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As any parent or carer of a child or young person with additional support needs knows, the transition planning stage from Children’s Services into Adult Services can be a significantly worrying experience.

New territory is always a challenge : learning new terms, meeting new professionals, obtaining new assessments; changes to routines, new places to visit, what to do next, etc.

You worry about how well your child/young person in your care will adjust, how well you and the family/carers will adjust; along with all the other new barriers you may face.

You will find new energy reserves you thought unimaginable, gain knowledge you never knew you needed, develop extraordinary flexibility – and find the right support (eventually).

This journey is so significant, transition planning should start at least 3 years in advance, to ensure transparency, good communication, and most importantly, to enable informed choices for the individual in care to be present – at all times. While it is comforting to know this is a legal requirement, this is not always the case in practice.

A recent investigation conducted by The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) under section 15(1)(a) surrounding care and support provided by a Local Authority (Moray Council), was found to have several alarming failures throughout this important transition planning period.

A spokesperson for the family concerned, stated, “Vulnerable young people should be treated in a respectful way which takes their views into account.”    

Glyn Morris, Chief Executive Friendly Access agrees, “The report highlights unacceptable failings which will be worrying for many families coming up to, or currently involved in, transition planning. The investigation clearly demonstrates that despite legal structures and requirements which should be adhered to, policies in place to protect our most vulnerable during an important transition stage of their lives are being ignored.

Following this ruling, we are looking to further strengthen the practice of transition planning.   

We invite parents and carers of children/young people aged 14 and over with ASN, to share their experience of transition planning provided by Local Authorities in Scotland by completing our short survey – ‘Moving young people with additional support needs (ASN) from council-run Children’s Services to Adult Services – A survey for parents and carers living in Scotland.’

Your valuable feedback and comments will be used anonymously to provide information in order to help establish a clearer picture of what is actually happening. This in turn will be used to lobby for improved support and better practice – now and in the future.

It may be a little difficult to imagine how services will need to adapt amidst COVID-19, however the principles which best enable the transition planning process need to remain in place to protect those most vulnerable. 

It would be tremendously helpful if you could complete your responses by Wednesday 8 July 2020

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Thank you very much!

Campaigns we have been involved in:

Blue Badge Campaign

Press and Journal Article

Meeting of the Parliament 16 September 2015 – Eligibility Criteria