Our Hearings, Our Voice has just taken part in a consultation about planning for face to face Children’s Hearings resuming.

Since lockdown, virtual Children’s Hearings have been taking place. However, as restrictions are easing, planning is underway for re-introducing face to face Hearings.

Traditional-style Hearings will only restart when all the necessary social distancing/safety measures are in place and it is safe for everyone.

Our Hearings, Our Voice was asked to take part in a consultation to ensure the voices of Hearings-experienced children and young people were at the centre of the planning process.

The consultation took place over a two week period from 9 June and 10 young people (both Board Members and young OHOV Advisors) were involved. They had the chance to give their views either in small groups via OHOV’s online platform or via an electronic survey.

A detailed report with views and recommendations has been submitted to the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) who is responsible for providing accommodation for Children’s Hearings.

Jacqui Dunbar, OHOV Lead said: “There was a fantastic response from Board Members and the OHOV Advisors who thought deeply about the issues surrounding returning to face to face Hearings.

“The young people identified the need for Hearings to be flexible using both face to face and virtual solutions, and that it’s impossible to have a ‘one size fits all’ approach as everyone has specific needs that must be considered.

“I trust their ideas will help SCRA and everyone else involved, ensure face to face Hearings resume safely and in ways that upholds infants, children and young people’s rights to participate fully in their Hearings.

 “We were pleased to be one of the Projects to respond to this important consultation to ensure that children and young people views are central to the planning of how the Hearings System moves forward.”

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