The Minister for Children and Young People, Ms Haughey, today announced the appointment of Hazel Smith and Ying Zhang as Members of the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration.
Hazel Smith started out in community education 35 years ago and set-up, developed and managed organisations and projects combatting exclusion and inequality; working with third and public sector services and economic development agencies. Much of the work she has been involved in over the years has focused specifically on children, young people and disadvantaged women: managing youth services and Women Onto Work in Edinburgh. She worked with the European Commission on research and development projects that promoted participation in education, enterprise and employment for groups and communities who were socially excluded and also volunteered in Senegal and Palestine with women’s rural development. In 2016 Hazel moved back to Berwickshire and applied her life’s learning, creating ReTweed, an award-winning social enterprise delivering craft, heritage and textiles skills to women and young people who face multiple and complex barriers; breaking cycles of poverty, isolation, ill-health and low aspiration. More recently, she was a Board Member with the new economic development agency, South of Scotland Enterprise and was responsible for developing and supporting opportunities for thriving and sustainable communities across the region. Within the role, she had a particular focus on our young people, in social enterprise, the third sector, the environment and in developing education and employability initiatives as key contributors to economic prosperity. Hazel’s commitment to equality and social justice was informed by 18 years in the care system. Her commitment to the wellbeing of children, young people and those who are most vulnerable, has been the driving force in her life.
Ying Zhang brings significant knowledge and insight into the Board, with extensive experiences of Children’s services, from her pervious role as a frontline statutory Child Protection Social Worker, previous leadership role in Safeguarders Panel Team and current voluntary leadership role as the Area Convener of local Children’s Hearings. Ying developed her career in Local Government with her first role as a Research Officer before started her journey in children’s services. Furthermore, she had 4 years experiences in private sector, responsible for global strategy development. Ying is currently a Strategy and Development Manager at Capital City Partnership, leading the establishment and development of a pioneering service provided to children, young people and families from ethnically diverse communities, to tackle poverty and inequality. Ying has held the role of Board Trustee for Fife Women’s Aid. In addition to her cross-sector knowledge and experiences, Ying holds qualifications including LLB, Mphil in Social Science and Economic Studies, MsC in Social Work, Post Graduate Certificate in Child Protection, and Executive MBA with specialisation in strategy.
The appointments will be for four years and will run from 1 December 2022 to 31 November 2026.
The appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.
The appointments are part-time and attracts a remuneration of £186.99 per day for a time commitment of 1.5 days per month.
Other ministerial appointments
Hazel Smith and Ying Zhang do not hold any other public appointments.
All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.
Hazel Smith has canvassed and leafleted for the Scottish National Party and attended events hosted by them.
Ying Zhang has had no political activity within the last five years.
The Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) is a national body focused on children and young people most at risk. SCRA was formed under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994 and became fully operational on 1st April 1996. SCRA’s main responsibilities as set out in the Act are:
- to facilitate the work of Children’s Reporters
- to deploy and manage staff to carry out that work
- to provide suitable accommodation for Children’s Hearings
The Children’s Hearings System provides the operational setting in which SCRA and partner agencies work. The aim is to provide a safety net for vulnerable children and young people, and deliver tailored solutions which meet the needs of the individuals involved, while helping to build stronger families and safer communities.
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