SCOTLAND’S national poet Liz Lochhead today unveiled a new poem to help launch this year’s call for new recruits to Scotland’s Children’s Panel.
The acclaimed poet has penned ‘Trouble is not my middle name’ to appeal to the 600 volunteers needed to ensure the system offers the best support to neglected, troubled and abused children across Scotland.
It is hoped the poem, which explores the feelings of a child in despair, will help attract the right type of individual, willing to make the commitment to help change the life of a vulnerable child in their area.
Liz said: “I was delighted to be invited to write this poem as part of the new recruitment campaign for the Children’s Panel. I’ve known of the system for many years and having met many panel members I know of the personal benefits that those who volunteer gain as well as helping children in trouble.
“I hope that this poem will attract new volunteers who can help children get their lives back on track and support this valuable system.”
There are currently around 2,500 panel volunteers in Scotland who regularly attend hearings to address the needs and behaviour of children and young people who face serious problems in their lives.
These problems can include a child being abused, a child failing to attend school, the child’s parents having difficulty looking after them, or a child committing an offence.
No qualifications are needed as full training is given to help prepare panel members of the difficult decisions they will face.
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People said: “By committing time to the Children’s Panel, people can improve the lives of vulnerable youngsters acrossScotland. Those interested in getting involved don’t require qualifications or experience; they just need to care about the welfare and wellbeing ofScotland’s children.
“This year’s campaign also promotes the role of employers in supporting employees who wish to become panel members and highlights the benefits to supportive employers of having their staff involved.
“The Children’s Panel is an invaluable service which provides a hugely significant support network to young people who require it. I’d therefore encourage as many people as possible to come forward and get involved.’’
To register your interest in becoming a panel member, call 0845 601 2770 or text PANEL 4 to 61611. Further information on the Children’s Panel is available at www.childrenspanelscotland.org.