Skip to main content

The children's hearings system


HELD IN 2019/2020




SUPPORTED IN 2019/2020

SCRA official statistics 2019/20

Children’s Hearings Scotland is one of a number of dedicated organisations that work as part of the children’s hearings system. This care and justice system is unique to Scotland and exists to protect the safety and wellbeing of infants, children and young people nationally.

The system is made up of lots of partners who each have a different role. Our role is to ensure children's hearings take place by having three skilled and trained Panel Members on every hearing. We provide legal and practice advice to Panel Members but they are independent decision makers. Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) are another main organisation which works within the children's hearings system. They receive referrals when people are worried about children and then arrange the children's hearings.

If you have been asked to come to a children's hearing, you should contact SCRA directly as we do not hold any information about individual cases.

We work closely with many partners, across projects and groups at both a national and local level. Our goal is to improve children’s hearings and to consider how the wider system can best support the wellbeing of Scotland’s young people.

Our partners

In alphabetical order.

Barnardos Scotland

Barnardos believe in all children and young people and aim to support them to reach their full potential – whatever their circumstances.

Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection (CELCIS)

CELCIS works to improve children's lives by supporting people and organisations to drive long-lasting change in the services they need, and the practices used by people responsible for their care.

Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice

The Centre’s practice development work stream provides support to those who need it, from advising on individual legal cases to service and organisational level development.

Children 1st

Children 1st exists to prevent abuse and neglect, to protect children and keep them safe from harm. Children 1st is commissioned by the Scottish Government to administer the national Safeguarders Panel. They recruit, train and support Safeguarders who provide reports to children’s hearings.

Children in Scotland

Children in Scotland creates solutions, provides support and develops positive change across all areas affecting children in Scotland, working with and for children.

Children’s Hearings Improvement Partnership (CHIP)

CHIP is made up of partners working together to improve the children’s hearings system by sharing ideas and co-ordinating efforts to improve experiences of the hearing system for children and young people.

Our Hearings, Our Voice (OHOV)

OHOV is an independent board for children and young people from across Scotland between the ages of 8-18, who have experience of the children’s hearings system. The board members carry out project work with partners to improve the system.

Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA)

SCRA is responsible for protecting children at risk by making effective decisions about a need to refer an infant, child, or young person to a children’s hearing. If you have been contacted about attending a children’s hearing, please contact SCRA.

Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB)

SLAB manage and improve publicly funded legal assistance through legal aid schemes and advise Scottish Ministers on its strategic development for the benefit of society.

Social Work Scotland

Social Work Scotland is the professional leadership body for the social work and social care professions.

The Promise Scotland

The Promise is responsible for driving the work of change demanded by the findings of the Independent Care Review. It works organisations to support shifts in policy, practice and culture so Scotland can #KeepThePromise it made to care experienced infants, children, young people, adults and their families.

Who Cares? Scotland

Who Cares? Scotland is a national voluntary organisation, working with care experienced young people and care leavers across Scotland.

Youth Justice Improvement Board

The Board's main role is to deliver the Youth Justice Strategy and, in particular, advancing the whole system approach, improving children and young people's life chances.