OHOV have had a busy start to 2022 and there is so much ahead. Since the turn of the year we have been involved in:
- sharing the voices of our board members at a webinar on advocacy Feedback on OHOV input to advocacy webinar.
- recruiting a new chair for the Children’s Hearings Scotland Board (CHS)
- considering priorities for change with the board chairs of the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) and CHS What Difference Can We Make Together?
- recording board members thoughts on our 40 Calls to Action for induction of safeguarders
- and working alongside other young people and organisations to consider how to implement the guidance on keeping brothers and sisters together and connected.
This year we will be continuing to focus on raising awareness of and upholding children’s rights in the Hearings System. Often this requires us to influence and collaborate with others and we have contributed to Together’s State of Children’s Rights 2022 report. We will also be presenting at the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice Conference this summer.
We will be maintaining our efforts to Keep the Promise and to see our board members’ 40 Calls to Action being fulfilled (see our interactive Zine). The Hearings System Working Group (HSWG) has been set up to Keep the Promise in the Hearings System and consider where there is need for legislative change to do so. The 40 Calls have been mapped by the HSWG against the initial themes they wish to consider this year. The HSWG chair, Sheriff David Mackie, will be meeting our board members again this month to discuss the themes, the plans for the work and to consider what role they can have in this work. It really is an exciting time to be involved in redesign of the Hearings System!
We have two more exciting developments in the pipeline. Firstly a commitment to bringing all three boards (OHOV, SCRA and CHS) involved in the Children’s Hearings System together for the first time to influence and ensure change happens. Secondly, OHOV members will have the opportunity to work as peer researchers on some participatory research with children and young people on how Virtual and Hybrid Hearings have impacted upon the participation and rights of children and families, as well as the decision making process.
Of course, none of this happens without the incredible commitment, thought for others and energy from OHOV board members. That’s why we have been working hard to recruit some new board members to strengthen what they do and we hope to have them around for the next board meeting. We will also have a new participation development worker joining the team to support the young people in their improvement and change efforts.