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The Children's Panel - life changing

Scotland's Children's Panel

Scotland’s Children’s Panel is unique. It exists to help protect the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people in Scotland and is made up of approximately 2,500 volunteer Panel Members.

Find out more by watching our "What is Children's Hearings Scotland" video here.

Who are Panel Members?

Panel Members are people from the local community. They need to either live or work in the local authority area in which they are sitting on children's hearings. This is to make sure that they are familiar with the local area in which the children or young people attending hearings live.

All Panel Members follow a set of National Standards which are a set of core values, principles and expectations in relation to the behaviours and practice of everyone involved with the Children's Panel.

What Panel Members do

Panel Members are vital to the Children’s Hearings System. They attend children’s hearings and make the best possible decisions with and for the children or young person at their hearing.

All Panel Member must complete extensive ‘pre-service’ training before they are appointed. This ensures that they are equipped to make the best possible decisions for children and young people and that children’s hearings are run fairly. In addition, all Panel Members complete ‘in-service’ training and are observed in children’s hearings by a member of the Area Support Team as a key part of their development and review process.

Children’s hearings

A children’s hearing (sometimes called a children’s panel) is a legal meeting. They are held in private and only those people who have a legal right to be there, or are allowed to be there, will be present. At every children’s hearing three Panel Members are present. The hearing listens to the child or young person’s circumstances, and makes decisions with and for them.

Childrens Panel Illustrated GraphicSelection and appointment

The National Convener is responsible for recruiting and appointing Panel Members to sit on children’s hearings. Panel Members are recruited once a year; more details can be found on the Children’s Panel Scotland website.

Panel Members are appointed for an initial three year period. This is renewable on further recommendation from the Area Support Team.

List of Panel Members

Under Schedule 2 of the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011, the National Convener must publish a list of Panel Members including their name, the local authority area in which they live and if they work, the local authority area in which they work. CHS is in the process of collecting this information. Should you require this information, please email information@chs.gsi.gov.uk.