Independent Advocacy and Children’s Hearings:
The Children’s Panel is a group of lay people (ie not lawyers, social workers or other involved professionals) which can hear evidence at a Children’s Hearing about a child or young person’s circumstances and behaviour, as well as their own thoughts and feelings about it.
The Children’s Hearings system is a unique system that only operates in Scotland. It is separate from the Courts and Tribunals Service, but the Children’s Panel can make legally-binding decisions about the care and wellbeing of a child. The Children’s Hearing System has the safety and wellbeing of the child as its core value.
You can find out more about Children’s Hearings Scotland here.
Some parents who fall within our community care groups may find that they need to attend a Children’s Hearing, and may find it difficult to communicate their own thoughts and their concerns about their child’s welfare to the Panel.
Independent Advocacy can help parents in those circumstances, by giving them information about their rights, the rights of their child, the processes of the Children’s Hearing system, and the possible outcomes.
We can also support you to prepare for a Children’s Hearing, and attend Children’s Hearings with you, to support you to make your contribution to the Hearing. If you would like support to attend a Children’s Hearing please contact us as soon as as you have been notified of a date and time.
I am usually apprehensive about contacting organisations in fear of being passed pillar to post. I was delighted when I contacted Ceartas: although I didn’t need advocacy, you talked me through local services that I needed.
It’s a really tricky role you’ve had in this case but you’ve done so effectively.
When I call Ceartas everyone is always so kind and helpful. They are all a really good group of people.
Thanks for discussing things and then sending us some information in the post: we have now started the Power of Attorney process.
There is always someone there at Ceartas for me, no matter who takes the call.
I can pick up the phone and advocacy support is always there, ready to listen and help me understand things better.
Thanks so much, this is almost a miracle! Can you do anything for Partick Thistle while you’re at it?
Thank you for your support at the last meeting. It’s great having somebody independent in my corner: not sure what I would have done or where I would be otherwise.
Absolutely thrilled with the service. I wish my family all stayed in East Dunbartonshire and could access it!
It's really nice to know that someone is listening to me and taking me seriously. Other people seem to think that my problems are trivial and aren't worth bothering about, but that is not true. My Advocacy Worker helped me to make my point in such a way that I couldn't be ignored, and now things are starting to improve as a result.
I felt like I was facing a brick wall until I started receiving support and information from Ceartas. The outcome of that has led to a much better relationship with the rest of the family, and now we are all pulling in the same direction.
After waiting months, you got the ball rolling with a number of things and for that I thank you.
Thank you for your prompt and informative reply. It’s appreciated more than you will know.
I didn't know that there was anything I could do about my situation, let alone that I had options. I feel so much better knowing that I can turn to Ceartas for information when I need it.
Even a ten minute chat on the phone made me feel so much better. I was becoming frustrated and annoyed at not getting what I needed from services, but talking to my Advocacy Worker kept me grounded and stopped me from losing the rag with anyone.
I live quite a long distance away from my sister. When she needed to get some more support in place for her dementia, the information about local services and support that you were able to give me was invaluable. I can't thank you enough.