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A new scrapbook for children and young people attending hearings was launched in Stornoway on Monday (15 April) by the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA).

The scrapbook is part of an initiative being piloted in the Western Isles, called ‘Understanding My Hearing’ which has the aim of giving more support to children and young people to help them better prepare for their hearings.

It is hoped this will help them to participate more effectively in their hearing, understanding what happens and what the hearing decisions mean for them.

As from Monday, children aged six and over who come to a hearing in the Western Isles will be invited for a pre-hearing visit, receiving a scrapbook which includes pages to write down how they are feeling, to customise their hearing beforehand and to record decisions afterwards.

It also contains information about their rights in the Children’s Hearings System and where to find help and more information.

After their hearing they will receive a personalised letter from the reporter and an offer of a post-hearing meeting.

Speaking straight after the launch event in Stornoway, 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: “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.”

The picture shows Erica Murray (left) and Lisa Mason (right) with copies of the scrapbook after the launch of the new project.