The Scottish Government has launched a consultation, “Strengthening for the Future” which includes proposals to reform and streamline Scotland’s Children’s Hearings system and to improve the support given to vulnerable young people. The consultation document proposes plans to create a single national body which will bring together the work of the Children’s Reporter service, the delivery and administration of Children’s Hearings, and the recruitment and training given to panel members. It will also assist the work of safeguarders.
The Minister for Children and Early Years, Adam Ingram, is quoted as saying:
“Our distinctive Children’s Hearing’s system – which is recognised by experts across the world – makes a huge difference to young people’s lives, guiding them through difficult times, behaviour and circumstances.
“This may include ensuring appropriate services are in place to help vulnerable children who have been abused or neglected, or even those who have committed a crime so that they can get their lives back on track.
“By improving support for those who deliver that system, both professionals and panel members, they can in turn focus their skills on creating a better and brighter future for the children who need our help.
“The creation of the single national body will also allow us to reduce bureaucracy in the system while ensuring services continue to be delivered locally and with great consistency in decision-making for the benefit of everyone involved.”
The consultation runs until the end of October.