A Day in the Life – Support Administrator
Support Administrators have a crucial role to play in the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration.
They work closely with Children’s Reporters and have to ensure that important documents, such as Children’s Hearings’ papers and letters to children and young people and their families, are sent out at the correct time.
They also have to have a good working knowledge of computers to operate SCRA’s Case Management System (CMS) to ensure electronic files are accurate and up to date.
For more information on the Children’s Hearings System, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page.
A Typical Day of a Support Administrator
Support Administrators typically begin their day by logging in to SCRA’s Case Management System (CMS) which processes and records the daily workload.
Postal and electronic mail has to be checked as it arrives into the office. Much of the mail will be background reports which are received from Local Authorities on a daily basis. These reports provide critical information which the Children’s Reporter utilises in their investigations into the circumstances of a child or young person’s referral. The reports must be imported into CMS by the Support Administrator and indexed appropriately to the child or young person’s electronic file.
Notifying Hearings is a priority task. Correspondence is sent to children or young person, their families, Panel Members and agencies to tell them when and where a Hearing is due to take place. Correspondence is sent out in advance of the Hearing and it is important that deadlines are met.
Timely preparation of Panel papers is essential. Panel Members must receive these papers at least three days in advance of a Children’s Hearing to have sufficient time to read through the information and familiarise themselves with a child or young person’s circumstances. Support Administrators also prepare the papers which go to children or young people, family members, relevant people and carers.
On behalf of the Children’s Reporter, Support Administrators request background reports from schools or social work departments on children and young people who have been referred. These reports help the Children’s Reporter determine if the child or young person is required to attend a Hearing. These requests also have to be issued within a set time frame to ensure tight deadlines are met.
When a referral is received for a child or young person, it must be scanned into CMS for the Children’s Reporter to consider. If the child or young person is already known to the Children’s Reporter, their information will be added to. If it is a first referral the Support Administrator will create a new electronic file. Referrals can come from a range of different agencies including the police, social work, schools and health visitors, and can be in a wide variety of formats.
When the decision of a Hearing is known, it is scanned in to CMS and a task is generated for the Support Administrator to record the outcome in the child or young person’s electronic file. The Hearing may decide, for example, that it is best for the child or young person to be placed on a Compulsory Supervision Order or Interim Compulsory Supervision Order. The Support Administrator then generates the appropriate correspondence to be sent to the child or young person, their parents or carers, and any agencies who have been involved.
At the end of the day the Support Administrator prioritises their workload for the following day, to ensure work is completed within the given timescales.