request will be circulated.

Related papers

The group were provided with updates.

Back to top