New Children’s Hearings Centre for North Ayrshire

Posted on 12th Sep 2016
Young male in front of graffiti wall

SCRA has held the official openings of our new Children’s Hearings Centre in Irvine.

The official opening of our Children’s Hearings Centre for mainland North Ayrshire was held on Friday 9 September.

Around 40 guests attended the building opening, which was officially opened by John Butcher, Chair of the North Ayrshire Children’s Services Strategic Partnership.

All mainland Children’s Hearings – for children and young people in need of care and protection in North Ayrshire – are now held in Sovereign House, Irvine.

The new Centre has a welcoming reception area, three waiting rooms, an interview room and two Hearing suites. The different parts of the building are themed, with an underwater theme in the reception area, and themed waiting rooms, including animals, pirates and dinosaurs.

The Hearings suites comprise of a traditional Hearing room and a new-look Hearing room, which is based on feedback from young people to encourage their participation. The modern room features bright, comfy furniture.

Locality Reporter Manager, Neil McKinlay, said: “Going to a Children’s Hearing can be a daunting experience and it is vital we make the surroundings as warm and welcoming as possible for children, young people and their families.”

Neil added: “We’ve had really positive feedback about the new Centre so far from Panel Members, professionals and most importantly children and their families. We hope that the improved facilities and more modern feel, will enable children and young people to participate more effectively in their Hearings.”

John Butcher, Chair of the North Ayrshire Children’s Services Strategic Partnership, who officially opened the new facility, said: “This is a fantastic new facility for vulnerable children and families in North Ayrshire and a significant improvement on before.

“It is important during Children’s Hearings, where sensitive issues are being discussed, that the right environment helps create the right atmosphere.

“This is a great new facility for not just children and families, but for the staff and volunteers involved in the Children’s Hearings System in North Ayrshire.”

In 2015/16, 1,326 children and young people were referred to the Reporter in North Ayrshire and 1,575 Children’s Hearings were held.

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