A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
If you still don't understand something ask the Children's Reporter or your social worker if you have one.
If a child or their parent/guardian does not agree with the decision made by the people at the Hearing they can go to court to appeal the decision. An appeal cannot be made just because they disagree with the decision. There has to be a reason in law for the basis of any appeal. If you disagree with the decision of a Hearing, you should speak to a solicitor as soon as possible, because you may have the right to appeal.
If you do appeal. this means a Sheriff will look at the decision made by the Hearing again to see if they agree with it. An appeal must be made within 21 days of the date of the Hearing. If you are not sure how to appeal, you should speak to the Children’s Reporter who wrote to you about your Hearing.
You might hear this word used in your Hearing or see it in your letter from the Reporter. This means to give permission or allow something.
You might have heard the phrase Business Meeting mentioned, this is sometimes arranged when the Reporter decides to arrange a Children’s Hearing for a young person.
Young people do not go to Business Meetings. This is where the three Panel Members meet in private to consider any special arrangements needed for the Hearing. This might mean they talk about:
• whether a young person/relevant person is required to attend the Children’s Hearing.
• whether someone must be told about the Children’s Hearing because they are a “relevant person” (this means that they will be able to attend the Hearing and get information about it).
• to appoint a legal representative for the young person and/ or relevant person.
Although neither young people or their parents or carers can attend Business Meetings, they are entitled to have their views about the issue being considered heard.
After the Business Meeting, the Children’s Reporter will write to you to tell what has been decided by the Business Meeting.
This is a legal meeting (sometime just called a Hearing), that children and young people are sometimes asked to go to with their families or carers to help them sort out their problems.
Children’s Hearings System
The Children’s Hearings System deals with children and young people in Scotland under the age of eighteen who are in need of help. There are two main reasons why the Children’s Hearings System will help a child or young person:
1) Because they are in need of care and protection.
2) Because they have got into trouble with the police.
This is the name given to the three Panel Members who are at every Hearing, they make the decisions about what should be done to help the child or young person at a Hearing. Sometimes the words ‘Children’s Panel’ are used instead of ‘Hearing’, so you might hear somebody say ‘I’m going to the Children’s Panel’ which means the same as ‘I’m going to a Hearing’.
This is the person (sometimes just called a Reporter) who decides whether or not a child or young person, who has been referred to SCRA, should attend a Hearing.
Child Protection Order
This is an emergency measure which aims to protect children and young people who are at risk of significant harm. The child protection order is made by the Sheriff Court.
Child Protection Scotland
This is a national website called childprotectionscotland.org which includes clear, accessible information on what the public should do if they are concerned for a child’s welfare. It also features information and links to downloadable materials, including cartoons and online games providing child safety tips
You might hear this word used in your Hearing or see it in your letter from the Reporter. This means to follow an order, request or set of rules.
You might hear this word used in your Hearing or see it in your letter from the Reporter. It means you must do what it says.
Continue a Hearing
This means that the Panel Members are unable to make a decision about the future of the young person on the day of the Hearing. This may be because they would like some more information about the young person before they make a decision, so the Hearing is stopped (continued) to wait for that information and it will be re-arranged for another day.
(Usually a Sheriff Court) is a building where legal matters/cases are dealt with. Most towns and cities have a Sheriff Court. Sometimes in the Children’s Hearings System you have to go to court if the grounds of referral are not accepted or there is an appeal against a decision made at a children’s hearing.
Curator ad Litem
Curators ad Litem are legal representatives, usually solicitors, who are appointed when a court believes a person is unable to make decisions for themselves.
The curator ad litem represents the person in court, making decisions in the person's interests.
There are lots of different reasons why a young person might be referred – these are known as the ‘grounds of referral’. These are:
- If they are have not been going to school,
- If they have been in trouble with the police,
- If they have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs,
- If their behaviour has been causing concern at home, school or in the community,
- If someone is worried that they are not being cared for properly by their parents or carers,
- If an adult has hurt them or someone in their family in some way.
This is a person who looks after a child or young person, but who is not their mum or dad or a relative.
