Our Hearings, Our Voice has three main functions –
- To identify and recommend improvements across the Hearings System.
- To scrutinise and support the work of partners across the Children’s Hearings System.
- To hold the Children’s Hearings System to account.
Just over six months ago, we launched our interactive Zine online and gave a hard copy to every Children’s Panel Member, Reporter and Safeguarder in Scotland. As well as extraordinary ways of sharing how Children’s Hearings feel for children, our young people shared their 40 Calls to Action within the Zine.
These Calls to Action came from two years of work by the young people and they have organised them around children’s rights, particularly in relation to feeling safe and comfortable in Hearings, being suitably informed and able to meaningfully participate, and being fully respected and supported by adults throughout the system who are knowledgeable and committed to fulfilling children’s rights.
The 40 Calls are not for any single agency or organisation, so across the last two months, Gordon has been talking or presenting to lots of adults across the Hearings System about what they can do to fulfil the mandate set by the young people – the word cloud gives a sense of those involved to date.
When it has not been possible for the young people to be directly involved in these discussions, their voices are central through both the 40 Calls and the creative resources within the Zine.
The young people have fulfilled the brief from the Children’s Hearings Improvement Partnership to identify and recommend improvements across the Hearings System. It is now time for the adults to step forward, with assistance from children and young people, and demonstrate the action they are taking.