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How children and young people shape our work

At Children’s Hearings Scotland nothing is more important to us than putting infants, children and young people at the heart of what we do. There are several ways we do this, including:

  • Getting the input of children and young people in our annual recruitment campaign. This includes working with them on creative design of the campaign, as well asking them to help select candidates at our open evenings and interviews.
  • Having care experienced young people on our working groups, for example our Active Implementation Group which manages many of our activities, as well as out Rights and Inclusion Strategy working group.
  • Ensuring care experienced young people sit on our Board so they can help guide our strategy.

Children's Rights and Inclusion Strategy

We want to do more to ensure that children and young people are included in shaping our work and organisational plans. In fact, we have recently launched our Children’s Rights and Inclusion Strategy.

This strategy will make a series of changes to how we work with young people and ensure their rights are first and foremost, such as:

  • Creating new volunteer roles specifically for young people with experience of care.
  • Developing, with young people, new ways to ensure their views are heard at children’s hearings.
  • Training all of our staff and volunteers on children’s rights and how they impact on our work.
  • We have recruited a new member of the national team as our Children's Rights and Inclusion Coordinator, who is tasked with embedding children’s rights and inclusion in everything we do.

In October 2019, we set up a working group to create this strategy. The working group is made up of young people with lived experience of the hearings system; representatives from our staff and volunteer community; representatives from SCRAChildren in Scotland, CELCIS; with consultation from StafLGBT Youth Scotland's Care Commission, Carnegie UK Trust; and Our Hearings, Our Voice was our point of reference throughout.

Our vision


Here you can see our six ‘pillars of inclusion’, and every pillar is required in combination to support this strategy. These have been identified by people with lived experience of the hearings system as essential in reaching our three key outcomes:

  • Children feel able to speak openly, freely and honestly.
  • Children know that their views are given real weight and listened to in decision-making about their lives.
  • Children feel empowered and have ownership of their rights.