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Tribute paid to dedicated Children's Hearings volunteers

Local volunteers who dedicate their time to the Children's Hearing system were recognised at a special event recently.

Children's Hearings Panel - Volunteers

The event was organised by East Renfrewshire Area Support Team and East Renfrewshire Council to say a big thank you to the 25 local serving members of the Children's Panel and Area Support Team volunteers.

Panel members living locally give up their personal time to attend extensive training and to serve on Children's Hearings, which help to transform the lives of local children and families at a time of crisis. The work of the Children's Panel makes an invaluable contribution to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in East Renfrewshire.

The event particularly recognised the service given by some of the Panel's long-standing members, some of whom have been Panel members for 20 years and more.

The event was attended by Provost Jim Fletcher; Boyd McAdam, National Convener of Children's Hearings Scotland; and representatives of other partner agencies including the Council and Scottish Children's Reporter Administration.

Ken McKinlay, Area Convener of East Renfrewshire's Area Support Team which has responsibility for recruiting local panel members, said: "I am honoured to be the Area Convener for East Renfrewshire and to host this event to recognise the invaluable contribution our local volunteers make to the Hearings System. Children's Panel members make vital decisions about vulnerable children and young people who are in need of care or who have offended. They are responsible, quite simply, for changing the lives of the children and young people that they see and for that I would like to thank them sincerely."

 Provost Fletcher added: "We cannot overestimate the dedication of our local Panel members and the time AST members freely give to the Children's Hearing system. It is important that their contribution is recognised formally from time to time and I wish to extend my thanks, on behalf of all the vulnerable families and young people that are supported, for the commitment shown." 

Children's Panel members are vital to Scotland's Children's Hearings System and East Renfrewshire residents are being urged to consider if they would be willing to join the panel sometime in the future. Panel members are aged 18 or over and come from a wide range of backgrounds. They are unpaid volunteers who are appointed to the panel for a period of three years at a time.

For anyone who is interested in becoming a Children's Panel member or a member of the Area Support Team in the future, please visit the Children's Panel Scotland website. You can also contact the Area Support Team Clerk, Linda Hutchison on 0141 577 8388 or email at for more information.

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