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Panel Member recruitment campaign launches

Children’s Hearings Scotland is seeking new volunteer Panel Members to support infants, children and young people in communities across the country. 

The recruitment campaign highlights the qualities of empathy, compassion, being a good listener and the ability to build trust – qualities that have been identified as needed for the role by young people with experience of hearings.

Serving Panel Members helped to launch the campaign, which runs until 3 October. Adverts for volunteers will run in print, broadcast and social media.

Unique system

More than 2,500 volunteers serve in Scotland’s unique children’s hearings, which are legal meetings set up when there are concerns about the wellbeing or care of an infant, child or young person.

At each hearing, three Panel Members listen and make legal decisions with and for the infant, child or young person. The Panel Member’s role includes making sure that the young person is at the heart of the decisions made.

'Immense satisfaction'

William Evans, a Panel Member serving in Clackmannanshire, says: “I'd recommend becoming a Panel Member to anyone. The training you get is first class and the satisfaction you have in knowing you've done something to help is really immense.”

Children’s Hearings Scotland is the national organisation that recruits, trains and supports Panel Members.

'Really make a difference'

“Volunteering is so rewarding and you can really make a difference to young people in your area. It can also support your own personal development through the gaining of new skills such as leadership, decision making, effective communication, influencing and negotiating. 

“This campaign is based on what young people who have experience of children’s hearings are telling us they want to see in their Panel Members – qualities such as being trustworthy, compassionate, empathetic and a good listener.

“If you want to make a difference in your local community, I encourage you to take the opportunity this year to apply to join our wonderful volunteer community.”

– Elliot Jackson, National Convener and Chief Executive

Professional development

Panel Members are appointed for three years and receive comprehensive training leading to a Professional Development Award accredited at SCQF level 7 by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Hearings take place during the working week but as they are statutory tribunals, employers have a duty to allow reasonable time off to serve at them.

To learn more and apply, visit the Children’s Hearings Scotland website.

Members of our panel community. Trust, compassion, empathy, listening.