Face to face Hearings update

Posted on 14th Jul 2020

The first face to face Hearings will restart from today, Tuesday 14 July.

Face to face Hearings are gradually being reintroduced across the country with Stirling, Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh, being the first Hearing centres to reopen over the next fortnight.

Hearing centres are only reopening with all the necessary safety measures and strict social distancing in place (you can see some examples of our Hearing rooms below).

If you are attending a face to face Hearing, you will receive a notification letter from the Children’s Reporter, along with a flyer letting you know what to expect. Things are a bit different to before.

We are not asking our Reporters to wear PPE, however it is important for children, young people and families to be aware that individual Reporters, Panel Members or other adults may choose to wear PPE kit.

We will have plenty of hand sanitiser in our Hearing centres and we will also have masks available should you wish to wear one in your Hearing.

Find out what to expect here.

While some of our other Hearing centres prepare to reopen, virtual Hearings are continuing and they will continue to take place for the foreseeable future.

At this stage, we are arranging Hearings when:

• delay would be likely to cause significant detriment to the welfare of the child or young person
• when it is necessary to meet a legal timescale
• when it is necessary to prevent an existing order from expiring

Other Hearings are being arranged when it is practicable to do so.

To help us prepare to reopen, we have been taking expert health and safety advice from the NHS, through Health Protection Scotland. They have been helping ensure that we have all the required measures and equipment in place.

As part of our preparation, we have also been consulting with Hearings-experienced young people. They have come up with some very welcome and creative ideas which are helping us to develop our plans. We have published a report aimed at children and young people letting them know that we have listened to their views and comments and to let them know what we are doing.

Lisa Bennett, SCRA’s Head of Strategy and Organisational Development and Corporate Parenting Lead said: “We would like to say a massive thank you to all the young people for their time and ideas.

“As our Hearing centres start to reopen for face to face Hearings, we hope that they see we have taken their comments and ideas onboard.”

You can view our response to the young people’s feedback here.

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