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The Children's Panel - life changing

The Children's Hearings System

The Children’s Hearings System is Scotland’s unique care and justice system for children and young people. One of its fundamental principles is that children and young people who commit offences, and children and young people who need care and protection, are supported through the same system.

We are one of a number of organisations that work together within the Children’s Hearings System to deliver care, protection and support services to children and young people in Scotland. Other organisations that work within the Children’s Hearings System include social work, the police, education and the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration SCRA).

The Children’s Hearings System exists to ensure the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people. It does this through a decision making lay tribunal called a children’s hearing made up of members of the Children’s Panel.

The Children’s Panel is the largest tribunal in Scotland and is made up of over 2,500 specially trained volunteer Panel Members from local communities across Scotland.

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Find out more about what Panel Members do.


SCRA and Children’s Hearings Scotland

Within the Children’s Hearings System SCRA and Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) have two distinct roles:

CHS is responsible for recruiting, training and supporting around 3,000 volunteers made up of Children’s Panel Members and Area Support Team members (these are volunteers who support Panel Members at a local level).

SCRA is responsible for facilitating the work of Children’s Reporters. This organisation also provides accommodation across Scotland for children’s hearings to take place.