Child Friendly Scheduling project

Posted on 28th Sep 2023
a young boy with freckles and short brown hair

SCRA has launched a new Keeping The Promise project in our Ayrshire Locality.

The child-friendly scheduling project aims to ensure Hearings are scheduled at a time children and young people identify as being suitable, through working alongside those already in established relationships with them, such as their advocacy worker or the people who support them in school.

This work links closely to findings in the recently published Hearings for Children report and in Our Hearings, Our Voice 40 Calls to Action.

Project Manager Jenny West explains how the project works: “Our Assistant Reporters are identifying every child who is due to attend an annual review Hearing or a Hearing where panel members have asked a child to come back within a specific timescale.

“They review each case to find a professional with a trusting relationship with the child – we call this the ‘link person’. We then approach that professional and ask if they can gather the child’s views on the date, time and location of their Hearing.

“We have created a preference checklist to prompt a discussion which we hope gives helpful parameters and has several links to further information, including pictures of the Hearing centres and the option to request a pre-Hearing visit. We ask that this information is return to us with two weeks so we can action the child’s preferences while still giving the other participants plenty of notice of the Hearing date and time.”

The feedback so far has been extremely positive. You can watch our cartoon animation with comments from children and young people.

So what’s next for the project? Jenny added: “We have spent the last few months refining the information we send to professionals and ensuring our internal processes are sufficiently robust and flexible to meet the demands of children.

“Now we know we can fulfil the requests we receive, we would like to expand. We need to improve our process so we get more preference checklists returned to us. This means making our process more user-friendly for our partners who all have competing demands on their time and resources.”

If you would like further information about the project, you can also listen in to a short podcast with Assistant Reporters Claire Baird and Sandra Stewart.

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