Children's Hearings Redesign Board: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Children’s Hearings: Redesign Board.

The Children's Hearings Redesign Board is a group of system leaders with statutory responsibility for the effective operation and management of the Children’s Hearings System. 


The Children’s Hearings Redesign Board will provide oversight for the delivery of change to the Children’s Hearings System, ensuring that any changes made are underpinned by clear and compelling evidence with demonstrable benefits to children and their families. 


Central to the effective operation of the board will be core principles of collaboration, co-operation, inclusion, respect and transparency.


The group will be small and focused to ensure appropriate pace of delivery and change. Membership of the board will be drawn from the senior leadership of key statutory partners responsible for the delivery of the Children’s Hearings System. These will be leaders from:

  • Scottish Government
  • Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration
  • Children’s Hearings Scotland
  • Social Work Scotland


The redesign board will meet quarterly to oversee progress towards the effective redesign of the Children’s Hearings System. The planned programme of meetings can be varied as appropriate according to emerging priorities and deliverables. They will ensure that the benefits of redesign are realised for all children and young people who experience Children’s Hearings.  

They will engage regularly with the membership of the Children's Hearings Improvement Partnership to ensure that work is progressing and to work directly with the full range of organisations involved in the system.

They will engage directly with other key, connected groups and boards to ensure alignment of work and shared understanding of progress. This will include engagement with young people and communication with the Promise Scotland.

The work of the board will recognise the importance of the sequencing of activity – noting the criticality of logging, and responding to, other significant care and justice developments in Scotland.

The board will be able to seek support from an advisory group of academic experts.

Inclusion of voice

Building on the successful and trusting partnerships created and nurtured by Sheriff David Mackie, we will work with children and young people to identify ways for them to enrich the work of the board and the process of reform and redesign. This is a critical feature of the programme of redesign, but this will happen on terms best suited to the young people. They will be supported to introduce ideas, raise concerns and hold others to account for the work that is taking place.


The board will be supported by a Secretariat function provided by officers from member organisations. Where possible, the board will receive papers five working days before meetings and minutes will be provided within five working days from the date of the meeting. 


The group will be accountable to Scottish Ministers and to COSLA. They will report annually to both.


The board will consider progress at each of its meetings. Once formal plans are developed for the bprogramme of work this may take the form of a highlight report and regular standing item on the meeting agenda. 

A formal review of the board’s progress will be undertaken to coincide with the Parliamentary introduction of any legislation in relation to Children’s Hearings redesign.

The chairing of the group will be revisited in the second half of 2024.

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