UNCRC Strategic Implementation Board minutes: 29 July 2021

Minutes from the UNCRC Strategic Implementation Board meeting on 29 July 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • Michael Chalmers, Director for Children and Families, Scottish Government
  • Teja Bapuram, UNCRC Programme Manager, Children’s Rights Unit, Scottish Government
  • Michael Cameron, Scottish Housing Regulator
  • Kavita Chetty, Scottish Human Rights Commission 
  • Jaci Douglas, CALA Childcare
  • Helen Fogarty, Head of Children’s Rights Unit, Scottish Government 
  • Ben Farrugia, Social Work Scotland
  • Eddie Folan, COSLA
  • Gayle Gorman, Education Scotland
  • Sara Hampson, Acting Head, Children’s Rights Unit, Scottish Government
  • Louise Haplin, Human Rights Bill Team Leader in Scottish Government
  • Juliet Harris, Together 
  • Louise Hunter, Coalition of Care and support Providers in Scotland (CCPS)
  • Will Kerr, Police Scotland
  • Angela Leitch, Public Health Scotland
  • Kay McCorquodale, Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service
  • Ben McKendrick, Scottish Youth Parliament 
  • Fi McFarlane, The Promise
  • Craig Morris, Care Inspectorate 
  • Dragan Nastic, UNICEF 
  • Natalie Nixon, UNCRC Programme Officer - minute taker 
  • Lesley Sheppard, Deputy Director for Care, Protection and Justice, Scottish Government
  • Clare Simpson, Parenting Across Scotland 
  • Kay Tisdall, University of Edinburgh, associated with the Observatory of Children’s Human Rights Scotland (substituting for Jennifer Davidson) 
  • David Wallace, Social Security Scotland 
  • Gina Wilson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland


  • Jennifer Davidson, Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures
  • Carol Potter, NHS Fife 
  • Grace Vickers, SOLACE

Items and actions

Welcome by Michael Chalmers, Director of Children and Families and Chair

Michael Chalmers welcomed the group to the second meeting of the UNCRC Strategic Implementation Board.

Minutes and actions from 1 July 2021 - Michael Chalmers, Director of Children and Families and Chair

The Minutes from the 1 July 2021 were approved, subject to the following noted amendments: 

  • correction of error: ‘Scottish Government Leadership in Public Services’ to ‘Scottish Government Leadership for Children’s Rights'
  • the correction to Kay McCorquodale’s surname which was previously misspelled
  • the affiliation of the University of Edinburgh added to Kay Tidsall’s details

Updates from the action points detailed in the minutes were given as follows:

  • discuss the proposed model for the consortium – to be discussed in agenda item 8 today
  • look at how the aims of the implementation programme could be adjusted to reflect the cultural transformation also required – to be discussed in agenda item 4 today
  • how to ensure the meaningful involvement of younger children –Children’s Parliament have agreed to do an input at a future Board meeting 
  • revised Terms of Reference- to be discussed in agenda item 4 today
  • monthly meetings have been arranged until December 2021 when the frequency will be reviewed


  • members were asked to submit any proposed agenda items for consideration at future meetings to the Board Secretariat at UNCRCIncorporation@gov.scot

Introductions continued

The introductions exercise will continue over the coming months. Members were asked to consider their responses for future meetings.

Revised aims and terms of reference - Michael Chalmers, Director of Children and Families and Chair

Terms of reference

A revised terms of reference was circulated ahead of the meeting (Revised Terms of Reference - Clean Version) taking into account the suggestions made at the first meeting. This was approved by members, subject to two minor amendments (numbering paragraphs and including the phrase ‘and their families’ in bullet point 9 of section 3).


  • agreed terms of reference will now be published


The revised aims, circulated ahead of the meeting (Revised Terms of Reference - Clean Version) were accepted, however it was agreed that further discussion would be required as to how progress towards these high-level aims could, and would, be measured and monitored.

Some suggestions were as follows:

  • using Together’s annual ‘State of Children’s Rights’ report
  • listening to, and gaining insights into children and young people’s experiences, should be an explicit focus of the Board’s work
  • developing an evaluation strategy 
  • use of a risk register 
  • using the National Performance Framework’s indicators on respecting and protecting human rights


  • to table a discussion at a future meeting on monitoring and evaluation proposals for the programme

Work stream priorities – embedding children’s rights in public services - Helen Fogarty, Head of Children’s Rights Unit

Helen Fogarty presented the priority actions within the ‘Embedding Children’s Rights in Public Services’ strand of the UNCRC implementation programme. These were as follows:

  • guidance - a short-term working group has been formed and has produced a draft  introduction to the UNCRC particularly to support those public services that are less familiar with children's rights. This introductory guidance will be followed by further detailed guidance
  • work around capacity building in public services will be essential to drive forward the cultural change required. A UNCRC Skills and Knowledge Framework will be developed to support this
  • we will be looking at how Scottish Government can work co-productively on a range of projects with stakeholders, and are in the process of considering a number of partnership proposals 
  • innovation and improvement - There will be a move away from just producing guidance to developing improvement projects and a peer learning network to support good practice

A point was raised that a robust assessment is needed of what resources are required to deliver the implementation of the UNCRC. 

