Participation Officer, Jennifer Orren writes a blog about how important it is that children and young people are prepared for their Hearing…
Attending a Children’s Hearing is an important process, where decisions are made that are in your best interests and to help keep you safe. Your Children’s Hearing is all about you.
Understanding why you are there, and being prepared for it, can really help you to feel more comfortable and able to take part to say how you are feeling.
There are lots of people you can speak to, and things that you can do, to help you prepare. Your Social Worker should keep you fully informed in advance of the Hearing, and help you to reflect your views in the Social Work report that is sent to the Hearing.
You can call your Children’s Reporter anytime, and SCRA’s website has lots of films, podcasts and leaflets designed by young people who have been to Children’s Hearings, which will support you to understand what a Hearing is, what to expect, and where to get help. Taking a look at these will give you a great idea of all of the options available to you.
Writing down your views on an ‘All About Me’ form is a good way for you to say what you feel, and ensure that the Panel Members know what you would like to happen.
Another thing that can make you feel more comfortable is a Pre-Hearing visit. Children and young people are welcome to come along for one anytime, so that they can see where their Hearing is being held and ask any questions that they may have.
Finally, there are lots of people you can speak to, like a solicitor (sometimes called a lawyer), an advocate, or even a trusted teacher, family member or friend, who can come along to your Hearing to help you feel more comfortable and help you to say how you are feeling.
Remember, it is your Hearing, it is all about you!