Minister outlines timetable for reforms as Children’s Hearings Bill gets Royal Assent

Legislation to strengthen and modernise Scotland’s unique children’s hearings system, and improve the way it supports vulnerable children, has been given Royal Assent.

Children’s Minister Adam Ingram said the announcement means roll out of the key reforms within the new Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act, including the abolition of Scotland’s 32 local children’s panels, will be completed this year.

These panels are being replaced with a single national panel, supported by the new body – Children’s Hearings Scotland, responsible for the recruitment and training of the country’s 2,500 local panel members. This move is designed to modernise and streamline the system, deliver greater national consistency and lead to better informed decisions for children.

Once in place, these changes will also mean that the number of public bodies in Scotland has been reduced by more than 25 per cent since October 2007.