The Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 Safeguarders Panel Regulations 2012

Date: 1st September 2011
Author: Scottish Government

Safeguarders are appointed by children's hearings or sheriffs when they think there is a requirement to safeguard the interests of the child in the proceedings. The safeguarder provides the hearing or court with an independent assessment of what is in the child's best interest.

The Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 (the 2011 Act) introduces significant changes to the management of safeguarders, in particular it removes responsibility from each local authority to establish a local safeguarder panel and provides for the establishment of a national Safeguarders Panel.

The existing safeguarder service varies widely in terms of the quality of practice in key areas like appointments and monitoring. The intention in moving to the national Safeguarders Panel is to introduce clear and consistent arrangements for the management and oversight of the safeguarder service across Scotland.

The Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 contains more than 30 regulation and order making powers; the Scottish Government is looking to use around 20 of these powers to make Scottish Statutory Instruments in time for their 'go-live' date of September 2012. The consultations on the Safeguarders Panel Regulations will be first in a series of consultations that will take place between now and March 2012. The closing date for this consultation is 6 December 2012.


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