Questions and answers
A virtual Children’s Hearing is a Hearing that takes place online. Only a handful of face to face Children’s Hearings are taking place because of Coronavirus, so we are using technology to help people attend their Children’s Hearings by attending meetings using their smartphone, tablet or computer. In a virtual Hearing you can participate and see and hear what is being said.
Yes, some face to face Children’s Hearings are still taking place, but most of them are taking place virtually If you are attending a virtual Hearing, you will be sent a letter (sometimes called a Hearing notification) from the Reporter. The letter will tell you when it is happening and will include information to help you prepare for it.
We are using Microsoft Teams and Vscene. This currently depends on where you live in Scotland as we are using both platforms.
We need to use a secure platform to keep you and your information safe.
Yes, if you decide that you would like to attend your Hearing virtually, you will be sent information about what will happen and what to expect.
It is really important that you do this in plenty of time to allow your connection to be tested, to get some support, to have time to think about what you want to say and whether you would like to bring a representative, advocacy worker or lawyer to your Children’s Hearing.
If you have Wi-Fi, attending your Children’s Hearing virtually will be free. If you don’t have Wi-Fi, depending on your phone package, attending the Hearing could use up a lot of your data. We can help you with this, and will provide you with additional data by purchasing it in advance and sending it to you. You will get more information on how this works when you speak to the Virtual Hearings Team.
There are lots of ways to get help with your virtual Hearing. The Reporter and the Virtual Hearings Team will give you information on how to prepare and what to expect. You can also have a representative and/or a lawyer attend your virtual Hearing. A representative could be a trusted adult, friend or professional advocate and a lawyer is a legally trained person. Click here for more information
Yes, you can. There are lots of options available to you. You, or someone representing you (such as a lawyer or an advocate), can email your views to the Reporter. The Reporter will give the email to the Panel Members. You can also appoint an advocate and/or a lawyer who will be able to attend the Hearing on your behalf and let the Children’s Hearing know what your views are. It’s important that you do this as far in advance of your Hearing as possible to make sure that there is enough time to get your views to the Hearing. Contact your Reporter about this.
Your rights at a virtual Hearing are the same as they are at a normal Hearing. You can find more information about your rights here.
This is ok. It is important to remember that your name will be shown on screen to the other people in the Hearing. This can be a worry if there is a non-disclosure provision involved in the case. If you do not want people to know your name, there are things you can do to make sure that it is not shown on the screen. When you join an MS Teams meeting you will be asked to either join as a guest or log in to your Microsoft account. Join as a Guest will ask you to enter your name. This is the name that will be shown to all of the other participants in the hearing. You can enter any name here so use the one you want to be known as, or have agreed with the RAVHI Team i.e. just your first name and initial, or for professionals, “school teacher”, “foster carer”, etc. Remember to tell us what name you will use so we let you into the Hearing. If you sign in to your Microsoft account, the name shown on screen will be the one set up in the account. This is usually your forename and surname. To check the name that will be shown in the MS Teams meeting, sign in to your Microsoft account and view your profile. You can change the name shown, but you must include something in the forename and surname field. Microsoft will not allow you to leave one of the fields blank. Join as Guest allows the best flexibility for withholding your name, so if this is a worry for you, always use this method instead of signing in to Microsoft. The RAVHI Team can help you check what name is shown when you join a test meeting before the Hearing.