The Discovery Group

The Discovery Group is charged with guiding and supporting the wide-ranging conversations and involvement of people and organisations to reach answers on two big questions:

  1. What do we mean by a root and branch review? This answer will shape the focus of the Review
  2. What does good care and protection look like for children and young people in care? The answer will set out Scotland's ambition for its care system

Who is part of the Discovery Group?

Fiona Duncan is the Chair of the Discovery Group.

The Discovery Group is made of 12 people, and half of the Group have experience of the care system.

Lex Baillie, Police Scotland

Chief Inspector Baillie joined Strathclyde Police in 1994 and spent his early career policing the communities of Lanarkshire, undertaking a number of diverse operational and leadership roles. By the time of the creation of Police Scotland in 2013, CI Baillie had been promoted to Inspector, with responsibility for leading several teams of response and community officers in South Lanarkshire.

In 2015 CI Baillie was promoted to Chief Inspector with responsibility for national missing persons and added national children and young persons to his portfolio in 2016. CI Baillie is currently overseeing the implementation of the National Missing Persons Framework for Scotland and the Children & Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, leading landmark improvements across policing in Scotland.

Kevin Browne, care experienced member, nominated by Who Cares? Scotland

Kevin is a Strathclyde University graduate who has dedicated his professional career to ensuring care experienced people are understood in our society and achieve equality. He has 15 years of personal care experience, which includes being looked after at home, respite care, foster care & residential care.

In a professional capacity, Kevin manages the National Corporate Parenting Education and Training Programme with Who Cares? Scotland. He has overseen the delivery of innovative programmes which place care experienced people at the forefront of corporate parenting approaches. Kevin has been successful in engaging with hearts and minds, against the complex backdrop of legislation, policy and regulation. Kevin previously worked for the office of Scotland’s Commissioner for Children & Young People on a number of national children’s rights based projects; he also has substantial practice experience as an independent advocate and independent Safeguarder, which was through Ministerial Appointment.

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Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Linda is Director of Public Health for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.  She has been in post for 10 years, having returned to post in August 2016 after a year’s leave working for the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics promoting women’s reproductive health in low-resource settings.

Linda's clinical background is in obstetrics and gynaecology and she had a previous post seconded to the (then) Scottish Executive as Head of the Women and Children’s Unit. Her special interests are in maternal and child health and she is an honorary professor at the University of Glasgow. Linda has served on a number of national groups including the Child and Young People’s Health Support Group and was a member of the Commission on Female Offenders.

Helen Happer, Care Inspectorate

Helen qualified as a social worker from Aberdeen University in 1984 and has spent her career working for better outcomes for children and families, in central and local government and in the third sector.

She has been developing and leading programmes of inspection and support for improvement for more than 10 years and is currently Chief Inspector (strategic scrutiny) in the Care Inspectorate, Scotland’s independent body for regulation and inspection of social care services. Her responsibilities include scrutiny and assurance of social work services and multi-agency partnership working across services for children and young people, adults and older people and justice.

Dorothy Hawthorn, Renfrewshire Council, nominated by Social Work Scotland (SWS)

Dorothy was appointed as Head of Child Care and Criminal Justice in Renfrewshire in December 2007. She is responsible for children and families and criminal justice social work services. She trained as a social worker in Glasgow, qualifying in 1984. Dorothy came to Renfrewshire in 1988 and has worked across the authority in a variety of posts and teams. During this time she has also undertaken periods of secondment including Justice in Scottish Government and as the Chief Officer of North Strathclyde Community Justice Authority Community Justice Authority when it was first established.

Carrie Lindsay, Fife Council

Having left school at 16 Carrie returned to study and became a teacher in 1987 in Fife where she learned the importance of effective pedagogy and valuing the views of children and young people. Carrie was Headteacher in Fife before moving into a QIO post in Angus Council. On return to Fife in 2003 Carrie developed her role in Children’s Services working with schools and community planning partners to get the best possible outcomes for children and young people. Now as Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services, Carrie continues to look for better connections across Children’s Services to support children, young people and their families.

Stuart Lindsay, care experienced member, nominated by Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS)

Stuart spent his early years in foster care in Inverness before moving to an Aberlour Trust children’s home in Keith, Moray aged 3. He then spent 10 largely positive years in residential care, before being fostered by the house parents at age 13, when the children’s home was due for closure.

Stuart's care background eventually led to a career in social care, and he has gone onto work for Aberlour for 27 years; mostly within residential and short breaks services for children with learning disabilities. He is currently Aberlour’s Personalisation Development Manager and has a grown daughter Caitlin and stays in Glasgow.

Dr Jim McCormick, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Jim McCormick is Associate Director for Scotland with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. He is a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee and an advisory board member of Business in the Community (BITC) Scotland.

Jim was appointed by the Social Security Minister in February 2017 as chair of the independent Disability and Carers Benefits expert advisory group. He has advised fairness/tackling poverty commissions in Renfrewshire, Fife and Perth & Kinross. He was previously Director of independent think-tank the Scottish Council Foundation (SCF). Interests include music, languages and Greenock Morton FC.

Joanna McCreadie, Chief Executive of Seamab

Joanna McCreadie represents the Coalition of Care and Support Provides Scotland (CCPS). As the Chief Executive of Seamab, a children’s charity providing care and education, Joanna leads a multi-disciplinary team and is committed to developing services in which meeting the needs of children are central. A qualified social worker, Joanna has worked for local authorities, national charities and inspection agencies, and was one of the authors of Extraordinary Lives, a report on the lives of looked after children. She is a 2017 Clore Social Leadership Fellow, supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Joanna will bring to the review the experience and insight of the members of CCPS.

Rosie Moore, care experienced member, nominated by CCPS

Rosieis 24 years old and originally from Manchester but has lived in Glasgow for the past three years. She is a care experienced individual who spent the first part of her childhood in kinship care with her grandparents and the second part in numerous foster homes. She is pursuing her passion for improving the lives of children and young people as a Social Work Honours student at the University of Strathclyde, working for both Aberlour as a Youth Worker and the Life Changes Trust as part of the care experienced advisory group.

Alastair Redpath, care experienced member, nominated by the Independent Voluntary Providers Forum

Alastair is an Edinburgh-born Hawick author who currently lives in Glasgow with his partner Jaime-Lynn and new-born son Alexander. He has extensive first-hand experience of Scotland’s care services, having been fostered from an early age through local authority and later Barnardo’s placements.

Educated in Fife, Alastair formed a successful retail career before settling into his new roles as a social media consultant, journalist, and Barnardo’s fostering panel member last year. In his spare time he is Honorary Secretary of Hawick Archaeological Society, and runs an ever-expanding social media empire in Hawick and Glasgow

Thomas Timlin, care experienced member, nominated by Scottish Funding Council

Thomas Timlin is a Children and Families Social Worker. He is a Social Work graduate from the University of the West of Scotland and was awarded the University of Scotland Amundsen Trophy in 2014.

Prior to graduating Thomas was an active campaigner for Children in care and care leavers; he also worked as an Advocacy Worker with a children’s charity, advocating on behalf of looked after children and care leavers. Upon leaving University in May of 2014, Thomas began a new role as a Policy Officer at Who Cares? Scotland. He also spent a period being a Panel Advisor for a Fostering provider. Thomas is a campaigner for care leavers; utilising his care experience to create positive change within Scotland’s care system.