A pilot initiative is underway in Glasgow to help children and young people share their views in their Children’s Hearing. 

Communi-crate is a communication toolkit which includes a number of tools to help children and young people participate in their Hearing at Bell Street in the city centre. 

Developed by the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) the toolkit includes a worry monster, emoji fan, emoji cards, change wand, conversation cubes, whiteboard, and a range of communication cards including stop/go cards.

John Wardhaugh from SCRA is leading the initiative, he said: “Children and young people have told us that they find it hard to give their views in a Hearing. We want to provide a range of tools to help children and young people fully participate in their Hearing. The pilot has also shown it has made young people more at ease within the Hearing, using the items as a comfort or to be occupied during difficult discussions. The selection of tools have all been used, some more popular than others, but the key is having a wide range of tools to cater for as many needs as possible.”

John explained how the toolkit works: “The tools are aimed at ages six years and over, but will be dependent on a child or young person’s communication needs. The Communi-crate is shared with a child or young person in the waiting room before their Hearing. This Pre-Hearing engagement is crucial, as it is important for the Reporter to make the young person feel at ease using the items and being a support within the Hearing if the young person is perhaps unsure of engaging with the panel. The tools and what they are for will be discussed with the child or young person and they can choose any they would like to use. Usually, its two or three items that get selected. 

“The tools are then brought into the Hearing room and displayed for ease of access. The Reporter should then inform the panel of what tools have been selected and a discussion of how they should be used to encourage children and young people to communicate their views.” 

John added: “It has been a very worthwhile pilot and to date there has been only positives in its use. I would be confident in its success if introduced in other areas.”

 If you have any questions or comments about the pilot, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

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