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Summary of meeting

1. Welcome and Introductions

The Welsh Government (WG) welcomed attendees to the meeting.

2. Minutes and actions of previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting on 25 March 2021 were agreed.

3. Implementation Status Update

The group were provided with an update on the work of the task and finish groups. It was noted that the pandemic was no longer having a major impact on the work of the Parenting Expert Action Group, as virtual working had been established.

The Data Collection and Monitoring Task and Finish Group have considered the proposed methods of assessing the impact of the legislation, for the purpose of a post implementation review. The Group has established an agreed approach to collecting data relating to the police and social services enabling baseline data to be collected before the Act commences.

4. Communications Update

An update was provided by WG on the progress of the Communications work. Campaign Preparation continued with development of the adverts which will inform people that the law around physical punishment is changing in Wales.

5. Update from the Training, Operations, Guidance and Diversion Task & Finish Group

The group were provided with information on the process where the Police receive a report of an assault on a child.  The group considered the view from the Training, Operations, Guidance and Diversion Task and Finish Group that safeguarding children, acting in their best interests and the protection of their rights would always be the primary concern in decisions about the most appropriate course of action to take if a parent or individual acting in loco parentis physically punished a child. The group considered that on the basis the defence of reasonable punishment does not apply to the existing offences of common assault and battery, when the Children Wales Act comes into force, the Police would continue to follow normal criminal justice procedures.

6. Parenting Support Update

An update was provided on the work of the Parenting Expert Action Group. It is considering parenting support across Wales which will help with parenting skills, and positive approaches to discipline children avoiding physical punishment.

7. Any Other Business

Date of next meeting: 21 July 2021

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