Children’s Hearings and COVID-19
The Children’s Hearing system in Scotland is a system set up to deal with the care and justice of children and young people. The system is designed to provide care, protection and guidance to children and young people in need. Children’s Hearings also deal with children and young people who have committed offences. The Children’s Hearing makes legal decisions about how best to support children and young people through a panel of non-legal members called a Children’s Panel.
At Pollock and McLean, myself and Lynn McMurchie, Partner, have extensive experience in representing parents, children and relevant persons at Children’s Hearings. I understand that the prospect of going to a Children’s Hearing can be daunting, and very stressful, especially during COVID-19. The support of a Solicitor through the process, in my view, is extremely important to ensure that clients always know what is going on legally and to ensure that their interests are represented. Like many legal forums Children’s Hearings are currently taking place remotely by way of ‘virtual hearings’. Both myself, and Lynn have represented clients involved in a number of virtual Children’s Hearings since the start of the public health pandemic. I have found that the virtual hearings are a great ‘next best thing’ alternative to face to face hearings. The software used is free and easy to use, while maintaining confidentiality by being password protected. The hearings work well, and give everyone a chance to speak and have their views heard.
Being in the Children’s Hearing system can be emotionally draining and overwhelming, but I truly believe that here at Pollock and McLean we are armed with the experience and knowledge of the law to assist you and your family throughout this process. From your first contact with Social Work to attending a Children’s Hearing, we are here to help and support you. I am passionate about providing clients with compassionate and professional representation during the Children’s Hearing process.
Some of my best moments in practice have been as a result of successfully navigating clients through, and out of the other-side of the Children’s Hearing system. I am delighted that I am able to continue to assist clients in this area of practice even during a health pandemic.
Victoria Raymond | Associate Solicitor