It’s been a busy few months here at OHOV. Here’s a quick summary of just a few of the exciting project the gang have been involved in lately…

Guide for solicitors
Board Members Ben and Ange have been working with Gordon from OHOV and Collette from SCRA to develop a good practice guide for solicitors to use in Children’s Hearings. This work has come about from children and young people saying time and time again that this is an area that needs to be improved. Ben and Ange have been considering the skills and qualities that they’d like to see solicitors demonstrating in Children’s Hearings, building on what other children and young people have already said. They plan to develop a ‘good practice guide’ for solicitors.

My Scrapbook – for taking control of my Hearing
Board Members Vincent and Dame Marsha Ducky are working on a Pre-Hearings scrapbook for children and young people to fill in before going into a Hearing. The idea behind it is to provide a child-friendly, personalised, and easy-to-update document that follows a child throughout their time in the Hearings System. Among a range of interactive features, the scrapbook will include space for children to share what’s important to them, write down any important decisions that are made during a Hearing, and ultimately to give children more control over their Hearing. The scrapbook will be trialled in Fife and we’re looking forward to hearing what children and young people think of it.

Understanding My Hearing (Before, During and After)
This project in the Western Isles is closely linked to OHOV’s 40 Calls to Action and what OHOV Board Members have been saying for a while – children and young people need more help to understand the decisions that are made about them in Hearings. Board Member Ben is working with Hearings-experienced young people, adults and professionals in the Western Isles to pilot ways of making sure support is in place so that children are ready for their hearings and understand what happens during and after they take place. This is all linked to the work on child-friendly language which is currently underway.

Virtual Hearings research
Most of the Board were involved in research into Virtual Hearings undertaken by research officers Cat and Kirsty from SCRA last year. They were interested in hearing the good and bad parts of Virtual Hearings from the perspective of young people. OHOV board members shared their thoughts and Cat has been writing up the findings in a report. Recently, she enlisted the help of Board Members Zodie, Vincent, and Harry Dexter to add some artistic and editorial finesse to the report. It’s great to have such a talented and artistic group who can lend their talents to all kinds of projects.

Panel Member Recruitment
Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) has been working hard on attracting the right people as panel members and have just launched a new recruitment campaign. Board Member Harry Dexter worked with other Hearings-experienced people to focus on the values that are so important to this work. The campaign launched at the end of August and you can find out more information here.

Window displays
On the theme of art and creativity, if you’ve been in Glasgow city centre lately you may have spotted the incredible window displays Vincent and Dame Marsha Ducky put together in the Bell Street Hearings Centre. One display highlights the link between the 40 Calls and the recommendations made in Sheriff David Mackie’s Hearings for Children report. The other window is a celebration of all things OHOV, with photographs of our work, copies of VOICE magazine, props, merchandise, and an abundance of rubber ducks (naturally). Both window displays are attractive, eye catching, and informative. Reception staff in Bell Street say that they’ve received loads of great feedback from families and professionals visiting the Hearings Centre.

Participation and the CYCJ youth conference
A huge part of the work OHOV does relies on board members participating; whether that’s through attending meetings, sharing their ideas, creating content, or empowering each other, participation is at the heart of our work. We really appreciate our board members taking time out of their busy lives to take part in the different projects we invite them to get involved in. At the aforementioned CYCJ National Youth Conference Dame Marsha Ducky worked closely with Kirsty from SCRA to facilitate a discussion with professionals about what helps and hinders young people participating in projects like OHOV.

Improving leaflets for children and young people
A few weeks ago Board Members Ben, Zodie, Vincent, Duck Armstrong, Dame Marsha Ducky, Harry Dexter, Mustang, and new board member Officer Quacks got together at The Studio to work with Participation Officer Jennifer Orren from SCRA on two leaflets she’s updating; ‘going to court’ and ‘going into secure care’. Jennifer says the feedback OHOV gave her was invaluable.

After the meeting we got to ‘Xcape Reality’ at two escape rooms; Misery and Starcrew. Well done for both teams for working together to escape in time! Looking forward to getting together for more fun team building activities like that in the future!

Language Leaders
The work of our Language Leaders group continues to develop as we learn more and more about the language we’d like to see adults using in the Children’s Hearings System. Part of this learning has come from the virtual bin, where currently 95 words have been binned with a total of 1,364 total ‘bins’ by visitors to the app. Duck Armstrong attended the CYCJ National Youth Conference and skilfully delivered a powerful presentation on language to professionals attending the event. The presentation was a huge hit, with delegates commenting on how much they’d learned about language and how they could change their practice as a result.

Coming soon…
Watch this space for more updates about the ongoing projects OHOV become involved in. We have a couple of exciting items in the pipeline and look forward to sharing more information soon!

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