The organisation and running of the children's hearings system in Scotland is a complex process to which a range of local and national partners contribute. The system requires that a number of different public agencies as well as specialist bodies constituted expressly for the purpose and individuals with specific appointments discharge their responsibilities effectively and collaboratively.
This section of the manual gives information about the responsibilities of the agencies, the administrative groups and individuals who support the system. The Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 ('the Act') is the keystone for the reform of the children's hearings system - reform that provides the opportunity to improve the way we support our most vulnerable children and their families. The reform of the children's hearings system is one part of the Scottish Government's work in relation to children and young people aimed at breaking Scotland's historic cycles of poverty, under achievement and inequalities in health, income and outcomes. No matter where they live or whatever their needs, children, young people and their families should know where they can find help, what support might be available and whether it is the right support for them.
Ministers want local professionals to work together to meet the needs of children and young people at the earliest possible stage - so that only those who need compulsory supervision to safeguard and promote their welfare come before a children's hearing.
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