Children's Hearings: Have you received a letter from the Reporter?
A referral to the Reporter is when information about a child or young person is sent by the police, social work department or a school to the Children’s Reporter, because they think that the young person needs help to sort out some of the problems in their life.
There are lots of different reasons why a child or young person might be referred – these are called the ‘statement of grounds’. These are:
• If they have not been going to school,
• If they have been in trouble with the police,
• If they have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs,
• If their behaviour has been causing concern at home, school or in the community,
• If someone is worried that they are not being cared for properly by their parents or carers,
• If an adult has hurt them or someone in their family in some way.
If I have been referred to the Reporter, will I have to go to a Hearing?
Most of the young people who are referred to the Reporter do not have to go to a Children’s Hearing. If you have been referred to the Reporter, you will get a letter. Your parents or carers will also get a similar letter. It will explain why you have been referred to the Reporter.
The Reporter might then ask for some more information about you from your school or from social work. Once they get this information they will decide if you need to go to a Hearing. The Reporter will write to you again to let you know what they decide.
If I have been referred, what could happen to me?
There are a few different things that a Reporter can decide to do:
They can decide to arrange a Children’s Hearing.
They may decide that you don’t need help from the Children’s Hearing because you are managing to sort your problems out with help from your family.
Or they may decide that you need some help from somebody else like your local council.
The Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 aims to improve the lives, outcomes and opportunities of Scotland’s most vulnerable children and young people.
If you need advice about or representation at a Children’s Hearing, our experienced Family Lawyers can help you.
If you feel that the decision of a Children’s Hearing was not reasonable you may be able to appeal to the Sheriff Court. You only have 21 days to lodge a written appeal so for further advice you must act quickly and make an appointment with one of our Family Lawyers.
YOUR RIGHTS – info for Children and Young People
MORE INFO FOR CHILDREN
MORE INFO FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
INFO FOR PARENTS
GOING TO COURT – info for parents