Guidance on Part 10 (Aftercare) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

Explains the changes made by Part 10 (Aftercare) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Preparing A Young Person For When They Cease To Be Looked After

60. In carrying out its duties under section 17(1)(a) of the 1995 Act to prepare for when a young person is no longer looked after, a local authority shall, for every looked after person in respect of whom it is the responsible authority:

  • seek the views of the young person;
  • carry out a pathway assessment [9] , with a view to determining what advice, guidance and assistance it would be appropriate for the local authority to provide when the young person is no longer looked after;
  • if necessary or desirable to do so, prepare a pathway plan for the young person; and
  • if necessary or desirable to do so, appoint a pathway co-ordinator for the young person.

61. Informal preparations for when a young person is no longer looked after should begin much earlier than the formal pathways process. Throughout their childhood and adolescence, children and young people should be involved in age-appropriate opportunities to learn skills and personal responsibilities (i.e. cooking, financial education, time management). This preparation should also involve providing young people with information about their rights and entitlements once they cease to be looked after by a local authority.

62. These preparations and activities should not be linked to 'life after care' but more related to the natural journey of development and gaining of life skills that all young people experience. A local 'Staying Put Scotland' [10] approach will enable young people to enjoy a transition from care to adult interdependence that more closely resembles that which is experienced by other young people.

63. End of care planning decisions should be based on meeting the needs of the individual, rather than age or legal status. These preparations should be considered within an organisation's collaborative Corporate Parenting activity. Please refer to the statutory guidance on Part 9 (Corporate Parenting) of the 2014 Act.

64. Seeking the views of the young person is central to the process of providing Aftercare (section 29 of the 1995 Act, as amended) and fulfilling Corporate Parenting duties set out in Part 9 of the 2014 Act. It is crucial that the young person and, where appropriate, their family and carers, are closely involved in this process of preparing for a time when they will cease to be looked after.

65. Looked after young people come from a variety of backgrounds, and live in a range of different settings (i.e. with family, foster carers or in a residential setting). All these factors should be taken into consideration when providing opportunities to prepare young people for when they cease to be looked after.

66. To achieve this, local authorities will need to keep in regular routine contact with all looked after young people and care leavers for whom they are the 'responsible authority'. This includes those care leavers aged between twenty-one and twenty-five who will also be eligible to re-apply for an assessment for Aftercare support from their relevant local authority. Such contact may be direct (i.e. through a local authority employee) or indirect, through an organisation providing support and assistance to young people on behalf of the local authority.

67. However, where contact is indirect, the local authority should be satisfied that the young person is aware of their rights and entitlements, and that their views on Aftercare support are being sought and recorded.

68. The 2014 Act enhances the legislative framework on the formal assessment process, please refer to The Support and Assistance of Young People Leaving Care in Scotland: Regulations and Guidance on services for Young People Ceasing to be Looked After by Local Authorities published in 2004. The Support and Assistance of Young People Leaving Care (Scotland) Regulations 2003 were amended by The Support and Assistance of Young People Leaving Care (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2015.


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