Children and young people have a right to take part in their sibling’s children’s hearing if the hearing is likely to make a decision that will affect the siblings seeing each other or staying in touch. The law says that a Children’s Reporter and Children’s Hearing have a duty to:
- Consider arrangements for children and young people to see siblings and other family members.
- The Reporter has to consider whether a sibling can be a ‘participation individual’.
- If requested, a pre-hearing panel must decide whether a sibling can be granted participation individual status.
If a child or young person wants to participate in their sibling’s Children’s Hearing, they can contact the Reporter and ask to become a participation individual. The Reporter should also receive information from social work to help with this decision, but this doesn’t always happen.
If the Reporter does not grant a child or young person participation individual status, we recommend speaking to a lawyer. You might want to request a pre-hearing panel to consider the question further or it may be possible to challenge the decision.