After recognising the significant need to hear the voices and experiences of children during the reform drafting process, the Scottish Government’s Children’s Hearings Reforms Team approached Children’s Parliament in 2009.
Children’s Parliament recognised the existing findings of Big Words & Big Tables (SCRA/Save The Children, 2006) and that of the National Survey (SCRA , 2009) and wished to extend on these, by giving children with significant experience of the current system a way of informing the reform process. Giving Hearing experienced children a creative space to reflect on their experiences and imagine a Hearing as it could and should be, the project produced key messages for adults involved in the reform to consider.
Six workshops were held with 29 children aged between 7 and 15, all of whom had significant experience of going to Children’s Hearings and came from both urban and rural settings. They were identified through the Children’s or Client’s Rights Officers in Glasgow City and Angus respectively or their involvement with Aberlour or Barnardo’s services. Using creative arts methods of cartooning and puppet-making to enable children to tell their story of engaging with the system and imagine how hearings should be for every child. The Children’s Parliament facilitator, Arts Workers and the agency’s key workers all took the responsibility of capturing the children’s comments in notebooks and two film-makers interviewed willing participants for the accompanying DVD to the report.
Following the consultation Children’s Parliament produced Hearing the Views of Children (2010) Report, available here: