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The Children's Panel - life changing

Information for researchers and students

CHS  receives requests from a wide variety of individuals and organisations who wish to undertake research with children’s panel members or in relation to the Children’s Hearings System. These requests can be from academic researchers, undergraduate students, school students, researchers from other organisations, consultants etc.

Where possible CHS will support research which improves our understanding of  the Children’s Hearings System and/or the children, young people and families who are involved in the system.  In the first instance we encourage researchers to consult existing information and research in relation to the children’s hearings system, which is published on our website and by the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA).  Official statistics about the operation of the Children’s Hearings System can be obtained from the SCRA.

CHS cannot assist researchers with:

  • information about, or access to, children, young people and families.  CHS does not hold detailed information about children, young people and families or arrange children’s hearings
  • data about the operation of children’s hearings. The SCRA holds operational information about children’s hearings, which can be accessed through the SCRA website
  • observations of children’s hearings. The SCRA is responsible for managing requests from researchers to observe children’s hearings.  Children’s hearings are private proceedings so it is very rare for researchers to be able to observe hearings.  Further information about this can be found on the SCRA website: http://www.scra.gov.uk/contact-us/information-researchers-students/

Research involving children's panel members

CHS can assist researchers to undertake research involving children’s panel members.  We can work with researchers to publicise proposed research studies to children’s panel members either nationally or in particular areas of Scotland.   This can include an invite to participate in interviews, focus groups or to complete questionnaires, for example.  The choice about participation is for individual panel members and therefore CHS cannot guarantee that a certain number of panel members will be available to participate in any research project. When considering whether to support a particular research project CHS will look for:

  • the researcher to have the necessary expertise and support to carry out the proposed research
  • the research to have received ethical approval from the relevant University or funding body
  • any expenses that panel members incur in taking part in the research project to be reimbursed to panel members
  • an assurance that panel members will not be identified or quoted in any research reports, unless they have given explicit consent for this, and that panel members will be sent draft reports before publication, so that any errors or misrepresentations can be corrected
  • the involvement of panel members will be given appropriate acknowledgement in any research reports or publications

If you would like to involve Children’s Reporters in your research then please contact SCRA http://www.scra.gov.uk/contact-us/information-researchers-students/

Contacting CHS about research

Researchers should contact practiceandpolicy@chs.gsi.gov.uk with an outline of the proposed project and what assistance they are seeking from CHS as early as possible.  CHS receives research requests regularly and therefore once support is agreed, sometimes it can take several months to make the practical arrangements depending on other current research projects.