Privacy and participation in the Children’s Hearings System

Posted on 10th Nov 2020

A policy briefing has been published today (Tuesday 10 November) exploring Young people and parents’ views on privacy and how this affects their participation in the Children’s Hearings System’.

Privacy and confidentiality in the Children’s Hearings System have always been paramount. SCRA commissioned Who Cares? Scotland to carry out a piece of research in order to fully understand the relationship between privacy and confidentiality in the Hearings System.

The research explored:

  • How privacy and confidentiality impact on the participation of young people and their parents and carers in the Children’s Hearings System,
  • What is the relationship between advocacy and privacy and confidentiality,
  • And what solutions could be found to help young people and their parents and carers be heard and involved in decision making.

A total of 129 young people, adults and parents/carers with experience of the Hearings System took part in the research.

The report published today makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • Ensure children, young people and parents know who will be in attendance and what their roles are.
  • Ensure children, young people, their parents and carers are fully aware of the process and the possible outcomes of the Children’s Hearing in a way that they are able to easily understand.
  • Create space for participants to ask questions and to have anything they do not understand clarified before, during and after Children’s Hearing.
  • Ensure the methods by which a child, young person, parent or carer provides their views in advance of a Hearing, are ones they are comfortable with and are of their choosing.

Lisa Bennett, SCRA’s Corporate Parenting Lead, said: “We would like to thank Who Cares? Scotland for carrying out this vital piece of research for us. We would also like to say a massive thank you to everyone who gave their time to take part and provide their views.

“The findings will now be considered by SCRA’s Information Governance Leads Group and Participation Group and will help us develop our next Corporate Parenting Plan, our links across to The Promise and in the next stage of our Digital Strategy.”

If you have any questions about the report, please email

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