A special thankyou for Children’s Panel members

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Local volunteers who dedicate their time to the Children’s Hearing system have been recognised at a special celebratory event.

Organised by East Renfrewshire Area Support Team and East Renfrewshire Council, its aim was to thank the 25 local serving members of the Children’s Panel and Area Support Team volunteers.

Panel members living locally give their time to attend extensive training and to serve on Children’s Hearings, which are said to help transform the lives of local children and families at a time of crisis.

The work of the Children’s Panel is said to make an invaluable contribution to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in East Renfrewshire.

The event particularly recognised the service given by some of the Panel’s long-standing members, some of whom have been involved for 20 years or more.

Present were Provost Jim Fletcher; Boyd McAdam, national convener of Children’s Hearings Scotland; and representatives of other partner agencies including the council and Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration.

Ken McKinlay, area convener of East Renfrewshire’s Area Support Team, said: “Children’s Panel members make vital decisions about vulnerable children and young people who are in need of care or who have offended.

“They are responsible, quite simply, for changing the lives of the children and young people that they see and for that I would like to thank them sincerely.”

Provost Fletcher said: “We cannot overestimate the dedication of our local Panel members and the time AST members freely give to the Children’s Hearing system.

“It is important that their contribution is recognised formally from time to time and I wish to extend my thanks, on behalf of all the vulnerable families and young people that are supported, for the commitment shown.”

Meanwhile East Renfrewshire residents who feel they could make a contribution are being urged to consider joining the panel some time in the future.

Panel members are aged 18 or over and come from a wide range of backgrounds, and are are unpaid volunteers who are appointed to the panel for three years at a time.