Understanding My Hearing – Before, During & After

Posted on 27th Feb 2024
A toodler drawing a picture of a heart in red crayon

An Understanding My Hearing Project is being piloted in the Western Isles to support children and young people better prepare for their Hearings.

The Keeping The Promise pilot also aims to enable children and young people to participate more effectively, understand what happens during a Hearing and what the Hearing decisions mean for them.

As from April, children age six and over coming to a hearing in the Western Isles will be sent an invite to a Pre-Hearing visit and a scrapbook. The Taking Control of My Hearing scrapbook has been designed to better prepare children and young people and to empower them to take control of their Hearing.

The scrapbook includes pages for children and young people to write down how they are feeling, to customise their Hearing beforehand and to record Hearing decisions afterwards. It also contains information about their rights in the Children’s Hearings System and where to find help and more information.

The Western Isles initiative builds on a similar pilot launched in Fife in November 2023.

The concept and design of the scrapbook came from two young Board Members from Our Hearings, Our Voice (OHOV) – an independent board of children and young people with experience of the Hearings System.

They envisage the scrapbook being used by the child or young person on their own, or with a “trusted professional that the young person feels comfortable talking to … someone to sit down and go through the booklet with them.”

The Pre-Hearing visit will provide an opportunity for children and young people to visit the Hearing centre before their Hearing, meet the Reporter and share parts of the scrapbook if they choose. Pre-Hearing visits have always been offered, but uptake has been limited. The move to pro-actively invite children in to see where their Hearing will take place contributes to SCRA’s commitment to Keeping The Promise.

We have also worked closely with Hearings-experienced adults and young people to develop processes and tools to support children and young people to understand their Hearings and the decisions made about them. As well as providing space in the scrapbook where Hearing decisions can be recorded,  after the Hearing children and young people will be sent their Hearing outcome in plain English and invited to a meeting with the Reporter to discuss what the decisions mean in reality for them and explain their Hearing rights after a Hearing.

The young Board Members from OHOV are delighted that their ideas have moved from being something we talk about doing, to a real, practical and emotional support for children and young people attending Hearings.

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