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A new scrapbook for children and young people attending Children’s Hearings has been launched in Stornoway.

The scrapbook is part of a new ‘Understanding My Hearing Project’ piloted in the Western Isles. The ‘Keeping The Promise’ pilot aims to enhance support for children and young people to help them better prepare for their Hearings.

It is hoped that the initiative will also enable children and young people to participate more effectively in their Hearings, understand what happens during them, and understand what the Hearing decisions mean for them.

Children aged six and over who come to a Hearing in the Western Isles will be sent an invite to a Pre-Hearing visit. They will also receive a scrapbook before their Hearing. After their Hearing, they will receive a personalised letter from the Reporter and an offer of a post-hearing meeting.

The scrapbook includes pages for children and young people to write down how they are feeling, customise their Hearing beforehand, and record Hearing decisions afterwards. It also contains information about their rights in the Children’s Hearings System, 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 Board Members from Our Hearings, Our Voice (OHOV) – an independent board of children and young people with experience in the Hearings System.

Speaking after the launch event at the Hearings centre in Stornoway, OHOV Board Member Lisa Mason said: “It was really important to have all the key organisations together today to help fill in the missing pieces for children and young people coming to Hearings.”

Senior Practitioner Erica Murray from SCRA said: “I would like to thank all our partners who joined us at the launch. We had a fantastic response with social work, advocacy, education, and the panel community all in attendance. There was a tremendous amount of interest in the scrapbook and the wider project.

“We look forward to working with all our partners to better prepare children and young people before and after their Hearing and help Keep The Promise.”


Image credit: Scottish Children's Reporter Administration