Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020 Strategic Implementation Group meeting: 22 October 2020
Minutes from the meeting held 22 October 2020.
1. Welcome and Introductions
The Welsh Government (WG) welcomed attendees to the meeting.
2. Minutes and actions of previous meeting
The minutes of the last meeting of 4 August 2020 were agreed.
3. Implementation Status Update
Following the re-start of the implementation programme in June 2020 (after a COVID-19 -related pause) the work of the implementation task and finish groups had been taken forward through virtual engagement. Key outputs are still achievable. The overarching workplan for the implementation groups will be revised and updated to reflect the changes required due to COVID-19. Agreeing the diversion option(s) is time critical.
4. Communications Update
WG provided an update on the communications for the legislation. The campaign had been officially paused whilst all Welsh Government communications focused on the response to the Covid-19 crisis. The awareness raising campaign will include a targeted multi-media campaign incorporating engagement with stakeholders and specific audiences as well as a range of advertising and PR. The aim is to ensure the general public in Wales will be aware of the change in the law. The Welsh Government will work with specific groups, communities and organisations to inform them of the change in the law and consider whether extra support, advice and information may be needed.
The current focus is on stakeholder engagement, including providing introductory presentations to a wide range of stakeholders through a PR agency (details in newsletter). In this period a range of resources for the campaign will also be developed, including a one-page briefing note on the legislation
SIG members were asked to consider whether virtual presentations would be useful for their own or partner organisations, and pass any requests for presentations to the implementation team
5. Association of Directors of Education in Wales’s (ADEW) consideration of how teachers could be supported to educate children as future parents
A discussion was held on how teachers could be supported once the law had changed. There was a strong consensus from ADEW that resources for teachers would be needed, and that educating young people about the change in the law should be set within the context of children’s rights.
6. Data Collection and Monitoring Task & Finish Group (DCM) consideration on the potential content of a post implementation review report.
The DCM have considered the proposed methods of assessing the impact of the legislation, for the purpose of a post implementation review. The Group has already established an agreed approach to collecting data relating to the police and social services. There should be sufficient time to collect an adequate baseline data before the Act commences in March 2022.
7. Update from the Out of Court Disposal Task & Finish Group
WG provided an update on the work of the OOCD T & F.
At the meeting in September the group had explored options for a diversion scheme and discussed the process around safeguarding and how this links with diversion from criminal justice.
It was agreed the process would be tested early in 2021.
8. Any Other Business
Date of next meeting: 27 January 2021