As National Volunteers’ Week Scotland launched, the members of Falkirk Children’s Panel and Area Support Team members who give their time to make a vital contribution to the lives of troubled and vulnerable children and young people were recognised.
Boyd McAdam, the national convener of Children’s Hearings Scotland, added his thanks for all they do. He said: “Their commitment and contribution is remarkable, and it’s important it is recognised and valued.”
The recognition of their commitment comes ahead of this year’s recruitment drive, where over 500 new Children’s Panel members of all ages and backgrounds will be sought.
Most recent figures highlight that across Scotland 15,329 children and young people were referred to the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration in 2015/16, resulting in 34,896 Children’s Hearings taking place.
The system, which deals with troubled or at risk children and young people who are in need of care or who have offended, relies on the generosity, skills and commitment of those who volunteer their time – like Stephen Boyle (49), from Grangemouth.
An offshore operations technician, he has been a panel member for eighteen years and applied after seeing an advert appealing for applicants in Falkirk.
He said: “Being part of the Children’s Panel is so rewarding and it is a privilege to be allowed into people’s lives to try to help whilst they are going through a very difficult time.”