Our Story ...

Timeline of our journey

Way back in 2015 some of our partners had the ‘cracking’ idea of creating a Board for children and young people to help improve the Children’s Hearings System.  Now that idea is fully hatched and is a reality!  Check out all the steps we waddled through to get to where we are today!


Partners start to explore developing a children and young people’s Board for the Children’s Hearings System.

Partners built links with the Cafcass Family Justice Young People’s Board in England and felt it was a good model that could work in Scotland.

A Steering Group was which included a wide number of key partners in the Hearings System.


‘Engagement Jams’ were held to enable young people to develop the vision and plans for a children young people’s Board.



Young people vote for the name
Our Hearings, Our Voice for the Board.


OHOV Project Lead begins in post.


Launched communications plan to engage with children, young people and partners.

Project Lead meets children, young people and key partners/Boards.

Research phase into models of practice and policies for OHOV.

Multi-agency Steering Group reconfigures to become short-life OHOV Operational Group.

Young Advisors join the OHOV journey

Young Advisors co-design the first recruitment campaign


The search for the first OHOV Board Members begins with our month long recruitment campaign.


Our Board Members meet in Glasgow for the first time!



Held our first series of Board Meetings

Designed and launched out OHOV Logo
(and got cool hoodies!)

Met the Minister for Children and Young People

Have begun working on identifying our
Priorities for Change

Submitted a response to the Scottish Government
on the Incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots Law.

Have spoken about OHOV at a range
of conferences and training events

Launched OHOV on Twitter

Met the First Minister as part of
the 1000 Voices Campaign

Held a ‘What is a Children’s Hearing’
exhibition and event at the Scottish Parliament


Presentation to Fife AST and delivered 3 x 90 minute ‘Hearing Children?’ workshops

Board Meeting –  Digital rights session and decided on priorities

Launched BAND Platform for Board Members Communications 

Virtual Hearings testing and feedback 


OHOV Zine Team co-designed and produced interactive Zine

Board Meeting – OHOV Bake Off on Teams


SCRA Returning to Face to Face Hearings Consultation

Launched ‘Our Voices’Zine

CHS Children’s Rights and Inclusion Strategy consultation

Back to the Future – 2 Years On!!! Where have we been, where, are we now and where are we going?

Scottish Government – Advocacy Provision consultation

Board Meeting – Festive Fun and Finish for the year.




A new team is in place with a new project lead and return from maternity leave of the project assistant

Project work continues virtually, focussing on how advocacy can help and the key qualities needed in Safeguarders

Face-to-face board meetings return, with 4 taking place across July to November. Included an overnight stay in Edinburgh with pizza and a ghost tour!

Work began to recruit more OHOV board members

Designed research into virtual hearings and time with family members

First anniversary of the launch of the Zine and 40 Calls to Action

Met key influencers and decision makers in the Hearings System:  Clare Haughey, Minister for Children and Young People, and Sheriff David Mackie, Chair of the Hearings System Working Group

Evaluation of OHOV’s approach published



Recruitment campaign for new OHOV board members

Interviews for a Participation Development Worker to support the work of the OHOV board

Board member’s thoughts on advocacy shared at a national advocacy webinar

3 new board members welcomed to OHOV

Meeting in Glasgow with David Mackie and Christina Spicer to discuss reform

Development of a peer mentoring programme

Prototyping ideas for improving the hearings system with Kirsty and Rachel from the Office for the Chief Designer

Adding our voices to the Children’s Care and Justice Bill consultation

Influencing practice by presenting at the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice National Conference

Writing and printing our very own magazine – ‘VOICE’

Undertaking peer-mentoring training at our 20th board meeting in Glasgow

Taking part in research into virtual hearings

Evaluating ideas from the Hearings System Working Group, and creating prototypes of our own

Two new board members welcomed to OHOV

Getting involved in recruiting and selecting a new chair for Children’s Hearings Scotland and board members for the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration.

