A campaign has been launched to recruit volunteer Children’s Panel members in East Renfrewshire.
And an information evening for those who want to find out more about the role will be held at The Foundry in Barrhead on Tuesday, September 3, 7-8.30pm.
Children’s Panel members play a crucial role in supporting children and young people across Scotland.
Children’s Hearing Scotland aims to attract a diverse range of applicants, with an emphasis on recruiting more men and young people.
Boyd McAdam, Children’s Hearings Scotland chief executive, said: “We are a listening organisation.
“What we are hearing loud and clear from children and young people attending hearings is that they want to see more diversity on the national Children’s Panel.
“Whilst the average age of panel members has fallen in recent years we know we need to do more.
“We also wish to increase diversity in terms of life experience that people across Scotland can bring to the role.”
To support recruitment, the campaign focuses on the types of qualities everyday people have and can bring to the role.
Boyd added: “It is important that we reach as wide a range of people as possible because we need those who can relate to infants, children and young people and can make the very best decisions with and for them.
“This can be tricky for us as we know that there are some common misconceptions about being a panel member, such as ‘you need a law degree’ or ‘you have to have worked in children’s services’. Neither of these is the case.
“You need qualities like empathy, compassion and the ability to listen.
“The public are also sometimes unfamiliar with what panel members do and the Children’s Hearings System more generally.
“So, I’m asking the public to get behind our young people and to find out more.
“Think about what you might be able to contribute and help us spread the word about this important role.”
Children’s Hearings Scotland is the organisation responsible for recruiting, training and supporting volunteer panel members.
Panel members in East Renfrewshire are expected to commit to sit on one children’s hearings each month and also to attend at least four of the learning and development opportunities per year.
To find out more, go to Children’s Panel – East Renfrewshire