Trauma Responsive Social Work Services Expert Advisory Group: minutes: February 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 21 February 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • individuals providing social work services across Scotland from various practice areas

  • Improvement Service

  • Resilience Learning Partnership

  • Scottish Government (SG)

Items and actions


This was the fifth meeting of the Trauma Responsive Social Work Services (TRSWS) Expert Advisory Group. The purpose of this meeting was to inform the group of what is happening nationally and locally and to seek views of members.

Introductions, welcome and apologies

The meeting began by the Chair noting apologies from members.  All members gave brief introductions.

Note of previous meeting

The group approved the meeting note from the fourth Expert Advisory Group meeting on 21 September 2023, including one amendment.

Presentation on update on programme and national activity

Programme Lead and Policy Lead for TRSWS delivered a short presentation on the progress made so far on the programme. The presentation will be shared with members with this meeting note and can also be requested from the Secretariat.

Reflections and feedback from members include:

  • the group were overall positive about idea of a professional development qualification for trauma.  Interested in a cumulative approach to building towards a qualification. Easier to protect staff time to undertake courses. There were some concerns around potentially limiting number of staff completing, increased costs associated for qualifications, whether managers will release staff for training. Issues with post-qualifying training is the lack of follow-up
  • the group were interested in Advanced Practice Framework developments and would like to be kept up to date
  • lots of engagement from group on reflective practice supervision. Social workers keen and understand importance. Issue with less reflective practice supervision the higher the grade you are
  • the potential need for refresher training

Oral update on wider policy activity

  • recent publication of the government response to Drug Deaths Taskforce report. SG committed a financial investment to ensure both specialist and generic services that people who use drugs may encounter, are trained and equipped in trauma informed practice to ensure appropriate responses and support is given
  • Trauma Informed Cervical Screening Project Team in NHS Forth Valley recently won  the Trauma Scottish Health Awards 2022 for Care for Mental Health
  • North Strathclyde Partnership (joint investigative interviews) recently won the Excellence in Children’s Services award at the Scottish Social Services Awards
  • implementation of update to Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT) Standards

Update on local activity

  • East Lothian having issues recruiting trauma lead. They have created a trauma pathway for East Lothian Council. Challenges building time in current staffs role
  • Aberdeenshire working on supervision policy. Current policy outdated. Updated to include wellbeing plans, engagement sessions with manager. Building performance plans into monthly supervision instead of yearly performance review. Staff have raised to leaders around need for training on reflective practice supervision. Licensed training from Beacon House. Drip feeding trauma informed response to be ready for further training once available. Excellent buy in from managers
  • Scottish Borders created a steering group Summer 2022. Membership increased to include third sector, specialist Services and individuals with lived experience. Currently discussing whether a separate forum for lived experience may be preferred. Utilising Safety and Stabilisation training from NHS. Creating graphics to place around services to increase awareness
  • East Dunbartonshire has the ongoing East Dunbartonshire Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma Collaborative. They presented to their Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) members last week to increase awareness within the Core Management Team and signpost towards the Scottish Trauma Informed Leaders Training (STILT).  Also promoting trauma agenda council wide with 3 subgroups focusing on physical environment, policies (which will focus on trauma informed/reflective supervision policy initially) and training - linking in with Scottish Prison Service, housing etc
  • North Ayrshire involved in research around trauma informed practice with Durham University. They have had some initial findings and will share with group


  • TRSWS team to arrange meeting with Each and Every Child - the initiative could be a great ally for this work/group
  • TRSWS team to arrange a discussion with Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection (CELCIS) to discuss connections with new role
  • TRSWS team to link in with Advanced Practice Framework team to see if potential for them to attend May in-person meeting
  • arrange further information on work with Heads of Institutes (HEIs) to be shared with group
  • potential update from Police Scotland on their internal work to be trauma informed
  • share current membership to refresh and identify all gaps


For more information on this group, please visit Trauma Responsive Social Work Services Expert Advisory Group.

For more information on this programme, please visit Trauma Responsive Social Work Services.

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