A SEARCH has been launched to find the new members needed for Inverclyde Children’s Panel to help improve the lives of vulnerable young people.

The council, in partnership with Children’s Hearings Scotland, is on the lookout for volunteers from all walks of life to join the local panel community.

Panel members will support infants, children and young people by taking part in hearings and making legal decisions with and on behalf of the young person.

The panel community is looking for people over 18 who are good listeners, caring, compassionate and reliable.

Although positions are voluntary they are hugely rewarding.

A virtual information evening will take place on Wednesday at 6.30pm and the closing date for applications is midnight on February 9.

Maureen Quinn, area convener for Inverclyde Children’s Panel, said: “This is a unique opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of our children and young people.

“It’s so rewarding to be part of the panel community, knowing the decisions you’re involved in will help make a difference to the lives of young people.

“However, we cannot succeed without the help and dedication of volunteers and we’re grateful to all those who give up their time to support our children and young people.”

Councillor Robert Moran, Inverclyde’s health and social care convener, is a former children’s panel member.

He said: “The panel does truly incredible work and I’ve witnessed that first-hand.

“The children’s panel is such a unique organisation that gives members the opportunity to help improve the life of a young person and the work done locally here in Inverclyde strengthens our reputation as a caring and compassionate community.

“Volunteers are vital for the continued success of the panel and I can assure prospective applicants out there that it really is a worthwhile organisation to be involved with.”

The children’s panel is a legal system which is unique to Scotland and run in local authority areas throughout the country to make important care and justice decisions for infants, children and young people in need of care, protection and support.

The majority of cases deal with safety and welfare and making decisions which support the wellbeing of youngsters.

To find out more about the Children’s Panel and to apply visit www.chscotland.gov.uk/volunteering-with-us and to register for the information evening email childrenspanelrecruitment@inverclyde.gov.uk