Children’s hearing system in Scotland still ‘slow’

The children’s hearings system in Scotland is still
“slow and inconsistent”, the minister for young people
has said in response to a report from the Scottish executive.

There have been improvements in the system, but the annual
report on how quickly children are dealt with by the system, has
highlighted delays in the youth justice system and gaps in

Hearings took over from the courts in the 1970s and have most of
the responsibility for dealing with children and young people under
16 who commit offences or are in need of care or protection.

Minister for young people Peter Peacock said that  from now on
key agencies will be brought together on a quarterly basis to
ensure that there is a “continuous emphasis on delivering
swift and effective action”.

Police, councils and the Scottish Children’s Reporters
Administration (SCRA) all failed to meet some of their targets, and
the report said that progress may be too slow to reach new national
standards by 2006.

SCRA principal reporter Alan Miller said: “SCRA has
confirmed its commitment to work with partners to deliver better
outcomes for children and to deliver these outcomes more quickly.
The forthcoming review of the children’s hearing system will
present an opportunity to identify further new ways of delivering
more effective outcomes for children, their families and the
communities in which they live.”

Source: Report on Children’s Hearings time intervals

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