Children’s Hearing System Seeking New Members
Scotland's care and justice system for children and young people is recruiting.
Today we hear from student Shannon, who began her career at Argyll College UHI studying Social Services (Children and Young People). Now on the path to completing her degree in Child and Youth Studies Shannon dedicates her spare time to a very worthwhile cause as a Panel Member for the Children’s Hearing System (CHS).
Currently on the lookout for new volunteers, we caught up with Shannon to hear about her experience with the organisation so far.
How did you first become involved with the Children’s Hearing System?
“During my SVQ2 Social Services (Children and Young People) studies I volunteered for a couple of local youth groups and committees. Protecting children’s rights and promoting positive outcomes for children and families really resonated with me whilst fulfilling these roles. My lecturer suggested I apply to become a CHS Panel Member, so I did.”
What does the role of a Panel Member entail?
“Panel members are highly trained lay persons who receive training prior to being appointed.
They attend children’s hearings and make legal decisions to safeguard children and young people, protect their rights, provide them with the opportunity to share their views, and ensure they feel respected and valued. Hearings are conducted in a child centred manner and decisions are made in their best interests.”
Would you say the experience has contributed to your studies?
“Training to become a Panel Member has expanded my knowledge on Scottish legislation and frameworks pertaining to children and young people.
My approach to studying and decision making has improved since joining the CHS, I have learned how to better prioritise work whilst becoming more confident in making complex decisions.
In addition, I have further developed my communication skills, learning to adapt my approach to suit the needs of others and feel more at ease when speaking to a group.
The positive impact community, teamwork, and empathy can have on a child or young person’s life has broadened my appreciation for the myriad of services and opportunities available to us and fostered a drive to encourage others to get involved in their local community in a meaningful way.”
What would you say to someone considering getting involved?
“Please do! Being a CHS Panel Member can be challenging but the work you do is incredibly valuable. As a volunteer you have the chance to positively impact a child or young person’s life not only bettering their present circumstances but enhancing their future.”
If you want to make a difference to children and young people in your community, apply to become a Panel Member at: www.chscotland.gov.uk
Hear what other Panel Members have to say about the role here.