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Deadline approaches for new Children’s Panel members
The deadline is approaching for new members to apply to become part of Aberdeen's Children's Panel.
Applications must be received by Friday 25 October from people keen to play a key role in Scotland's unique Children's Hearings system.
Members give their time and commitment voluntarily to train and serve on Children's Hearings in the local authority area in which they either live or work.
No special qualifications are required but common sense, an ability to listen and a commitment to confidentiality are essential. People who care for the welfare of children and young people and are capable of taking an objective attitude towards children in trouble are the ideal candidates.
Initial training is usually held between January and May and involves about 40 hours of sessions, mainly at weekends. Members are then expected to attend one hearing per month in central Aberdeen during mornings and afternoons. The rota is drawn up two months in advance, following consultation with panel members, and every effort is made to accommodate work and other commitments.
The Children's Panel is the cornerstone of Scotland's welfare-based system of justice for young offenders and children who have been offended against. The panel considers a child's case as a whole, addressing his or her needs and deeds together, and will consider the views of the children, their families, social workers, teachers and other specialists.
The panel can discharge the case if members agree that the child is not in need of compulsory supervision. They may continue the hearing for further information, such as a social work or school report if a decision cannot be made, or may make a supervision requirement lasting up to one year if the hearing agrees that compulsory supervision is needed.
Members must be over 18 and live or work within a 15-mile radius of Aberdeen. Appointments are normally for three years and may be renewed. Members are not paid but can claim for loss of earnings, and for travel and subsistence expenses. Levels are laid down by Children's Hearings Scotland and can include reasonable reimbursement of child care costs.