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CHS signs the 'Pledge2Listen' with Who Cares? Scotland 24 June 2014

Signing the Pledge2Listen

Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) has demonstrated its commitment to listening to children and young people in and from care by signing the Who Cares? Scotland Pledge2Listen.

Who Cares? Scotland launched the campaign in May 2013, with backing from the Scottish Government and the then Association of Directors of Social Work. The aim of the campaign is to stamp out the stigma faced by children and young people in care.

Members of the CHS Board and Senior Management Team, present at CHS’ public Board meeting on 16 June 2014, signed the pledge on behalf of all CHS staff and Board members.

In the pledge, CHS commits to listening to children in and from care, by: 

  • Ensuring children and young people’s voices are at the centre of everything we do
  • Supporting and taking part in the National Participation and Engagement Forum established by Who Cares? Scotland
  • Working with children and young people through the forum to ensure we capture their views in relation to panel member recruitment and our corporate plans
  • Involving children and young people with care experience in the design and delivery of training to children’s panel members by the Children’s Hearings Scotland Training Unit
  • Supporting children’s panel members to listen to children and young people’s views during children’s hearings
  • Ensuring children and young people’s views and experiences are reflected within the practice information available to children’s panel members
  • Meeting our corporate parenting obligations under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Garry Coutts Chair of CHS said: "CHS is already working with partners such as Who Cares? Scotland and the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration to help us ensure that we place children and young people at the centre of everything we do, but there is still more to do to achieve this goal. Signing this pledge is a sign of our ongoing commitment to ensuring that the views and experiences of children and young people directly impact on decisions and policy making at CHS."

During the year, CHS will also be working with members of the 22 Area Support Teams to ensure that volunteers from across the Children’s Hearings System have the chance to sign up to their own Pledge2Listen.

Young people from Who Cares? Scotland also acted out a mock children’s hearing at the Board meeting. Young people played all the different roles at the hearing – the panel members, Children’s Reporter, relevant people and of course the young person. The young person for whom the hearing had been held was asked a number of questions by the panel members. But the answers given were not really what the young person wanted to say and a placard was raised containing their real thoughts and feelings e.g.

Question: “How are you feeling today?”

Answer: “OK”

Real answer on placard: “Frustrated, scared, nervous – another pointless meeting”


Question: “It says in the notes that you’ve been made aware of how an advocate can help you – is that right?”

Answer: “Yes”

Real answer on placard: “No, but I don’t want to look stupid in front of everyone”.


Boyd McAdam, Interim National Convener and Chief Executive of CHS said: “This was really a powerful presentation which generated a lively discussion among the Board, CHS staff and those members of the public present. It gave us all lots to reflect on about what it really means to put the child and young person at the centre."

For more information about the Pledge2Listen campaign or to sign up, please visit the Who Cares? Scotland website at http://www.whocaresscotland.org/campaigns/give-me-a-chance/