Reporter to the Children’s Panel

Legal and court services

Career outlook for reporter to the children’s panel

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


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What's it like?

You would help to find the best way to protect and care for vulnerable children so they have safe and happy lives.

The Children’s Hearings System is the care and justice system for Scotland’s children and young people.

The system is designed to help children and young people who need care and protection, who have problems at home, in school, or in the community, or who get in trouble with the police. 

As a Children’s Reporter you would be based in a local community. People who are concerned about the welfare of a child or young person in that community, such as police officers, social workers, teachers and doctors, would refer a child to you for investigation.

You would:

  • Review and investigate the referral
  • Discuss the circumstances with the person or team who made the referral
  • Speak to other people who know the child, like teachers or social workers, and ask them to write reports
  • Decide whether the child needs special protection and help
  • Assess evidence
  • Decide whether to refer to a Children’s Hearing and write statements of grounds
  • Appear in court if necessary

If you decide that they do need special help you would refer the child to a Children’s Hearing. The Hearing has three Panel Members, who are trained volunteers from the local community. They will listen to the circumstances and hear the views of the child and their family and then decide on the best option. For example, the Panel may decide that the child should stay at home with support from other agencies such as social work, or should be looked after by foster carers or live in a residential unit or secure accommodation. 

The Children's Reporter and Children’s Hearing want to make sure the child is protected and that they get the help and support to have a positive and happy life as they get older and become an adult.

You would be responsible for ensuring that each Hearing works well, complies with the law, and that the right people and agencies are told about its decision so they can take the right action. You will be required to attend court to establish the case if the family do not accept the circumstances, and also if there are appeals against the decision of the Children’s Hearing.

Most of the cases referred to the Children’s Reporter are child protection cases. You will need sensitivity, flexibility and the ability to work well with a wide variety of professionals and people from different backgrounds.

You would work for the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, which along with other agencies, is responsible for running the Children’s Hearings System.

Working conditions


You would normally work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.


You will mostly be office based but may need to attend court depending on individual cases.


Any travel will be within the local area.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Resilience
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Researching
  • Social conscience
  • Time management
  • Ethical
  • Making decisions
  • Negotiating

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You need to be qualified to degree level (SCFQ Level 9/10) or equivalent in social work, law or another relevant subject with at least two years experience in a similar role.

Entry to a degree generally requires a minimum of three Highers or a relevant Higher National Certificate (SCQF Level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF Level 8). 

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses and employers)
  • Childcare and Development

You will also need

  • To have evidence of continued professional development
  • Experience and skills using computers and business related software
  • To complete a medical questionnaire that will be assessed by the independent occupational health service
  • To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland
  • A good understanding of the Children’s Hearings System, Children’s Hearings Scotland and the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration

Helpful to have

Court experience, a full driving licence and access to a vehicle.

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