Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) publishes its Annual Report and Accounts for the financial year 01 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. This single document contains the National Convener’s statement, CHS’ Performance Report and CHS’ Annual Accounts. For the first time, CHS also reports on its duties as a Corporate Parent under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.
The Performance Report gives an overview of the work of CHS and its 3,000 volunteers to deliver the best outcomes for children and young people through our core activities of recruiting, training and supporting Children’s Panel members. This report also contains textual and statistical information about our performance against our Business Plan 2016/17 and key performance indicators.
CHS’ financial statements, contained within the Annual Accounts, give a true and fair view of CHS’ financial affairs and have been properly prepared in accordance with accounting standards and Scottish Government’s directions.
Boyd McAdam, the National Convener and Chief Executive of CHS said:
“As National Convener, I am honoured to lead the CHS Community. The above graphic provides a summary of the activity carried out in 2016/17 by our volunteer community, which I and the national team support. I wish to record our appreciation of all that is done by all our volunteers.
“In 2016/17 we entered our fourth year as a public body. This Annual Report provides reassurance that we are operating well, within our resources. Our Community Survey 2017, which received 1,550 responses and is due for publication later this year, reaffirms the commitment and pride our volunteers take in being part of the Children’s Hearings System.
“Reflecting our core functions, we recruited and subsequently appointed 444 new panel members to the national Children’s Panel, reappointed a further 243 for another three years and delivered over 80,000 hours of national training to the volunteer community. Over 1,000 panel members kept their skills and knowledge up to date by undertaking their first year of a three year core training programme.
“In terms of partnership working, 2016/17 saw us launch our joint digital strategy with the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA), which will benefit children and young people as well as the CHS volunteer community. We also worked closely with Volunteer Scotland to ascertain how we might better support our panel and Area Support Team members. As a result we have set about altering the structure of our national team to better meet the needs of our volunteers.
“Children and young people remain at the heart of everything we do. Throughout the year we worked with young people to deliver training to our panel members, review our complaints processes and recruit six new Area Conveners. Next year sees the launch of ‘Our Hearings Our Voice,’ the joint young person’s board which will embed the views of children and young people across the Children’s Hearings System.
“My first feedback loop report was laid before Parliament in March 2017 and I continue to work with local authorities and partners in the Children’s Hearings Improvement Partnership to push for improvements in the way data about children and young people in the hearings system is gathered and reported.”