Can you help protect vulnerable children and young people?

Would you like the opportunity to make a vital difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people in Scotland? Being a Children’s Panel Member could help you achieve this aim, and applications are now being taken for membership.

The Children’s Panel exists to help protect vulnerable children and young people and to ensure their safety and wellbeing. Scotland’s unique children’s hearings system relies on the involvement of around 2,500 people from all walks of life, who give their time and commitment voluntarily to train and serve as Children’s Panel members. Panel members are selected and trained to sit on children’s hearings in the council area in which they live or work.

Cllr Jim Gifford, Leader of Aberdeenshire Council and Business Services Committee chair, said: “There’s no one type of person or background that makes the ideal Children’s Panel Member. Panel members are selected on the basis of merit and from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. However, it goes without saying you’ll be a good listener, reliable and most importantly you need to care.”

Committee vice chair, Cllr Michael Roy, said: “Being a panel member is hugely rewarding but be under no illusion, cases can often be complex and emotionally challenging and the time commitment is considerable. However, extensive support and training are given to those who become Children’s Panel Members to assist them in making the most of this highly rewarding role and equip them with a huge range of skills.”

If you are interested in applying please visit www.childrenspanel.org.uk or for further information on the Children’s Panel and how to get involved is available by emailing the Clerk in your local area at anna.ziarkowska@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or recruitment@childrenshearings.org.uk.