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The group oversees the work involved in implementing the act.


These terms of reference were first drawn up while the Bill was in the Senedd; they have now been updated following Royal Assent to refer to the Act and timescale for commencement.

Purpose of the group

To bring together relevant stakeholders and agencies to oversee the development and implementation of operational strategies, training and guidance (as appropriate), data collection and monitoring; and support for parents to support and effectively manage the change since the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020 has been passed by the Senedd Cymru.

The Strategic Implementation Group will oversee the detailed work, make strategic recommendations and ensure that the law is implemented in a practicable and workable way.

Governance arrangements

The Strategic Implementation Group will be chaired by the Deputy Director for Children and Families Division and membership consists of representation from stakeholders and partners listed below. The Strategic Implementation Group shall report to the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services.

The task and finish groups will report to the Strategic Implementation Group. Each group will co-ordinate reporting and updates to Strategic Implementation Group after each task and finish group meeting or at appropriate points through the project.

Timings and key dates

The Strategic Implementation Group will meet quarterly from May 2019 for a period of at least 2 years (September 2021), this will be reviewed in March 2021. The Welsh Government will arrange quarterly meetings including providing premises for those meetings and provide details and diary dates at a minimum of 3 months prior to each meeting.

The work of the Strategic Implementation Group should be completed before the change in the law comes into force on 21 March 2022.

The individual task and finish groups will decide on the timetable for their own work plan. Some groups may be retained as reference groups after the proposed change in the law comes into force.  

Key tasks and dates for the group

  • Quarterly progress checks on work of Task and Finish Groups - From January 2020
  • Quarterly progress report to Welsh Government - from January 2020
  • Make final strategic recommendations coming out of the detailed work of the task and finish groups to Welsh Government, regarding implementing the proposed law change in the most practicable and workable way - By March 2021
  • Ensure that all changes required to implement efficiently are in place in time for the law change - By September 2021
  • Expected Coming into Force Date - 21 March 2022
  • Post Implementation Review - 3 and 5 years after the coming into force date

Specific roles of Members and Welsh Government

Membership is from a range of organisations with an understanding of key issues with regard to the change in the law.

Members will be asked to:

  • Attend meetings or nominate an appropriate deputy to attend who can shape strategic discussions and decisions
  • Bring their expertise and knowledge to support the work of the group
  • Share relevant information
  • Oversee the work of task and finish groups and review recommendations
  • Advise on how to take forward key implementation decisions
  • Work collaboratively and confidentially

The Welsh Government will provide:

  • Provide policy support and policy expertise
  • Provide secretariat, admin support and arrangements for meetings and the work of the group
  • Provide progress updates related to the agreed workplan, and
  • Provide papers for each meeting 5 working days before.


The Strategic Implementation Group will include representation from key stakeholders set out in the below table. The Strategic Implementation Group will when required co-opt wider expertise and/or consult additional sectors and groups as appropriate.

Membership will include representation from:

  • Cafcass Cymru
  • Crown Prosecution Service Cymru
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • Directors of Education (ADEW)
  • Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service
  • Health Education and Improvement Wales
  • All Wales Heads of Health Visiting and School Nursing Forum
  • Law Society for Wales
  • NHS Safeguarding Team
  • Heads of Midwifery Advisory Group
  • Parenting Coordinators Network
  • Police and Crime Commissioners Wales
  • Police Wales
  • Directors of Social/Children’s Services – ADSS/AWHOCS
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Wales
  • Regional Safeguarding Boards
  • Welsh Government
  • Welsh Local Government Association
  • Youth Justice Board
  • Children in Wales

Task and Finish Groups

Each task and finish group will be required to identify co-chairs alongside a Welsh Government co-chair or set up alternative arrangements to co-ordinate the group’s meetings, tasks, actions and recommendations to the Strategic Implementation Group, this role can be shared between members. The Welsh Government will also provide secretariat and administrative support including arranging meetings, providing premises and contribute to drafting papers and key documents.

There are 4 key areas where task and finish groups have been identified and will explore and work through matters in a detailed way. They are:

Parenting Expert Action Group

This group will look at the existing provision of parenting advice and support as well as future delivery of provision in relation to the new law.

Data Collection and Monitoring Group 

This group will look into methods and ways to monitor the impacts of the legislation on public services. This will include considering IT systems, recording data by social services and local authorities, the Police and the criminal justice system and use it to provide evidence of the impacts and costs of the legislation in the future.

Operations, Guidance and Training Group

This group will consider impacts on processes for and between organisations, key stakeholders and services involved in children’s safeguarding as well as professional guidance and training requirements.

Out of Court Disposals and Diversion Scheme Group

This group will consider the use of out of court disposals, diversion from the justice system, education in support of parents, and related operational processes.

In addition the Strategic Implementation Group will receive updates about plans for Raising Awareness and will be asked for comment at key points in the planning cycle.