Care Review response to recruitment campaign for the Children’s Hearing System

Statement from Alastair Redpath and Denisha Killoh, Stigma Group Co-chairs Independent Care Review

Since the launch of the Children’s Hearing System’s current advertising campaign to recruit new panel members, care experienced young people have been in touch with the Independent Care Review to tell us how it is making them feel.

The imagery and language has been described as distressing and stigmatising, and there are concerns that it misrepresents their experiences of hearings, reaffirms stereotypes of care experienced individuals, and reinforces stigma.

This has led to doubts about the likelihood of it attracting candidates equipped and willing to work in partnership with others to safeguard the welfare, and promote the wellbeing of infants, children and young people who require the support of the Children’s Hearing System.

It is understood that the process followed in developing the campaign did involve people with experience of the hearing system. Nevertheless, the language and visuals used have caused concern. The Children’s Hearing System has acknowledged the concerns raised and is ‘listening and reflecting’.

Twelve Intentions have been developed by care experienced young people and adults to guide the Care Review’s work.  Many relate to the issues raised, with two dedicated to tackling stigma:

  • The words used to describe care will be easily understood, positive and not create or compound stigma.
  • There will be no stigma for infants, children and young people in care because Scotland will understand why our children need care.

Through the work of the Care Review, we will support care experienced children, young people and adults to work alongside all partners to achieve these outcomes.

The Care Review recognises that it has heard mainly one viewpoint and there will be others. We have been in contact with the Children’s Hearing System directly to make them aware of the views that have been heard.

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