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The Children's Panel: What happens at a Children's hearing?

A campaign to recruit for the Children’s Panel in Aberdeen began last week and  will close on 15 September 2014.

Children’s Hearings Scotland are looking for around 500 volunteers from all over Scotland to fill positions across the country, including in Aberdeen.

The National Convener and Chief Executive of Children’s Hearings Scotland, Boyd McAdam, said;

“This is a unique role, and one which can make a huge difference to the life of a vulnerable or troubled child. If you have empathy towards the issues some children and young people face and feel you can make decisions with the child or young person and their family on what needs to be done, we want to hear from you.”


Who sits on a Children’s Panel?


The members of the Children’s Panel make important decisions to benefit the lives of vulnerable children and young people. They make decisions regarding the safety and welfare of those children and young people who are most at risk and are an essential part of the Children’s hearing system in Scotland.

Members of the Children’s Panel come from the local community – they do not need to be trained in legal services or social work. They must be aged 18 or over and are appointed on a voluntary, unpaid basis for three years at a time.

Once a Panel member has completed the required comprehensive training, they will attend hearings on a rota basis, normally for one or two morning or afternoon sessions each month.

This usually means that panel members will have to attend hearings during their normal working hours. This means they will require full support and cooperation from their employer.


What happens at a Children’s Hearing?

At a Children’s Hearing the main purpose is to hear about the child or young persons circumstances and to discuss any background reports or wider family issues that may be of concern.

Children’s Hearings are normally held at local authority premises or a hearings centre run by the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration (SCRA), usually in the young persons home area.

Hearings are designed to be controlled but informal and the hearings environment should reflect this idea. Often, it will just be those involved siting at a table and discussing the issues.

Everyone involved in the hearing will be given a chance to express their views, and a particular focus is given to the child or young person in question. The open discussion will be chaired by one of the panel members.

Once the discussion has finished, the panel members need to make a decision on what they believe will be the action that is in the best interests of the child or young person.


Contact our Family Solicitors in Aberdeen


If you need help with a family law matter, contact our specialist solicitors on 01224 370 028 or fill in our enquiry form today for a free initial consultation.



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