Justice and Safety
Could you volunteer as a panel member with Children’s Hearings Scotland?
Today, we began our annual campaign to recruit Children’s Panel members. New volunteers from all walks of life are needed every year. This year we are looking for 560 people from all over Scotland to ensure the system can continue to offer the best support for those children and young people who need it most.
The national Children’s Panel involves 2,500 volunteer members who regularly attend hearings to make decisions in the best interests of children and young people who face serious problems in their lives. These volunteers are essential to the success of the Children’s Hearings System.
Serving on the national Children’s Panel is a big commitment, but we know from speaking with panel members that they get as much out of it as they put in. Each hearing involves our volunteers making decisions which can help change the life of a child or young person who is in need of help and, although difficult at times, it can be hugely rewarding.
We welcome applications from anyone who feels empathy towards the situations some children and young people in Scotland face. We provide the training to help you develop your skills, what we need is your time, your commitment and your compassion. The training is rightly demanding, but is also rewarding. As I can testify having undertaken it, it can be fun and sociable as well.
There is no such thing as an ideal panel member. We need a mix of ages, from 18 upwards and from a variety of backgrounds. We also need a mix of males and females to ensure that the national Children’s Panel has a variety of experiences and perspectives. If you think you have what it takes, then I’d encourage you to apply.
The deadline for applications is 30 September 2015. To find out more about becoming a panel member, visit www.childrenspanelscotland.org.
Boyd McAdam, National Convener and Chief Executive, Children’s Hearings Scotland