Children’s Hearings Scotland launches drive to recruit 500 new Panel Members 20 August 2019On Wednesday 21 August Children’s Hearings Scotland launches a national campaign to recruit over 500 new volunteer Children’s Panel Members to play a crucial role in supporting infants, children and young people across Scotland. Children’s Hearings Scotland National Convener and Chief Executive, Boyd McAdam, said, “We are a listening organisation. What we are hearing loud and clear from children and young people attending hearings is that they want to see more diversity on the national Children’s Panel. “Whilst the average age of Panel Members has fallen in recent years we know we need to do more. We also wish to increase diversity in terms of life experience that people across Scotland can bring to the role.” To support recruitment, the campaign has been redesigned for 2019 with a focus on the types of qualities everyday people have and can bring to the role. Boyd adds, “It is important that we reach as wide a range of people as possible because we need those who can relate to infants, children and young people and can make the very best decisions with and for them. This can be tricky for us as we know that there are some common misconceptions about being a Panel Member, such as ‘you need a law degree’ or ‘you have to have worked in children’s services’. Neither of these is the case. You need qualities like empathy, compassion and the ability to listen. “The public are also sometimes unfamiliar with what Panel Members do and the Children’s Hearings System more generally. So, I’m asking the Scottish public to get behind our young people and to find out more. Think about what you might be able to contribute and help us spread the word about this important role.” Applications open on 21st August 2019 and close midnight on 17th September 2019. To find out more about the role and what’s involved visit: www.childrenspanelscotland.org.