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The Children's Panel - life changing

National standards for the Children's Panel

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The National Standards for the Children's Panel provide a set of core values, principles and expectations in relation to the behaviours and practice of everyone directly involved with the Children's Panel. This means they apply to the National Convener and everyone at Children's Hearings Scotland, panel members and Area Support Team members.

There are eight National Standards, which form the foundation of the National Standards Framework:

Standard 1: Children and young people are at the centre of everything we do

Standard 2: Panel members are well equipped and supported to undertake their role

Standard 3: Panel member practice is consistent across Scotland

Standard 4: Every children’s hearing is managed fairly and effectively

Standard 5: Every children’s hearing makes decisions based on sound reasons in the best interests of the child or young person

Standard 6: Area Support Team members are well equipped and supported to undertake their role

Standard 7: Communication and information sharing across the Children’s Panel, ASTs and CHS is clear, appropriate and purposeful

Standard 8: Functions, roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and understood within the system

The framework also includes detailed policy and practice procedures for panel members and AST members, to provide the day-to-day guidance and tools to ensure effective implementation of the standards.

The CHS corporate and business plans are also linked to the National Standards Framework, and both staff and organisational performance are measured in relation to the effectiveness and impact of CHS in fulfilling its statutory responsibilities to the CHS Community.

The national standards aim to ensure:

  • consistency of practice across the country around recruitment, training and support for panel members
  • defined, measurable expectations of panel member, AST and CHS practice
  • clarity about the functions, roles and responsibilities of everyone involved with the Children’s Panel to support each other, and so support children and young people

The standards are structured to put children and young people at the centre, supported by panel members, who in turn are supported by AST members and CHS staff in their respective roles on behalf of the National Convener.

Central to the National Standards are CHS’ vision, mission and values.