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The Children's Panel - life changing

Before the hearing

If you haven’t been to a children’s hearing before, you might have some questions about what will happen and you might be worried. Try not to worry, the people at the children’s hearing are there to help you. 

There are some questions and answers below which might help you or you can talk to your parents or carers, your social worker, teacher or the Children's Reporter whose details are on the letter you received.

What is a children's hearing?

A children’s hearing is sometimes just called a hearing or a children’s panel. It is a meeting that children are sometimes asked to go to with their families or carers to help them sort out any problems they may be having. 

Why are children asked to go to children's hearings?

There are lots of different reasons why a child might be asked to go to a hearing. These are:

  • if people are worried about their safety
  • if they are having problems with going to school
  • if they have been in trouble with the police
  • if people are worried that they are not being properly looked after at home

Do I have to go to my children's hearing?

The children’s hearing is all about you. The panel members want to hear from you how you are feeling about things. So unless the Children’s Reporter has told you that you do not have to go you should really be there. But if you really don't want to go to your hearing speak to your parents or carers.

Where is the children’s hearing?

Children’s hearings are held in different buildings quite near to where you live. Usually there is a waiting room and sometimes there are toys or books there. In the hearing room there will be chairs so everyone can sit down and sometimes a table.

If you would like to visit the hearing room before your hearing you can ask the Reporter whose name and telephone number are on the letter you have been sent. This is called a Pre-Hearing visit. You will be shown around the waiting rooms and hearing rooms, and have the chance to ask any questions about what will happen on the day. 

Having your say

It is really important that the panel members at your hearing know how you are feeling. To help you get ready for your hearing you will be sent a form called 'All About Me'. You can use the form to say

  • how you are feeling
  • if you are happy with school
  • if you are happy with where you are staying
  • or if you have any problems.

Or you can draw a picture to let everyone know how you are feeling. Please see the 'All about me' form.