(Sometimes known as a solicitor) is a legally trained person who can offer legal advice and assistance to young people and/or their carers and speak for them in court or children’s hearings.
Legal Representatives can be appointed by Business Meetings or Children’s Hearings. Legal Representatives are members of special panels maintained by local authorities and are qualified solicitors who work in public or private practice.
Each area in Scotland is run by a council, these areas are known as local authorities. Social workers and teachers work for the local authority.
A person from your local community who volunteers to sit on a Children’s Panel. Panel Members are just normal people - they might also be a plumber or a shop assistant. Lots of them have their own children and grandchildren. All Panel Members are given special training so that they can make decisions to help the children and young people who come to a Hearing. There are three Panel Members at every Hearing and one of them will lead the Hearing – they are also known as the Panel Chair or Chair Person.
Place of Safety warrant
This is when a child or young person who is in danger of being hurt or not looked after properly, is taken from their home to a safe place. The local authority will decide where this is to be, but it could be with another family member, with foster carers or in a children’s unit. This is sometimes just known as a Warrant.
A referral is when information about a child or young person is sent by the police, social work department or a school to the Children's Reporter, because they think that the child or young person needs help to sort out some of the problems in their life.
This is someone who has the right to attend a Hearing with a child or young person. A Relevant Person can be the young person’s mum or dad, grandmother or grandfather, their carer, their guardian or the person who looks after them.
Remitting the grounds for proof
If the young person or their family does not agree with the reasons why they have been asked to go to a Hearing, then the Hearing cannot take place. This means that information about that child or young person will be sent (which is called remitted) to a court for the Sheriff to decide (this is a proof) if they should be going to a Hearing for the reasons given (which are called grounds).
This is the person (also known as the Children's Reporter) who decides whether or not a child or young person who has been referred to SCRA, should attend a hearing.
Sometimes a child or young person may need to go and live in a safe place somewhere else if they cannot live with their own family. This is called being in Residential Care (sometimes called a children’s home). This means that they would go and live for a while in a place with adults who will help them to learn, where they can get food, a bed to sleep in and somewhere safe to play.
A Safeguarder is a person who is appointed to make sure that a young person’s interests are looked after. A Safeguarder can be appointed by either a Children’s Hearing or a Sheriff. Not all children and young people need to have a Safeguarder.
Sometimes if the people at a Hearing have very different views to each other, or the Panel Members feel they need more information to allow them time to make a decision, they will appoint a Safeguarder. A Safeguarder is separate from the social worker, Children’s Reporter and the Panel Members and would speak to everyone involved especially the young person, to help them build up a better picture. Sometimes they will write a report for the Panel Members and attend the next Hearing.
Scottish Legal Aid Board
The Scottish Legal Aid Board helps people involved in the legal system, including children and young people attending Hearings. They have a special booklet for children and young people on their website www.slab.org.uk
The Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) is the body which looks after the Children’s Reporters, who are the people who investigate if a child or young person needs to come to a Hearing, and they also organise the Hearing and provide the buildings in which the Hearings are held.
A Children’s Hearing can make a Secure Authorisation as a condition of a Supervision Requirement. This would be when they think that the young person should be in a place that they can not leave (a secure placement/warrant). This may be because:
- The young person has run away from home quite a lot and there is a risk that they will do it again, and
- If they do it again then they will be in danger, or could hurt themselves or someone else.
The Sheriff is a legally trained person in charge of the court. Their job is to make sure that everything is done fairly and that court rules are followed. The Sheriff will make the final decision about what should happen next with the grounds for referral and/or appeal.
This is someone who works for the local authority who may visit children and young people and their families to help them with problems they have. If a social worker is really worried about a child or young person they can refer them to the Children’s Reporter.
(Sometimes known as a Lawyer) is a legally trained person who can offer legal advice and assistance to young people and/or their carers and speak for them in court or children’s hearings
A Supervision Requirement is a legal document which means that the local authority is responsible for looking after and helping the young person. It can contain conditions that say where the young person must live and other conditions which must be followed.