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The Children's Panel - life changing

Volunteers' Week 2017 01 June 2017

CHS Board - volunteers week 17.jpg

Today sees the start of Volunteers' Week 2017 - an annual event which celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK. It’s run by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in partnership with Volunteer Development Scotland.

Across Scotland, almost 3,000 Children’s Panel and Area Support Team members give their time to make a vital contribution to the lives of troubled and vulnerable children and young people, and today Boyd McAdam, the National Convener of Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) added his thanks for all they do. 

The recognition of their commitment comes ahead of this year’s recruitment drive, where over 500 new Children’s Panel members of all ages and backgrounds will be sought to ensure the system continues to offer the best possible support.

Most recent figures highlight that across Scotland 15,329 children and young people were referred to the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration in 2015/16, resulting in 34,896 Children’s Hearings taking place.

The system, which deals with troubled or at risk children and young people who are in need of care or who have offended, relies on the generosity, skills and commitment of those who volunteer their time.

Boyd McAdam, National Convener and Chief Executive of CHS, the body responsible for the national Children’s Panel, said: "Collectively, we have a network of almost 3,000 volunteers across Scotland either as panel members or as Area Support Team members. They devote their time to help vulnerable children and young people who face challenges in their lives.

"Our Children’s Panel members are drawn from local communities and sit on children’s hearings where they make decisions to improve the lives of these children and young people. Our Area Support Team members work tirelessly to lead and support our panel members at a local level, from providing pastoral support and local learning and development opportunities to performance feedback and rota management.

"Their commitment and contribution is remarkable, and it’s important it is recognised and valued. I’m delighted we have an opportunity this Volunteers’ Wweek to do that. The system wouldn’t exist without them, and their dedication means that children and young people who are troubled or at risk can be cared for and protected. For that, I would like to personally thank all our volunteers and would encourage anyone who thinks they could make a difference to consider applying."

Volunteers’ Week Scotland will run from 1-7 June, and will see thousands of charities and voluntary organisations across Scotland join up to celebrate the huge contribution made by volunteers throughout the year.

Recruitment for new Children’s Panel members will open in August. To find out more and to register your interest, please visit www.childrenspanelscotland.org


Picture: CHS Board members L-R: Alastair Hamilton, Marian Martin, Garry Coutts (Chair), Beth-Anne Logan, Lewis Ritchie, Henry Robson, Boyd McAdam (National Convener and Chief Executive), John Anderson. Beth-Anne and Lewis will be joining the CHS Board in July.