Time is running out for people to step forward and help create a brighter future for some of Ayrshire's most vulnerable children and young people.
The Children's Hearing System (CHS) is appealing for volunteers to become members of the Children's Panel as part of its recruitment drive, which closes on Tuesday, 26 September. The initiative is supported by East, North, and South Ayrshire Councils. Children's Panel members make vital decisions to help vulnerable children and young people in need of care and protection. Those applying for the role do not need any specific qualifications but must be over 18 and either live, or work, in the Ayrshire area. Regardless of their background, panel members should be independent thinkers, good listeners and communicators, have great negotiating skills, and the ability to keep a level head in difficult situations. All panel members will receive extensive training and support to help them make potentially life-changing decisions in the lives of a child or young person. Councillor Julie Dettbarn, Chair of the South Ayrshire Intergration Joint Board said, "These important roles help to support vulnerable young people, who have been identified as needing dedicated help. "While there should be no doubt that the role will be challenging, the potentially positive outcomes should make the decision an easy one to make. "There is no single type of person we're looking for and previous applicants have come from all different walks of life. So, if you decide to get involved, I'm sure you'll benefit from a rewarding experience , while helping to make a real difference to peoples lives." This year, it is hoped that more men will become members. North Ayrshire Councillor, Robert Foster, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said, "The people who make up the Children's Panel give up their time and efforts for the benefit of children and young people in need of care and support. "While we are looking for panel members from all walks of life, we would be particularly keen to hear from men as we currently have a shortage of male volunteers. "The rewards are enormous. Not only is it personally satisfying to be a panel member but knowing that you have made a positive difference to the lives of children and young people is priceless." Councillor Claire Leitch, East Ayrshire Depute Provost and Children's Champion added, "Panel members play an important role in shaping the lives of vulnerable children and young people in Ayrshire. "The difference the Panel can make for a child's wellbeing, direction and long-term success in school, work and in life is vital. "It can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience for all concerned and I would urge those interested to get in touch and take that first, important step in helping to transform the life of a vulnerable young person in need of some extra support." Anyone interested in finding out more information can also call 01294 324 155