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Growth of ‘digital volunteering’ recognised in new Impact Report

Digital tools for training and supporting Panel Members are becoming the norm here at Children’s Hearings Scotland, as highlighted by our recent Impact Report for 2019-20.

The Impact Report recognises the hard work and amazing contribution our 3,000-strong staff and volunteer community make to the children’s hearings system. As well as sharing key statistics, we highlight changes the organisation has made to improve hearings for the infants, children and young people who attend, as well as profiling our volunteering roles and contributions.

National Convener, Elliot Jackson, says: “I’m delighted to be able to publish this report. Engagement and collaboration are the golden threads of our work both in listening to the needs of the approximately 13,000 children and young people we serve and our volunteer community.

“Digital tools have been a vital addition in enabling these conversations. Technology offers a unique opportunity for children and young people to contribute to their hearing and I’m really proud of our community who have embraced these new tools to help them in their work to support infants, children and young people.”

As well as a brand new fully online Practice and Procedure Manual, 2019 also saw the launch of a digital knowledge hub for training, run by the Learning Academy. These easily accessible tools enhance Panel Member knowledge and skills, enabling them to make decisions that support children and young people.

“Our digital journey is not yet over,” Elliot says. “Due to the pandemic, our community embraced virtual tools to support children’s hearings to take place. We are committed to exploring how to better enable children to contribute to their hearings and we will be looking at how this way of doing things could – in some cases – be a better option for the children and families we work with moving forward.

“We are also looking forward to our 2021 Panel Member recruitment campaign, which launches in January, and will for the first time (due to coronavirus restrictions) be fully online.

“These are new ways of working, but we are doing everything we can to make ensure our volunteer community are equipped and ready to .support infants, children and young people.”

We have also published our Annual Report and Accounts for 2019-20, which can be found here.