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Our Panel Members are exceptional. They support infants, children and young people in local communities across Scotland.

We need good listeners, people who are empathetic, compassionate and reliable. 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. 

Applications are now closed. However, if you are interested in future opportunities, please contact us or register your interest above

Please also explore our other opportunities within our local support teams that you may find of interest.

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What's involved?

Three Panel Members take part in each children's hearing, which can be held in person or virtually.

The role of a Panel Member is to listen and make legal decisions with and for infants, children and young people. They are there to ensure that the young person is at the heart of every decision taken – because every decision, no matter how big or small, has an impact. Panel Members are appointed for a three-year period.

Learning and development

As a trainee Panel Member, you must be committed to comprehensive training which normally takes place over a three-month period.

Our training takes place over five days, in person and remotely with our CHS Learning Academy.  Pre-Service Training is held every second week.   In addition, there is a commitment of approximately eight hours of learning per week during that three-month period.

At the end of your initial training you’ll gain a Professional Development Award for ‘Children’s Hearings in Scotland: Panel Members’. It is a unique award that is verified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and is one of the few awards available just for volunteers.

Having fully qualified as one of our Panel Members you will be expected to maintain your skills through training courses, as well as local learning and development sessions. Training sessions are normally held in the evenings or at the weekends, or through our online portal.

The skills you will gain

Your training and experience as a Panel Member equips you with a range of transferable skills. These include: dealing with complex issues and communicating these with empathy and compassion when working with children, young people and families; principles and practices within the children’s hearings system, including law and procedure; chairing hearings; decision making and protecting rights. Other skills include: leadership, analytical thinking and communication and influencing skills.

Time off work

Children’s hearings take place during the week and daytime hours. Panel Members are normally asked to attend either a morning or an afternoon session twice a month. If you are in employment, this usually means asking your employers for time off work.

Since children’s hearings are statutory tribunals (similar to jury duty), employees have a right to take reasonable time off work to sit on these hearings, as set out in Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Local information

in alphabetical order of Area Support Team