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The Children's Panel - life changing

About Children's Hearings Scotland

Picture of a little boy doing a jigsaw

Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) is a public body. We were established in July 2011 by the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 and became fully operational on 24 June 2013. The Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 aims to improve the lives, outcomes and opportunities of Scotland's most vulnerable children and young people.

In relation to CHS, the Act:

  • created the role of National Convener, to act as a figurehead for Scotland’s 2,500 volunteer panel members, to ensure they are consistently supported to a high standard
  • created CHS as a dedicated national body, to support the National Convener in the delivery of functions related to the recruitment, selection, appointment, training, retention and support of panel members
  • empowered the National Convener to establish a national Children’s Panel
  • empowered the National Convener to establish Area Support Teams, with the consent of each local authority, to be responsible for managing and supporting the national panel at local level

What does CHS do?

Under the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011, the National Convener of CHS has a number of duties. These include:

  • recruitment, appointment and reappointment of panel members
  • making arrangements for the training of panel members
  • managing the 22 Area Support Teams
  • appointment and reappointment of Area Support Team members
  • providing advice to children’s hearings
  • publishing annually a report about the implementation of compulsory supervision orders (the feedback loop)

Facts and figures

  • Budget: £3.7m in (2017/18)
  • Number of children’s hearings held in 2016/17: 34,106
  • Number of panel members (approx.): 2,500
  • Number of Area Support Teams: 22
  • Number of AST members (approx): 250
  • Number of members of staff: 23
  • Number of Board members: 6