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Accessing information from CHS

The Information Governance team at Children's Hearings Scotland (CHS) are responsible for handling all types of information requests. There are different ways you can ask to see information you are interested in or your own information. For more on how and why we hold information please see our Privacy Information.

If you would like to make an information request, please email us at information@chs.gov.scot or you can write to us at the following address:

Sophie-Elise Anker
Information Governance and Data Protection Officer
Children’s Hearings Scotland
3rd Floor
Thistle House
Edinburgh
EH12 5HE

You can also call us on 0131 244 3495 and ask to speak to a member of the Information Governance team about your request.

Below are some details on the most common information requests we receive. If after reading this page you still have questions about making an information request please get in touch.

Subject Access Requests

You have the right under Data Protection legislation to access a copy of any of your personal information held by CHS. A request for your own personal information is called a Subject Access Request.

When you make a Subject Access Request please make sure you include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Full details of the information that you are requesting
  • A telephone number so we can contact you to clarify any details if necessary.

This will help us to confirm your identity and respond to your request as quickly as possible.

CHS will respond within one month of receipt of your written request and valid proof of ID where necessary.

CHS will consider your request in accordance with the requirements of applicable data protection legislation. CHS will only provide the requested information where you have satisfied us of your identity, and may need to request valid proof of ID where necessary. CHS will respond within 30 days to all Subject Access Requests. 

If you are unhappy with how CHS has dealt with your personal information, or how we have responded to your request for information, you may wish to raise your concerns with the Information Commissioner.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can be contacted at the address below:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113.

More information can be found on their website www.ico.org.uk.

Historical Records

Many people are looking to track down records from their childhood, including information about their time at children’s panels. CHS often receives requests from people asking if we hold records from their children’s panels, or other records associated with that time in their lives.

CHS does not hold any records relating to children and young people, and does not hold the records from children’s panel hearings, recent or historical.

We would recommend contacting the following organisations for further assistance.

Where To Find Historical Records

Our sister organisation, the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA), holds more information on this subject. Advice and guidance on making a request for information from SCRA can be found at Asking for your information - SCRA.

Local authorities/councils hold care records. These may include records of attendance at children’s panels within their local authority area.

Each local authority should have specific advice and guidance on making a request for information from them. Please check the local authority website in the area where your children’s hearing was held.

If you need some additional guidance, please contact CHS. We are happy to point you in the right direction. Just get in touch at information@chs.gov.scot.

If the process of finding and accessing your records has raised difficult feelings and you would like emotional support, Redress Scotland have a list of organisations that may be able to help you, available at Support for survivors – Redress Scotland.

Freedom of Information Requests

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) gives you the right to access official information held by public authorities. However, there are limitations to what personal information can be released under FOISA.

CHS has adopted the Model Publication Scheme 2018, which is produced by the Scottish Information Commissioner (Publication Scheme can be found here). CHS already publishes a lot of information under this scheme. To check if the information you are interested in has already been published please contact us at information@chs.gov.scot

If you wish to access information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 which is not available under our publication scheme, you can send us your request using the contact details given above. CHS will respond to all Freedom of Information Requests within 20 working days.

If you have made a request and are unhappy with the response you received from CHS or have not had a response, you have the right to request a review. Please put your request for review in writing. You must do this no later than 40 working days after receiving a response from CHS, or from the deadline of 20 working days from your original request.

Environmental Information Request

If you want information about the environment, your request will be dealt with under separate environmental information rules called the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations.

If you require environmental information you can make your request using the contact details given above. CHS will respond to your request within 20 working days.

Our Retention and Disposal Schedule

Our Retention and Disposal Schedule has been produced to set out the recommended retention periods for all records created by the CHS National Team and Board members, Panel and AST members, and Clerks to the ASTs in relation to the children’s hearings system. It includes all records, regardless of their format.

Information Policies