The Children’s Rights and Inclusion Strategy was launched on 20 November 2020 by Children's Hearings Scotland after going out for consultation on 16 July 2020, as launched by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, in the Scottish Parliament. It aims to ensure children feel able to speak openly and honestly in hearings, and that their views are given real weight in the decision making process. It also aims to ensure children feel empowered, and that they have ownership of their rights.
The strategy was carefully crafted in collaboration with people with lived experience of the hearings system, representatives from the panel community and invited experts in participation and engagement. The strategy helps to embed Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (respect for the views of the child) into the Scottish children’s hearings system and all activities of the Children's Hearings Scotland organization.
"We have been acutely aware of the challenge posed to Scotland’s care sector that people with lived experience receive equity in decision making surrounding their lives and indeed their communities," says the document. "This strategy seeks to establish an environment where the expression and respect for the views of children is central to all that we do."