Privacy & Confidentiality in Children’s Hearings System

Who Cares? Scotland publish research into issues of privacy and confidentiality within the Children's Hearings System

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policy briefing has been published today (Tuesday 10th November) following research commissioned by SCRA and carried out by Who Cares? Scotland. The research explored how young people, their parents and their carers experienced privacy and confidentiality in the Children’s Hearings System, and how this affects their participation in the process.

We know that respecting privacy and confidentiality has always been important to our Care Experienced members.

Undertaking this research was vital in helping both Who Cares? Scotland and SCRA to understand fully the relationship between privacy, confidentiality and Children’s Hearings, and exploring what can be done to ensure that rights to privacy are respected and those involved feel in control of their information.

A total of 129 young people, adults and parents/carers with experience of the Hearings System took part in the research.

The report published today makes a number of recommendations to be taken forward into practice, including:

  • Ensure children, young people and parents know who will be in attendance and what their roles are.
  • Ensure children, young people, their parents and carers are fully aware of the process and the possible outcomes of the Children’s Hearing in a way that they are able to easily understand.
  • Create space for participants to ask questions and to have anything they do not understand clarified before, during and after Children’s Hearing.
  • Ensure the methods by which a child, young person, parent or carer provides their views in advance of a Hearing, are ones they are comfortable with and are of their choosing.
  • Offer advocacy to all children, young people and parents at the point of becoming involved in the Children’s Hearings System.