Work stream priorities continued - empowered children and young people who can claim their rights, Sara Hampson, Acting Head, Children’s Rights Unit

Sara Hampson presented the priority actions proposed within the Empowered Children and Young People who can Claim their Rights strand. This strand has been set out as a separate strand but awareness raising and participation and engagement runs through the whole implementation programme. There are three main tenets to this strand: 

Awareness raising:

  • we are currently focusing on understanding our current system to develop our awareness raising programme- gathering knowledge on what currently exists, and undertaking a mapping exercise to identify gaps. Identifying tools and awareness raising activities we need to ensure that children and young people know about their rights, can be human rights defenders and can challenge breaches of their rights
  • as was set out in the financial memorandum, we will explore a social marketing campaign to raise the profile and support for children’s rights across Scottish society and will consider the timing of this
  • the Scottish Government UNCRC booklet: A guide for children and young people published in 2016 will be updated in line with the UNCRC Bill, pending the outcome of the Supreme Court proceedings
  • co-production will be a key principle of this work strand

Participation and engagement: 

  • looking at how we drive a rights-based approach to participation forward and develop our strategic approach, ensuring we listen to representative voices of children and young people, and particularly those who are seldom heard
  • there has been a lot of engagement work to date with children and young people such as the annual meeting of Cabinet members and children and young people and engagement with children and young people on the impact of Covid-19. What can we learn from, and build from this engagement, also taking into account considerations of access and digital technology
  • we will look at reviewing the Scottish Government Decision Making: Children and Young People’s Participation Guidance to ensure it is kept up-to-date and relevant and evaluate its usefulness

Children and Young People’s Consortium:

  • the aim is to develop and establish a consortium of organisations to support the meaningful and inclusive participation of children and young people in the UNCRC Strategic Implementation Board and wider implementation programme
  • we are currently approaching the end of this preliminary scoping phase of the proposed consortium model with stakeholders, which has been extremely helpful to gauge the potential interest of organisations, and to gather their views and feedback
  • our next steps are to review and use the interest, feedback and proposals we have received to date and start to further develop the model with those organisations who have noted interest. We intend to hold a round table discussion with these organisations shortly

A point was raised about generic awareness raising and the potential risks that this could be too vague, as it would be important to also highlight routes to redress and ensure there is knowledge and awareness raising around this.

It was agreed that it was important to capture this. We will be looking across the four workstreams to consider who are our audiences and what messaging and information is required. 

Children and Young People’s Participation and Engagement Update - Sara Hampson, Acting Head, Children’s Rights Unit and Juliet Harris, Director, Together

Sara Hampson and Juliet Harris spoke to the paper circulated ahead of the meeting (Participation and Engagement of Children and Young People- 29 July 2021) and outlined the arrangements for the next 6 months to ensure children and young people are at the heart of the UNCRC Strategic Implementation Board’s collective leadership and decision-making.

Together, with the support of a number of organisations who already have trusting relationships with children and young people, will undertake activities to:

  • involve children and young people in the work of the UNCRC Strategic Implementation Board, including preparing child-friendly and accessible information and resources
  • develop, document and disseminate innovative best practice on children and young people’s participation, including an end-of-project evaluation, which will also help to shape the model for the proposed consortium
  • consult with children and young people on specific deliverables from the UNCRC Implementation Programme workstreams

The Board discussed:

  • how they would wish to engage with children and young people over this next 6-month period and beyond 
  • how the Board proposes to function to ensure the meaningful and sustained engagement of children and young people
  • what does the Board require to ensure the meaningful and sustained engagement of children and young people


  • members to send any further thoughts and suggestions to Juliet Harris on working methods to effectively support the engagement of children and young people before the next meeting of the Board

Any other business

The webpage for the UNCRC Strategic Implementation Board is now live and the Board’s membership, Terms of Reference and minutes will be published there.

Next month there will be presentations on the other two strands of the implementation programme: Children’s Rights Resolution and Scottish Government Leadership in Children’s Rights.

If anyone has any suggested agenda items, please contact the secretariat at UNCRCIncorporation@gov.scot

Next meeting will be held on Thursday 26th August, 3-4:30pm

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