Contact Decisions in the Children’s Hearings System

Year: 2018
Topic: Permanence

CELCIS in partnership with SCRA (the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration) took part in a research project that looked at contact decisions in the Children’s Hearings System, a unique system to Scotland.

There has been very little research into contact decisions made by Children's Hearings. This research and subsequent report begin to address this important issue.

In 2015, SCRA noted that concern was raised by social workers in relation to permanence processes, where contact decisions were thought to introduce drift and delay into permanence journeys for children. 

The report aims to address a number of issues related to the question: When and how, if at all, do decisions related to contact by Children’s Hearings differ from social work report recommendations? It also highlights other key issues such as the voice of the child.

Research methods included a file review of records contained on the SCRA Case Management System in relation to 160 children and young people from four local authority areas.

The findings of the research were first shared with the Children’s Hearings Improvement Partnership in December 2017 and, since then, this has been used to inform ongoing improvement work.