UNCRC Implementation Embedding in Public Services minutes: 21 February 2022

Attendees and apologies

In attendance

  • Nicola Hughes (chair), Scottish Government – NH
  • Eilidh Walker (minutes), Scottish Government – EW
  • Lesleyann Russell, Scottish Government – LR
  • Carola Eyber, Scottish Government – CE
  • Susan Revie, Scottish Government – SR
  • Billy Pugh, Scottish Government – BP
  • Poppy Prior, Scottish Government – PP
  • Deborah Davidson, ADES – DD
  • Daren Little, Dumfries and Galloway Council – DL
  • Debby Wason, Public Health Scotland – DW
  • Juliet Harris, Together Scotland – JH
  • Daniel Cosgrove, UNICEF – DC
  • Dragan Nastic, UNICEF – DN
  • Rebekah Cameron-Berry, COSLA – RCB
  • Tamar Jamieson, Police Scotland – TJ


  • Maria Doyle, Together Scotland
  • Colin Convery, Police Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome and Introductions

Chair welcomed the group and introductions followed.

Minutes and actions from previous meeting

Minutes from the previous meeting have been circulated with members and made available on the group page shortly thereafter.

Update on the Theory of Change project

Eloise Di Gianni provided a brief outline of the Theory of Change project followed by an update on its progress over the past month:

  • the deadline for feedback on the ToC Interim Paper has passed (18th February), the feedback from which will be incorporated into the ToC

A workshop with a small group of children and young people through Rights Right Now was held in early February. Feedback from this group included the importance of the adult’s role in implementation of Children’s Rights and that the onus isn’t put too heavily on children.

  • an engagement pack was also sent out to encourage organisations to consult CYP for their responses to the interim paper
  • commissioning evidence reviews for each of the four change mechanisms in the ToC

The project is nearing its end, as a finalised version of the ToC will be handed over to SG on 31 March.

EDG welcomed any feedback or questions on the project, providing her email for members to contact directly eloise.digianni@ed.ac.uk

NH asked the group whether a focussed agenda item to explore the functionality of the ToC would be useful once the final paper is issued?

DD expressed positivity around a tailored session, noting that ADES has an upcoming session focussing on the ToC. Through consistency, collaboration and learning through the ToC DD agrees a targeted session would be very useful to look at the project not only in an academic light, suggesting that looking at capacity building and how it fits in to sector specific work would also be helpful.

Action: SG to facilitate a future meeting with members when the ToC has been published.

Updates on a number of key projects

Improvement and innovation fund

Lesleyann Russell provided an update on the progress of the Innovation Fund over the past month:

  • additional stakeholder feedback has outlined a desire to split the IF between

- national landmark pieces of work, for example, cross sector to scale across Scotland (with estimated budgets of £100-150k)

- localised projects, such as a deep dive on a single article of the UNCRC (with estimated budgets of <£50k)

  • planning engagement with children and young people
  • IF now has a buyer so the procurement process is progressing
  • LR expressed an interest in linking the IF with the outcome of the ToC

DW expressed concerns surrounding gaps in knowledge and available information. An example of which would be services provided to children in the armed forces. The UK is one of four countries in the world that recruit children aged 17 into the armed forces. Their contract, signed either by or on behalf of them, commits the young people to 4 years of service and often causes many of the young people to develop significant mental health issues.

DW questions whether this is a group that should be looked at more carefully? What can be done for them, including advocacy work? DW adds she feels these issues are not solely health issues but breaches of CR. In addition, would it be possible and would applications be welcomed for projects relating to those types of issues?

LR noted that whilst public bodies are a key audience of the IF that if localised work surrounding such a topic were to come forward as an application and there was applicability there is no barrier to applications. However, the risk lies within the strength of other applications and the numbers of these, which we don’t yet have a sense of.

NH explained that the IF is focussed on public authorities taking a child rights based approach to their work and services. Therefore, the application would have to explain how it focusses on that. NH also suggested that DW contact Gita Sharkey, Children’s Rights Resolution Programme Lead, to talk further about advocacy relating to children in the armed forces.

Action: DW to contact Gita Sharkey in relation to children in the armed forces and advocacy work.

