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Children's Panel

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by souffiehickl, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Has anyone trained and served on Children's Panel? It is something I have wanted to do this for a while now. What are the demands on time? Have researched the website but would appreciate some personal feedback. Thanks.
  2. My OH has (about 5 years ago) and is considering it again. Training I think was 6 Saturdays (with reading and Home study papers, probably another day for each actual training day). At the time they called it '3-6 months training' so the sessions must have been either one a month, or one every 2 weeks). Once appointed he was scheduled for 3 hearings (a morning/afternoon) every 2 weeks. Preparation time varied, depending on cases, but papers tended to be send out 5-7 days before hearings and take a few readings to be familiar and clear about each case and what additional info he wanted) He felt it was worthwhile and rewarding, but says you had to have a way to shut out what you heard, and reassure yourself that the best decisions were reached and the children would be okay.

    If you teach or working in schools, you'll possibly have to serve in a neighbouring LA. as they don't want you to have knowledge of families, or come into contact with them again, which is possible of you teach or are involved with local childern's groups. Be prepared for it to be harrowing - 2/3 of cases are neglect cases, not the criminal ones they promote in the radio. A large part is focused on restorative justice for criminal cases.

    Our LA also insists on Chair training after serving a year and makes it very clear you need to be recommended for reappointment after 3 years.

    (a pannel is 3 people, a chairman and 2 'members' - the chair is required to keep order and minutes to be returned to the children's reporter. EVERYTHING is done with the children and family in the room. You speak to the parents, child and anyone else called up, clarify details and ask any questions, The chair then calls on one member to make a recommendation and reasons for it, These are noted, the second member the does the same, followed by the chair. The pannel then discuss/vote/declare s decision and state it to the family, complete the paperwork and have it signed ) The inability to discuss behind closed doors bothered some.

    recruitment was via an informal 'information evening', then an application form and 2 interviews (both in the afternoon). You NEED your employer to be with you on this if you work full time. You'll need a half day a fortnight off. Possibly more, because some cases will not make it easy to go into work at lunch time and straight into productive work, plus travel depending on where the hearing centre (our LA has 3) OH found that although CH are covered by statute and 'reasonable time off' is required, his employer considered that to be 5 days paid, unpaid only at their discretion. He eventually had to go part time to make it work.

    Good luck! I think some of this will eb speciific to the LA I live in, LAs are different in terms of commitment required, organisation of training sessions etc . Hope that second hand info helped a little! If you can make it to an open evening it's worth going - I've been to a few and found them very interesting and much easier to get questioned answered.
  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me all that information. Much appreciated. It certainly gives me lots to consider.

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