Working with members of the Voice Inclusion Project to reform of the language used in the hearings system through our ‘Word Busters’ group


The Language Leaders designed and launched a virtual bin as a way to gather the views of children, young people and professionals about the language used in the Children’s Hearings System

OHOV board members were interviewed in a podcast about Keeping the Promise in the Hearings System

OHOV designed a superhero character who would act as an advocate for children going through the Hearings System – sharing this with the Hearings System Working Group

We led a workshop at Glasgow Clyde College on the impact of using stigmatising labels when communicating to and about children and young people

Delivered a presentation to 200 delegates on language at the CYCJ conference

OHOV wrote the foreword for the Hearings for Children Report, working with The Promise Scotland and Sheriff David Mackie

Many of OHOV’s asks from the 40 Calls to Action were reflected in recommendations made in the Hearings for Children Redesign Report. We were delighted to be invited to Edinburgh for the launch of this report. Several of our board members were interviewed and we appeared on the news

One of our board members became the new voice of Isla in the ‘Isla’s Story’ video produced by The Promise Scotland

The Language Leaders created four important language principles which have been instrumental in informing our ongoing work on improving language in the Children’s Hearings System

Work is ongoing on the creation of a good practice guide for solicitors in Hearings

OHOV board members are involved in several improvement projects in local areas, including supporting children to have more control over their own Hearings and to better understand decisions made at them

OHOV created two new window displays for the Hearings Centre in Bell Street, Glasgow

OHOV met with board members from SCRA and CHS to discuss and reflect on the recommendations made in the Hearings Redesign Report and what these might look like in practice

OHOV members supported the writing and illustration of a research report on virtual Hearings

OHOV worked with CHS on the design and launch of a panel member recruitment campaign

We delivered presentations on language and co-production at the SCRA staff event in Perth. They also interviewed Neil Hunter, Sheriff David Mackie and Children’s Minister Natalie Don

OHOV delivered a presentation on the barriers and facilitators to effective participation at the Social Work Scotland event in Glasgow

The Language Leaders attended a weekend residential in Stirling where we explored language and connected with young people and professionals from a range of organisations

We gave a presentation to the Cross Party Group on Social Work, including to MSPs. The focus was on the challenges children face in Hearings and the solutions OHOV are building with others

Pre-Hearings Scrapbook in Fife was launched to multi-agency audience. The concept came from OHOV board members

2024 so far…

CHS and SCRA worked on language guides, supported by Language Leaders’ co-produced principles, to advise professionals on child-friendly language in the Hearings System. Some of the young people at OHOV scrutinised initial drafts of the guides and gave valuable feedback and quotes.

Presented at the Keeping The Promise digital conference on the barriers and facilitators to effective co-design and the importance of involving young people in work that affects their lives.

Delivered a ‘language labels’ activity at the Participation Network event in Glasgow.

Working with Angela Phillips from CHS and animation company ‘Braw Talent’ to design and create a short animated video that will be used to guide professionals on child-friendly language in the Children’s Hearings System.

Attended the CHS staff conference in Edinburgh to talk about the importance of working with groups like OHOV.

Met with an architect at the Glasgow Hearings Centre on Bell Street to help design a more child friendly space and experience for Hearing centres in Scotland.

A group of board members met with Collette Gallagher from SCRA to discuss what support could be put in place to support children with neurodiversities such as autism and dyslexia, who may attend Hearings.

We met with Angela from CHS to talk about the different needs that 16 and 17 year olds might have, going into a Children’s Hearing. We reflected on what we would like panel members to consider, and what age-specific support a young person of this age might need in their lives.

Keeping up to date with OHOV

So, that’s our journey so far. To keep up to date with what’s next for OHOV, visit the latest news section of our website.

Our Hearings, Our Voice

An independent children and young people’s board for the Children’s Hearings System 

© 2024 OHOV

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