Virtual Hearings – getting help and support
Taking part in a virtual Hearing is different to attending a Hearing in person. If you would like to attend your Hearing virtually, it is important you get the help and support you need before and during your Hearing.
You have the right to have a representative (for example a trusted adult or an advocacy worker) and/or a lawyer to support you, or speak on your behalf (this means that you can have both, if you would like). It is especially important to have one or both of these options if you think you might find it hard to say how you feel in a virtual Hearing.
If you have a representative and/or a lawyer attending your Hearing, it’s important that you speak to them well before it, to let them know your views, so that they know how you feel and can support you at your virtual Hearing.
There are lots of people and organisations who can help you. You can find a list of Legal Representatives in your area here. You can find a list of all the Advocacy organisations in your area here.
If you attend your virtual Hearing, or even if you decide not to, you can also send your views in writing to the Reporter or get someone to help you with this. There is an email address in the letter telling you about your Hearing. It’s very important to send these views in as soon as you can, so that the Reporter gets it on time for your Hearing. Remember to include your initials, the time and the date of your Hearing in the email.
Jennifer Orren, SCRA’s Participation Officer said: “Taking part in a virtual Hearing can be a very different experience, so it is really important you get the right help before and during your Hearing, so you can fully participate, have some support, and make sure your voice is heard.
“Even though it is a different kind of Hearing, your rights are still the same. You can find out more about these here.
“Remember, if there’s anything you don’t understand, if you need a break, or if you need people to slow down and repeat the question, it’s always okay to ask.”
If you are participating in a virtual Hearing, the Children’s Reporter will send you information beforehand and they will arrange a test as well. We also have some questions and answers which might help and some top tips too!