Appeal for Aberdeenshire panel members

New children’s pnel members are needed in Aberdeenshire.

Children’s Hearings Scotland called for volunteers in the area as part of a six-week recruitment campaign to help fill the 560 panel roles needed nationally in 2016.

The children’s panel, which is unique to Scotland, improves outcomes for troubled or at risk children and young people who are in need of care or who have offended.

There are currently 2,500 volunteer panel members dedicating their time to attending hearings. However, new recruits from a range of backgrounds are needed each year to ensure the system continues to offer the best possible support.

Children’s Hearings Scotland, the body responsible for the recruitment, training and support of panel members, urged those who have compassion, the ability to listen and an interest in the welfare of children and young people within their community to apply before the September 30 deadline.

Men in particular are being urged to come forward, to ensure hearings have the right representation as law requires both men and women to sit on each hearing.

Boyd McAdam, national convener and chief executive of Children’s Hearings Scotland said: “Volunteers are essential to the success of the Children’s Hearings System.

“Serving on the national children’s panel is a big commitment, but we know from speaking with panel members that they get as much out of it as they put in. Each hearing involves our volunteers making decisions which can help change the life of a child or young person who is in need of help. Although difficult at times, it can be hugely rewarding.”

Applicants need to be 18 or over. For more about becoming a panel member, visit www.childrenspanelscotland.org