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The Hearings System Working Group Issues List Launch

The Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) Promise Programme was established to better inform our decisions to drive change for infants, children and young people with lived experience of the hearing system.

This includes our commitment to and participation in the Hearings System Working Group established in 2021, and chaired by Sheriff David Mackie. As part of Plan 21–24 for the implementation of the Promise, we are working with The Promise Scotland, the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) and the Scottish Government to produce clear, collective proposals that redesign the Children’s Hearings System.

Together with the Hearings System Working Group we are announcing the publication of The Issues List; a proposal document which will guide conversations and deliberation throughout the process of redesigning The Children’s Hearings System. 

The five key themes are explored in The Issues List document:

  • Scaffolding of the Hearings System;
  • Avoiding the need for compulsory measures of supervision;
  • Children and their hearings;
  • Meeting the needs of children after a hearing takes place;
  • Relationship between the Children’s Hearings System and the Criminal Justice System.

Embedded together with these themes are a series of questions that begin to draw out answers that will help us to redesign the hearing system to ensure that it provides child and family care and justice, upholds children’s rights and puts participation at its heart.

Carol Wassell, Head of Area Support and Community Improvement at Children’s Hearings Scotland said:

“The Hearing System Working Group are proud to present The Issues List which captures some of the core questions we need to ask ourselves and our partners to help ensure we are a hearings system that delivers child and family friendly care and justice, upholds children’s rights, and puts participation at its heart.

“CHS and partners are working with the Office of the Chief Designer at Scottish Government to define proposals for change that we will deliver by April 2023. To help us define those proposals we will be engaging on a large scale and wide-ranging consultation of our lay tribunal members, and Area Support Teams, people with lived experience and other partners.

“This is an exciting time to be at CHS, and better outcomes for infants, children and young people who need our support, will be our legacy.”

Delivering transformative change for the benefit of the children and young people, whose voices have informed the work of the Independent Care Review and will continue to inform this Group’s work.

We will be running a large-scale consultation programme seeking the views and experiences of our volunteer community, staff and people with lived experience to help shape our re-design programme.