Children's Panel Recruitment

Children's Panels deal with vulnerable and troubled children who may be in need of care and protection, or have committed an offence.

The children's hearings system is unique to Scotland. It focuses on individual children's needs and circumstances and addresses why they are at risk. It relies on the work and commitment of many unpaid volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and experience. Children's Panel Area Support Teams (ASTs), based in local authorities, determine how many panel members are required in their area.

AST members are themselves volunteers. Their task is to select prospective panel members and recommend them to Scottish Ministers for appointment. CPAC members also monitor their performance and have a role in overseeing panel member training.

Anyone aged over 18 can apply to become a panel member. After pre-service training, the time commitment varies but is generally around two half days every four to six weeks at hearings with preparation time beforehand.

What is the process involved in becoming a panel member?

Recruitment is held on an annual basis and is organised by the ASTs.

Recruitment stages are as follows: -

  • Recruitment Campaign

Recruitment commences by national and local advertising.

  • Information Evening
  • Final Submission Date for Applications
  • Selection Interviews

Selection Interviews are combined with a group discussion and a written exercise.

Attendance at these is an evening session and last for around 3 hours.

  • Training commences January and is completed by May.

How much time would I have to give to being a panel member?

Initially, newly appointed members require to undertake a preliminary training course. The pre-service training, from January until May, requires attendance at seven training days held on Saturdays. Following satisfactory completion of this course, newly appointed members start serving on hearings and return for a further period of training in the Autumn. Thereafter, panel members are expected to take part in one or two hearings a month. Hearings are held locally, mostly during the day. Individual hearings vary in length but a normal session of three cases will last a morning or afternoon. In addition, members are expected to attend in-service training held at local evening meeting at various times throughout the year.

Children's Panel members are appointed for an initial term of 3 years but can be reappointed for a further term.

Further information on the Children's Hearings System is available via the following link: or

For application details please contact the Clerk to the Inverclyde Children's Panel on the details shown in the contact section of this page.