3 Pre-hearing preparation
Panel members should arrive at the hearing centre at least 15 minutes before the session begins. This is to allow the pre-hearing checklist to be carried out. A list of those present will be given to you by a member of SCRA detailing who has been notified to be in attendance, who is present, observers, Safeguarders, solicitors etc.
A check should be made that all panel members have the same paperwork and if there are late reports tabled, consideration should be given to what options are open to the hearing. It should be noted that only the options should be discussed at this stage and that the substance of the case should not be discussed prior to the children's hearing. All decision-making in respect of any matter before the hearing must be done openly in the children's hearing and in the presence of all parties.
In preparing for the hearing, each panel member should have considered and identified the broad issues which need to be discussed. It is best practice to agree and compile a list of topics to be discussed and which panel member would want to raise the issue within the hearing.
Panel members also need to consider if there are:
- any deemed relevant person issues which need to be made or reviewed in the hearing
- whether any information has been withheld or requested to be withheld.