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Who decides that a child comes to a hearing?

The Scottish Children's Reporter Administration(SCRA) are the central officers within the Children's Hearings system who decide whether a child should come to a hearing. Children may come before a hearing because they:

  • have offended, have been neglected or abused and may need care or protection
  • are out of the control of their parents
  • have been absent from school without reasonable excuse
  • have misused drugs or alcohol
  • are in moral danger

How long do hearings take?

Most hearings are held during the day in normal working hours. Panel Members are expected to undertake at least two hearings per month which normally last in the region of three hours each, although they can occasionally take longer.

Where and when are hearings held?

Hearings are scheduled at different venues and frequencies. Panel Members can be asked to attend hearings at any of these locations and times:

  • Kilmarnock - 21 West Langlands Street, Kilmarnock, KA1 2PY
  • Ayr - 35 Carrick Street, Ayr, KA7 1NS
East Ayrshire Hearing Centres
Day  MorningAfternoon
Monday 9.30am Kilmarnock 2pm Kilmarnock
Tuesday 9.30am Kilmarnock 2pm Kilmarnock
Wednesday 9.30am Kilmarnock
10am Ayr (once every two weeks)
Thursday   2pm Kilmarnock
Friday 9.30am Kilmarnock    

Recent changes to the Children’s Hearings system

The Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act (2011) came into force on 24 June 2013. It made a number of improvements to the way in which Children’s Hearings work such as:

  • the amalgamation of the 32 local children’s panels into a single body - Children’s Hearings Scotlandwhich will be responsible for the recruitment and training of all panel members
  • creation of national structure for safeguarders
  • new rights for legal aid

More information

Children’s Hearings are not directly administered by Social Services. The Ayrshire Area Support Team Clerk's Office provides support to the Children’s Panel and Area Support Team whilst the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administrationdeals with all other matters.

Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration
North Ayrshire Team
21 West Langlands Street

Telephone: 0300 200 1850

Contact Information

Clerk to Ayrshire Area Support Team
Telephone: 01294 324155
Telephone: 01294 324162