Skip to main content

More than 300 new Panel Members join Children’s Hearings System

More than 300 volunteers have been appointed as new Panel Members to serve in Scotland’s unique Children’s Hearings System.

They were congratulated on completing their pre-service training and appointed formally for a three-year term as Lay Tribunal Panel Members, by Elliot Jackson, National Convener of Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS). He also re-appointed more than 50 Panel Members to begin a second three-year term.

Legal decision-making

Children’s hearings are legal meetings set up because there are concerns about the wellbeing or care of an infant, child or young person. Their problems are addressed in a legal tribunal where Panel Members, recruited and trained by CHS, decide on the best outcome for the child involved. The role of a Panel Member is to listen and make legal decisions with and for infants, children and young people.

Three Panel Members take part in each children's hearing, which can be held in person or virtually. There are around 2,500 Panel Members serving on children’s hearings across Scotland.

Mr Jackson told the new Panel Members: “The CHS community, which you are now part of, is committed to ensuring that our infants, children and young people feel loved, safe, respected and able to realise their full potential.”

Learning and development

Trainee Panel Members commit to comprehensive training, which normally takes place over three months. Five days of training are delivered in person or remotely, via the CHS Learning Academy, and the volunteer undertakes around eight hours of additional learning per week during the three months.

The pre-service training is the first stage towards a Professional Development Award verified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

To become a Panel Member, you need to be over 18 and live and/or work in the local authority area in which you wish to volunteer. We need good listeners; people who are empathetic, compassionate and reliable.

You can find full information and express your interest in becoming a Panel Member today on our Panel Members page.