At your Hearing

Cartoon boy holding teddy bear

If you’ve never been to a Hearing before, this page will provide you with some helpful information. Remember – everyone at the Hearing wants to help you and make things better for you.

Who will be there?

  • You, your parents or carers.
  • A Children’s Reporter – they organise the Hearing and send you a letter about it. They will come and say hello to you when you arrive. They will be in the Hearing room and they will ensure that your Hearing is fair.
  • There will be three Panel Members, they are specially trained people, who are there to help.
  • A social worker will also be there and a teacher from your school might attend.
  • A Safeguarder might also be there. More information about a Safeguarder is available in this short film.

More detail about people at your Hearing is available on our website.

You will be asked some questions like….

  • Do you like where you are staying?
  • How are you getting on with the people you live with?
  • How is school?
  • Do you have any worries or problems?
  • The Panel Members will ask you these questions to make sure you get the right help.

Having your say

  • Remember, the Hearing is all about you!
  • You will have the chance to tell Panel Members how you are and what you would like to happen.
  • You can also fill out a form which is called ‘Hearing About Me’ or you can even do a drawing or write a letter or a note to let everyone know how you are feeling.
  • It is very important that the Panel Members know how you are feeling and what you think about some of the options that are being discussed. If you don’t understand anything, please just ask.

What might happen?

The Panel Members will listen to everyone at the Hearing and will make the best decision for you. They will tell you what is going to happen and why.

If Panel Members are worried about you, they might make what’s called a Compulsory Supervision Order. This is a legal document which means that the Social Work Department or the Local Authority must be involved in your life and that they are responsible for looking after and helping you.

Lots of children on a Compulsory Supervision Order stay at home, but if the Panel Members are worried about your safety, they might decide that you need to stay in another place for a while to keep you safe.

What are my rights?

  • If you are worried, you can bring an adult to the Hearing to help you (a person you trust, like a lawyer, an advocacy worker or a Children’s Rights Officer) another trusted person in your life.  You can bring both f you’d like).
  • You can ask questions at your Hearing.
  • You should tell people at the Hearing if there is something you want to say. Your views are very important to them and will help them make a decision that is best for you.
  • The Panel Members will explain their decision to you, but if there is anything you are not sure about, it is important that you ask, so that they can help you understand.
  • You can appeal against the decision of the Children’s Hearing within 21 days.