The Hearings System Working Group: Issues List

The Hearings System Working Group has spent time scoping the Issues List. It is a document with 56 questions across 5 categories.

These questions will guide conversations and deliberation as the Group works toward creating detailed proposals for the redesign of The Children’s Hearings System.

The questions are constructed with an underlying commitment that Scotland’s children, young people and families who engage with the Hearings System can fully participate in decisions that impact their lives and their rights are upheld.

Note: Much of the Issues List deals with legal concepts, which can often read and feel like ‘system’ language.  The Group understands and cares deeply about the importance and impact of language and will always avoid using system language where possible. If you would like to know more about why language matters when talking about care experience and the care system, visit

What’s next?

The HSWG is in its final stages of developing its work programme for 2022. The work programme consists of three routes: research, engagement and working group input. The aim of the three routes is to ensure the group arrives to a place where it can make decisions about the items on the Issues List by early 2023.


The Scottish Government’s Office of the Chief Designer have been commissioned by The Promise Scotland for specific input into the redesign of the Children’s Hearings System, engagement activity around the Issues List, and the final report and recommendations of the Hearings System Working Group.

Download the Issues List

Visit the HSWG main page


Upcoming Engagement Opportunities


Those that want to learn more  

The Hearings System Working Group will be hosting a series of webinars following the headings of the Issues List. These webinars will be open to those who would like to learn more about the work of the Group and to understand some of the options and ways of operating that could be open to a redesign of The Children’s Hearings System.   

Those with lived experience

Putting those with personal experience of The Children’s Hearings System at the heart of the redesign is fundamental to change. The Chair, Sheriff David Mackie, has already spent time with Our Hearings Our Voice and their 40 Calls to Action are part of this work. In addition, the HSWG will be engaging with participation groups within CHS and there will be a clear route for engagement, for all those who want to bring their views on how the system should change.

Those with responsibility

In addition to the critical role of panel members and reporters, the Hearings System Working Group will continue to engage with social workers, advocacy providers, lawyers, safeguarders, COSLA, local authorities and Police Scotland. Making sure that all the professionals who work in and around The Children’s Hearings System are part of this process is critical to ensuring that the redesign reflects all those who have responsibilities towards children and families. 

How to get involved

Information on how to get involved in the engagement opportunities listed above will be available in the upcoming weeks.