Have you heard about Pre-Hearing visits? Do you know they can help you prepare for your Children’s Hearing? We asked one young person to write about their experience of a Pre-Hearing visit. Here’s Jordan’s story…

“I didn’t really know what a Pre-Hearing visit was until my advocacy worker spoke to me about it. The letter I got about my Hearing did mention them, but I didn’t really pick up on it at the time.

My advocacy worker said I could see the building where my Hearing was going to be, before the Hearing takes place. I wasn’t too sure at first and didn’t know if I could be bothered to go. But because I was feeling a bit scared at the thought of the Hearing, my advocacy worker persuaded me it was a good idea. They said they would come with me, that it wouldn’t take long, and that I could ask any questions I might have.

We were given a time to go to the Hearing Centre and were met by a lady from the office who said she was the receptionist. She introduced me to a Children’s Reporter too – they were both friendly.

They took me to the reception area and showed me where I will sign in when I arrive, and the waiting room that I will go into before the Hearing starts. The waiting rooms were ok. They had some toys and leaflets in. The Children’s Reporter showed me the Hearing room and explained to me who would be in the Hearing room on the day of my Hearing and where they would be sitting.

The Children’s Reporter also said they would come and say hello to me to me before the Hearing starts, let me know who had arrived for my Hearing, and ask if I have any questions or anything I might want the Hearing to know.

I asked what would happen if I didn’t feel I could speak up on the day and the Children’s Reporter said that it was my right to ask to speak to the Panel Members on my own, or to ask for some people to leave the room for a bit.

I was told that it was ok for me to have someone with me at my Hearing. It could be my advocacy worker; it could also be a friend, family member or carer. I can ask my advocacy worker to speak for me if I don’t feel I can. That’s part of their role.

It only took 5 minutes and now I know where I’m going, who will be there and I know a little bit about what to expect.”

Are you going to a Hearing? If you’re worried about it, have questions or are just curious about the Hearing centre, why not arrange a visit too? You can contact the Hearing centre you’ll be going to – just call the phone number on your Hearing letter.

Or you can ask someone to arrange it for you – your advocacy worker if you have one, or a social worker or teacher. And you can choose who to take along with you for the visit. It doesn’t have to be an advocate. It can be a friend, family member or a carer.

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