Volunteering to support the Children’s Panel If you are interested in volunteering to support the Children’s Panel, as either a panel member or an Area Support Team member, this section of our website should point you in the right direction. Volunteering to become a panel member Scotland’s unique Children's Hearings System relies on the involvement of around 2,500 people from all walks of life, who give their time and commitment voluntarily to train and serve as Children's Panel members. Panel members are selected and trained to sit on children's hearings in the local authority area in which they either live or work. Being a panel member is hugely rewarding, but cases can often be complex and emotionally challenging and the time commitment is considerable. If you are interested in applying to become a panel member, please visit our Children’s Panel website where you will find lots of information which should help you decide if volunteering for the Children’s Panel is really for you. During 2016, we will be accepting applications from people wishing to become panel members from Monday 15 August to Sunday 25 September. Please visit the Children’s Panel website to apply online. Outside of these dates you can register your interest through the Children's Panel website and you will be contacted once recruitment is open. All panel members have to go through a rigorous selection procedure in line with CHS’ Recruitment, Recommendation and Appointment of panel members policy. CHS promotes equal opportunities and panel members are selected on the basis of merit from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Thank you for your interest in volunteering as a panel member. Volunteering to be an Area Support Team member There are 22 Area Support Teams (ASTs) with approximately 400 members across Scotland. AST members support panel members at a local level. Without this support, panel members would not be able carry out their role. Volunteering to be an AST member is another rewarding way of supporting Scotland’s most vulnerable children and young people. There are a number of different roles within each AST, all of which require a considerable time commitment. For more information which may help you decide if volunteering as an AST member is for you, please see the AST section of this website and read CHS’ ‘Area Support Teams: Functions, Roles and Responsibilities’. AST vacancies are advertised on this website and through other recruitment media. All AST members are appointed by the National Convener. Appointments are made following an open recruitment process, in line with CHS’ recruitment policy. The National Convener is responsible for overseeing recruitment to Area Convener and Depute Area Convener roles. The National Convener and CHS also manage the advertising of ‘internal’ roles for the ASTs. The National Convener receives and responds to nominations for local authority members where these arise. If you would like any further information, or to record your interest in any future AST vacancies, please contact the Clerk to the AST in your local area. Thank you for your interest in volunteering as an AST member.