#TellTheUN about your rights in Scotland

24 August 2015

Are you a child or young person living in Scotland? The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child wants to hear your views about your rights & growing up in Scotland. A member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will visit Scotland in September and would like to hear from children and young people about their lives. If you are under 18, you can use the hashtag #TellTheUN on Twitter to highlight your experiences - good or bad - of life in Scotland. You could also include what you think needs to change. 

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Child Rescue Alert

18 August 2015

If your child went missing wouldn’t you want the world to stop and look for them? A Child Rescue Alert is activated when a child is known to have been abducted or their life is believed to be at immediate risk. Every second counts.

Every five minutes another child in the UK goes missing. Thankfully most are found safe and well very soon. Others are not. We need your help to find them. Child Rescue Alert is a system designed to alert the public, as quickly as possible, to an abduction or other high risk child disappearance. 

Statistics show that the initial hours after a child is abducted are crucial, and a sighting by a member of the public can lead to the safe recovery of the child.

To help save children’s lives we need everyone in the UK to sign up for alerts. It’s easy to do and costs nothing. Once you have signed up, you don’t need to do anything except help look for a child when an alert is issued.

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Could you volunteer as a panel member with Children’s Hearings Scotland?

Children's Hearings Scotland | 17 August 2015

Today [17 August], Children’s Hearings Scotland begin their annual campaign to recruit Children’s Panel members. New volunteers from all walks of life are needed every year. This year we are looking for 560 people from all over Scotland to ensure the system can continue to offer the best support for those children and young people who need it most.

The national Children’s Panel involves 2,500 volunteer members who regularly attend hearings to make decisions in the best interests of children and young people who face serious problems in their lives. These volunteers are essential to the success of the Children’s Hearings System.

Boyd McAdam, National Convener and Chief Executive, Children’s Hearings Scotland said:

“Serving on the national Children’s Panel is a big commitment, but we know from speaking with panel members that they get as much out of it as they put in. Each hearing involves our volunteers making decisions which can help change the life of a child or young person who is in need of help and, although difficult at times, it can be hugely rewarding.

“We welcome applications from anyone who feels empathy towards the situations some children and young people in Scotland face. We provide the training to help you develop your skills, what we need is your time, your commitment and your compassion. The training is rightly demanding, but is also rewarding. As I can testify having undertaken it, it can be fun and sociable as well.

“There is no such thing as an ideal panel member. We need a mix of ages, from 18 upwards and from a variety of backgrounds. We also need a mix of males and females to ensure that the national Children’s Panel has a variety of experiences and perspectives. If you think you have what it takes, then I’d encourage you to apply.”

Applicants need to be 18 or over. The deadline for applications is 30 September 2015. To find out more about becoming a panel member, visit

Picnic to promote new service for kinship carers

CHILDREN 1ST | 07 August 2015

CHILDREN 1ST is holding a fun family picnic to celebrate the launch of its new support service for Moray kinship carers and their families. Carers raising the children of relatives or friends are being invited to take the family along with a picnic to Roseisle Forest on Saturday 15 August between 12 and 3pm.

The Moray kinship care service has organised activities including a sandcastle competition, scavenger hunt and woodland fun. Kinship carers look after children they know who can’t live with their mum or dad. Carers are usually the children’s grandparents, aunts or uncles but can sometimes be close family friends. The Moray Kinship Care service matches skilled workers with families so that children, young people and carers can get the right help at the right time. The service can provide advice, support in the family home and one-to-one help.

Manager Lorna Mulholland said: “For carers and children there can sometimes be a need for emotional support; someone who can help them understand what has happened. We can also provide practical help. We tailor it to whatever the carer or child needs. 

“We really want to get the message out that if you live in Moray and you’re raising your grandchild, niece, nephew or a friend’s child then we’re here for you. We hope the picnic will provide a relaxed setting for carers to get to know us.”

CHILDREN 1ST also runs the National Kinship Care Service on behalf of the Scottish Government. This includes networking groups and a dedicated helpline. Anyone needing advice can call the helpline on 08000 28 22 33. For more information about the Moray Kinship Care Service please call 01343 564170.