Self-evaluation project conducted by the improvement service

  • LR provided a high level overview of the self-evaluation project being conducted by the Improvement Service. The project consists of 6-8 weeks research to discover what self-evaluation resources exist for and are used by PAs
  • questions being considered are: do they cover CR compatibility? are there gaps in knowledge? if there are examples of good practice that we can share?
  • the work will be completed by early April in which time LR would welcome feedback from the group

Action: LR to share completed self-evaluation project paper with the group for feedback.

NH asked the group whether they would find a tool for evaluating where strengths and weaknesses lie within implementing CR helpful?

The group were in agreement that this would be helpful to be able to develop a more retrospective tool alongside CRWIA to identify whether the outcomes of CRWIAs are getting dealt with properly. DD also noted ADES would be happy to be involved.

NH welcomes the group to share any evaluative tools they currently use or are aware of as it’s useful to see what is currently being used by PAs.

Action: group members to contact LR with any evaluative tools they already utilise and find useful.

Plans for a Working Together Partnership

LR provided a high level overview of the plans to create a Working Together Partnership, which would bring together funded partners to work alongside SG on implementation of the Bill. Key aims of the group would be to identify risks and opportunities within the programme.

SG are currently in the scoping stages for the Terms of Reference for the group. Once finalised, these will be shared with partners for their feedback.

Animated guidance

Susan Revie provided an update on the progress of the animated video that will sit alongside the introductory guidance. We are on track to commence a contract with a supplier next week. (week beginning 28 February). Next steps for the project is workshops with CYP to include them on the design and creation of the animation. The first draft will be ready in early April, with the final product being produced at the end of May. SG will update the group as to a date to be able to gain feedback on the project.

Guidance sub-group

Carola Eyber provided an update on the formation of a guidance sub-group, which will aim to collate views from members on the content and scope of guidance on Parts 2 and 3 of the Bill. Members of the group will play an active role in commenting on the guidance and highlighting challenges their constituents may identify. CE welcomed members to self-nominate themselves to be a part of the sub-group.

CE noted that there will be a process of statutory consultation after producing a draft of the statutory guidance, as specified in the Bill and noted that due to the nature of this process that anything produced may be subject to change.

Action: members to self-nominate to join the guidance sub-group.

DW asked whether the statutory guidance will be the only guidance or whether there would also be sector specific?

CE explained that statutory and non-statutory guidance will be produced to accompany Parts 2 and 3 of the Bill. Work to determine what topics go into the statutory guidance is underway.

NH added that there are no current plans for developing sector specific guidance However, conversations surrounding this continue internally. If there are particular sectors who are keen to develop guidance for their workforce, once the statutory guidance has been published, it would be useful to have knowledge of this. Group agreed it would be helpful for the sub-group to keep this under review.

Action: DW to check in with NH, in the future, surrounding sector specific guidance

DN also noted that discussions around amendments to the Bill and their incorporation in the statutory guidance need to be included in the early stages of the group.

CE agreed that amendments to the Bill would play a role in relation to the statutory guidance but that there were topics that the group could begin discussions on that were not dependent on the amendments. The group will discuss this further in their first meeting.

Action: SG to create statutory guidance sub-group following self-nomination from members.


Juliet Harris noted that Together’s State of Children’s Rights Report will be published on the 2nd March 2022 and asked if an agenda item could be added in the next meeting to present this to the group?

Action: EW to include an agenda item for the next meeting on Together’s State of Children’s Rights report.

On the back of a general discussion on the topic, NH asked the group if they would be interested in a session surrounding child-friendly budgeting as it’s an integral part of implementing a CRBA? SG intern Aidan Flegg has provided presentations across his placement.

Action: NH to pick up with Aidan Flegg re CR budgeting presentation.

NH asked group if any members would be willing to share more on their work in local contexts in relation to CR?

Action: DD offered to share highlights from recent work at Fife CSP.

Action: EW to add agenda item for next meeting on local updates.

DN noted that UNICEF have recently produced resources relating to CR budgeting that he can share with the group.

Action: DN to share CR budgeting resources with SG.

Please note the workgroup on Objective Connect has now closed, any additional requests for documents stored within Objective Connect should be forwarded to Luiza Leite – luiza.leite@gov.scot

In addition, following the renaming of the group to Embedding in Public Services Group please see the new link to the group page.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) Implementation: Embedding in Public Services Group.

The next meeting will be held on 21 March.

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