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The Children's Panel - life changing

During the hearing

Remember the hearing is all about you! So try to tell the panel memebrs how you are feeling. If you don't understand something that is said then just ask the panel members to explain it to you.

Who will be at the hearing?

  • You and the people who look after you.
  • A Children’s Reporter – they organise the hearing and send you a letter about it. They will come and say hello to you when you arrive. They will be in the hearing room and they will make sure that your hearing is fair and will write down what has been decided.
  • There will be three people called panel members, they are specially trained people, who are there to help you - they will decide what to do next. We have written a leaflet just for children to tell them about panel members. Click on this link to read the leaflet.
  • social worker will also be there and a teacher from your school might also be there.
  • There may be a person called a Safeguarder – they are there to help the panel members make the right decisions for you.

Will I be there a long time?

Most children’s hearings should take less than an hour - that is about the same time as your lunch break at school. Sometimes hearings last longer than expected and you may have to wait a while for your hearing to start. You are allowed to miss some school to go to a children’s hearing.

What questions might I be asked?

You might be asked some questions like....

  • Do you like where you are staying?
  • How are you getting on with the people you live with?
  • What things do you like doing?
  • How is school?
  • Do you have any worries or problems?
  • Do you get to spend time with everyone who you want to see?

The panel members will ask you these questions to make sure you get the right help.

What might happen?

The panel members will listen to everyone at the hearing and will make the best decision for you. They will tell you what is going to happen and why.

If panel members are worried about you, they might make what’s called a Compulsory Supervision Order. This is something which means that the Social Work Department or the Local Authority must be involved in your life and that they must look after and help you.

Most children on a Compulsory Supervision Order stay at home, but if the panel members are very worried about your safety, they might decide that you need to stay in another place for a while to keep you safe.