Scottish Government ‘Hearings for Children’ SWS Response- Recommendations Accepted

Children and Families

May 2024 


Social Work Scotland is the professional body for social work leaders, working closely with our partners to shape policy and practice, and improve the quality and experience of social services. We welcomed the attention the Independent Care Review brought to children’s hearings and the experiences of children and young people, and the subsequent Promise which has focused attention on the importance of reform in the children’s hearing system. This aspect of the Promise and subsequent work of the Children’s Hearing Review Group was therefore particularly welcome. 

The Children’s Hearing System is a core part of our children’s welfare system, working with those children who require compulsory measures of care to ensure their protection and wellbeing. It sits within a wider care system and interfaces closely with the early help, child protection and the care context created by other legal orders and situations. Social Work operate in all of these spaces and is the one service which spans all legal contexts for children in contact with Scotland’s care system.  

Along with others, and particularly our partners in Children’s Hearing Scotland and Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration, we have long recognised that the principles upon which the hearing system was built are no longer working effectively. Over the years since 1968 the landscape of Scotland and the landscape of care has become more complex, and a range of changes have, for good and rights-based reasons, been made to the hearing system. The consequences of some of those changes has been to make the system more complex. It has also become more adversarial, and the children and young people the system is intended to serve have become ‘lost’. 

This report contains Social Work Scotland’s detailed response to the Recommendations Accepted.

  • For Social Work Scotland’s detailed response to the Recommendations Accepted with Conditions, please click here.
  • For Social Work Scotland’s detailed response to the Recommendations Not Accepted, please click here.
  • For Social Work Scotland’s detailed response to the Varied Responses to Sub Recommendations, please click here.