Monday, November 13, 2006

COUNCILLOR RAYLEEN KELLY

CHILDREN'S PANEL INTERVIEWS


I have spent all of today in Renfrewshire Council interviewing candidates for the Children's Panel. There have been many applicants and only twelve spots, so it is important that if you don't get picked to try again next year!

The candidates were outstanding and importantly they had a wide range of experience, age and ability which of course reflects the community. If you are interested in getting involved check out the Council webpage or contact your local authority for more information, you have probably missed this years intake but they will keep you informed of the arrangements for next year.

I personally wanted to say thank you to all of the candidates for giving their time, it was appreciated by all of the panel members and Children's Panel Advisory Committee members.

10 comments:

Max said...

I hate to bother you again, but I was wondering if you could explain to me how you are qualified to decide who should sit on a children's panel? From your blog, I gather that you have a degree in politics and social politics - do you have a masters in psychology that I've failed to pick-up on?

Rayleen Kelly said...

I do not have a degree in Psychology although a major part of the social POLICY section of the degree is made up of Psychology, an area I studied for four years. I have however, undergone the training provided by the Local Authority with regards to the Children's Panel and attended the training sessions organised by the Education department of the University of Glasgow. Also it is not merely my decision it is a group decision and I was accompanied by the Chair of the Children's Panel Advisory Committee when interviewing the candidates, our decision is then taken back to the whole committee for their approval. The selection process is made up of a group discussion and individual interviews and as such the whole group has met all of the candidates. I hope this helps answer your question.

Max said...

Thanks for the answer - it confirms my suspicion. I don't see how we, as a society, can even pretend to be looking after our children's best interests when decisions about their welfare are being entrusted to a body of volunteers who are not even screened by a qualified individual.

I'm sure that between your degree and a training course you'll have spent some hours studying psychology - this does not, as far as I'm concerned, come close to qualifying you for involvement in any decisions about the welfare of children.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Max yet again you show your lack of knowledge and understanding of most of the topics you blog or comment on!

You don't have to have a degree in psychology or a masters for that matter in order to understand what is in the best interests of the child. The suggestion that you make is that only someone with a degree in Psychology should be able to make these decisions, why?

I have not spent 'sometime' studying psychology I have studied it throughout my honours degree including optional credit for Occupational Psychology which has a heavy content of recruitment and selection in the course. If you are unaware of the content of the training offered by Local Authorities and Glasgow University how can you criticise?

I am not suggesting for one moment that I am a trained professional in the field of Social work or Psychology but, that is not necessary in the Children's Panel system in Scotland. I understand that coming from London you may not understand the workings of our system but you should probably familiarise yourself with it before commenting.

Max said...

"You don't have to have a degree in psychology or a masters for that matter in order to understand what is in the best interests of the child."

Actually, I would challenge that assertion. Strongly.

"I am not suggesting for one moment that I am a trained professional in the field of Social work or Psychology but, that is not necessary in the Children's Panel system in Scotland."

And you don't see a problem with that?

"I understand that coming from London you may not understand the workings of our system but you should probably familiarise yourself with it before commenting."

Actually, I'm from Falkirk and all too familiar with the system.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Max to deal with your points in the order in which you make them...

Then challenge it and give reasons, you seem to be suggesting that parents without degrees in psychology cannot represent what is in the best interests of their children, those who adopt, foster or look after family members who are chidlren would similarly be in this position.

I do not see a problem with the Children's Panel system in Scotland in fact it is widely seen as one of the best in the world! Volunteers are given intensive training and in the panel setting are presented with a range of information from a range of professionals social workers, educational psychologists, and teachers to name a few.

Whether you come from Falkirk or not (it does say on your profile you are from London) your comments do not reflect a knowledge of the system, I would suggest you refamiliarise yourself with the system before commenting further.

Max said...

Rayleen, you cannot simply make things up.

At no point have I suggested that it requires a degree in psychology to be a good parent. However, I do think that those who are entrusted with jurisdiction over the children of other people should hold the highest possible qualifications.

In linking these two issues you only serve to highlight your own ignorance of what you are dealing with.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Wrong max you suggest in your previous comment

Rayleen Said ...

"You don't have to have a degree in psychology or a masters for that matter in order to understand what is in the best interests of the child."

Max said ...

'Actually, I would challenge that assertion. Strongly.'

By your omission to clarify your position you suggest that parents would need a degree in Psychology! You also suggest that those fostering of adopting would have to have a similar qualifications, I take it this is not your position?

You seem to suggest that I do not have sufficient qualifications to make these decisions I disagree

The ignorance comes from your comments not mine, you clearly do not understand the children's hearing system in Scotland and have no interest in understanding it either.

I doubt whether you have ever been to a children's panel or been involved in any way in the system if you had been you would show a better understanding of it's workings. Try reading the Kilbrandon report.

I have been closely involved with Children's services including the workings of the panel since becoming a Councillor in 2003, and I believe that I have demonstrated my commitment to this work from my career up to this point.

I am currently the Deputy Convener for Social Work within my authority and the Looked After Children's Champion in the Authority, I am keenly aware of the problems these young people are working through and I have a great deal of admiration for the way that many of the young people deal with issues that would floor many adults.

On an additional point are you suggesting that the Chair of the Children's Panel Advisory Committee (or it's other members) should have the Masters in Psychology you find lacking in my qualifications?

Max said...

"By your omission to clarify your position you suggest that parents would need a degree in Psychology! You also suggest that those fostering of adopting would have to have a similar qualifications, I take it this is not your position?"

I include parent in this discussion by omission? Frankly this disgusts me - as I have tried to explain to you already, raising your own children and sitting in judgment over others are world's apart. At least they should be. I did not "include by omission" - I never considered that the two were even close to each other.

"On an additional point are you suggesting that the Chair of the Children's Panel Advisory Committee (or it's other members) should have the Masters in Psychology you find lacking in my qualifications?"

Finally, the penny drops. That's exactly what I'm suggesting - although a doctorate would be my preference.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Max has finally let us know what his position actually is, he does not think that parents should have have to have a degree in psychology, he also doesn't think that by ommitting this discription he included them, well he did, but thanks for the clarififcation.

He is suggesting however, that Foster carers, adoptive parents and family members looking after children should have to have a Doctorate in Psychology none the less. Unless this degree is in Child Pyschology it would be useless, and even if it was it is not necessary. The snobbery that only those with higher degrees can decide what is in the best interests of the child does not bear out when looking at the Children's hearing system in Scotland.

He systematically insults every volunteer in the Children's Panel system, these people do sterling work and as is appropriate reflect a wide range of the community, and I am grateful to all of them for their hard work and dedication to the children of Scotland.

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