The national convener of Scotland's youth welfare and justice system has been forced out of office, two years after she was reinstated.

Bernadette Monaghan, chief executive of Children's Hearings Scotland (CHS), was appointed in February 2011 to steer the launch of the new national body responsible for volunteer children's panel members.

Suspended in December 2011, she was reinstated after six weeks when allegations of misconduct against her were found to be groundless. The investigation and suspension threw the organisation into chaos as it was preparing to restructure the system and take over responsibility for recruiting and training 2700 volunteer panel members.

Yesterday, it was announced Ms Monaghan is to leave the organisation to pursue Humanities and Social Science research at Strathclyde University. In a letter to panel members, John Anderson, the interim chairman of the CHS board -- who was himself only appointed in October last year after the sudden departure of previous chairman Craig Spence - said Ms Monaghan had successfully steered the organisation through its establishment phase.

"I know Bernadette felt privileged to be appointed as the first national convener and to be involved in the work of CHS, a completely new organisation, through its inception and beyond. Bernadette would like it to be known that she will always remain a passionate supporter of the Children's Hearings System, of its holistic approach towards improving damaged young lives and, not least, of the dedicated panel members who make the system work," he said.

Senior civil servant Boyd McAdam is to take over as interim chief executive. Mr McAdam has had involvement in the Children's Hearing System since 1997.

However, insiders say the new national body is deeply dysfunctional. Ms Monaghan is leaving as the board prepares to publish an organisational health check from market research agency Progressive Partnerships which is highly critical of perceptions of it in the panel community. The survey, which has not been published, cost £35,000.

It is understood to suggest that the board and management of CHS had lost touch with those running children's panels on the ground.

Panel members have been concerned at the replacement of existing training providers by West Lothian College especially after supposedly mandatory training days in April and May were abruptly cancelled. A national recruitment campaign was also criticised, and panel members have not been given sight of the organisational review despite being promised it in February.

A well-placed source said Ms Monaghan was not going willingly. "The board got the findings of the organisational health check before Christmas and don't want to publish it. There is no way Bernadette chose to go. There is a blame culture. The chair has already been removed and now this," the source said.

Mr Anderson's letter said Mr McAdam would be tasked with responding to problems thrown up by the review. "[McAdam] will provide leadership and management to CHS and will address the issues - some of them challenging - that have emerged," he said.

Ms Monaghan said: "It has been a great privilege to be appointed as the first national convener and to be involved in the work of CHS, through its inception and beyond."

A spokeswoman for CHS said a public competition to appoint a new national convener and chief executive would commence shortly.