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The Children's Panel - life changing


In 1960, a committee was established under Lord Kilbrandon to respond to concerns over youth justice and investigate possible changes to the approach. At that time, children and young people were dealt with by juvenile courts, whether they had committed an alleged offence or were in need of care and protection.

In 1964 the committee reported that there were great similarities in the need for care of all children and young people appearing before the courts, regardless of their reason for being there. This report led to the creation of the Children’s Hearings System.

The Children’s Hearings System began operating on 15 April 1971, taking over from the courts the responsibility for dealing with children and young people who are in need of care or protection or who have committed alleged offences.

The Children's Hearings System was to include a panel; neither a court of law nor a local authority committee. The Panel was to be a lay body, comprising people from the local community who would make decisions with and for children and young people in their community.

This panel is known as Scotland's Children's Panel and is currently made up of 2,500 volunteers from across Scotland who are committed to making the best possible decisions with and for children and young people attending children's hearings.

Childrens Panel Illustrated Graphic

More information about the Children’s Hearings System is available on the Scottish Government website.