At our board meeting in October, our young board members were joined by some key individuals in the current reform of the children’s hearings system. This included leads of each of the collaborative design teams (Claire Gibson, Neil McKinlay and Laura Conachan) , set up to inform the Hearings System Working Group (HSWG), which will make recommendations to Scottish Government for reform of the Hearings System. The Issues List for HSWG has already been mapped against OHOV’s 40 Calls to Action so we are confident our board members are being actively listened to.
For the fourth time, David Mackie, a retired Sheriff who is leading the Hearings System Working Group (HSWG), joined us too. Christina Spicer, Public and Policy Manager from the Promise Team, also took part in her role in ensuring we keep the Promise in the Children’s Hearings System. The Promise Plan 21-24 asserts that the Children’s Hearing System will have gone through a redesign process. You can read more on page 36 here Plan 21-24 – The Promise.
The young people were able to work through the re-design proposals already created by the collaborative design teams based on before, during and after hearings. They shared what they felt would not work as well as adding their expertise to proposals they fully supported.
Later that day, the young people worked on their own design proposals and here is one that Remi wished to share. Remi explained:
“The idea is that it’s a virtual app. You can type in questions before, during or after a hearing that you don’t understand. Miss Understanding will give you an answer to help you understand. The answer can be designed by panel members, advocacy workers and other young people”.
“If there was enough funding, I would like to see Miss Understanding being a real human person for all hearings in Scotland. That person would be there for the child and answer all their questions. Children will get a better view of what hearings really are and it will make them less anxious to attend”.
This is just one of the changes that young people from OHOV have recommended to the Hearings System Working Group. The HSWG have shared a summary of some of their thinking so far and you can read their Emerging Themes report or easy read version on their website.