New temporary home for Children’s Hearings in Falkirk
Children’s Hearings in Falkirk have moved to a temporary new home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hearings for some of the area’s most vulnerable children and young people will now take place in the Municipal Buildings.
Since just before lockdown, virtual Children’s Hearings have been taking place for children and young people across the country. However, as lockdown restrictions started to ease, planning has been taking place between SCRA, CHS and Falkirk Council to reintroduce face to face Hearings.
However, SCRA’s recently refurbished Hearings suite at Campfield House, is not large enough to enable appropriate social distancing measures to be adopted. Therefore, a temporary Children’s Hearings Centre has been created within the Falkirk Municipal Buildings in the City Chambers wing.
SCRA’s Locality Reporter Manager, Neil McKinlay, said: “It was critical that we reintroduced face to face Children’s Hearings as quickly, but as safely as possible. There was just no possibility of using our current facility and we had to search for suitable alternatives.
“We were delighted the Local Authority was able to help and they have kindly provided the space free of charge. We are extremely grateful for all their help, as well as the support from all our key partners in the Children’s Hearings System.”
Don Lawrie, Area Support Convener for the Children’s Panel, said: “Falkirk Children’s Panel are delighted to be able to hold their hearings in Falkirk Council Chambers. We are extremely grateful for the magnificent support given to us by the Council. Working closely with our SCRA partners, we are now in a position where we can return to holding face to face Hearings in our locality.
“This has been a fine example of collaboration and co-operation between the local Corporate Parents.”
Sara Lacey, Chief Social Work Officer said: “The work of the Children’s Hearings System has been disrupted during the COVID-19 outbreak however, by providing these facilities we can continue to make sure that children and young people in need of care and protection get the right support they need in life.”
At this stage, Children’s Hearings are expected to be held in the Municipal Buildings until the end of December.