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.

Eligibility For Aftercare

69. A compulsorily supported young person is a young person to whom a local authority has a duty under section 29(1) of the 1995 Act to provide advice, guidance and assistance, that is a young person who has ceased to be looked after on or after their sixteenth birthday but who is under the age of nineteen.

70. A discretionarily supported person is a young person to whom a local authority has agreed, via a written assessment of need, to provide advice, guidance and assistance who is nineteen years of age or older but not yet twenty-six years of age.

71. Local authorities are under a duty to provide Aftercare support to all compulsorily supported persons for whom they are the relevant authority, unless they are satisfied that the young person's welfare does not require it.

72. Regulation 2(1) of the 2003 Regulations (as amended by The Support and Assistance of Young People Leaving Care (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2015) defines a 'compulsorily supported person' as a 'young person to whom a local authority is obliged to provide advice, guidance and assistance' in terms of section 29(1) of the 1995 Act or, after a pathway assessment, in terms of section 29(5A)(a) of the 1995 Act' (i.e. where the person has 'eligible needs' that cannot be met other than by taking action under section 29(5A).

73. In addition, a young person aged nineteen to twenty-five (i.e. until their twenty‑sixth birthday) may apply to request Aftercare support from their relevant local authority (section 29(2) of the 1995 Act). On such an application the local authority is under a duty to assess the needs of the young person through a pathway assessment (section 29(5) of the 1995 Act).

74. If eligible needs are identified which cannot be met other than by taking action under section 29(5A) of the 1995 Act, then the local authority must meet this need and provide such advice, guidance and assistance as it considers necessary (section 29(5A)(a).

75. Local authorities also have the power under section 29(5A)(b) of the 1995 Act, regardless of the outcomes of the pathway assessment, to provide Aftercare to those care leavers aged nineteen to their twenty-sixth birthday having regard to the person's welfare, and should always consider employing this power.

76. Under section 29(5B) of the 1995 Act local authorities can also use their discretion in deciding whether to support care leavers over the age of twenty-six. Where an eligible need is identified the local authority must develop and record a pathway plan which clearly identifies how this need will be met.

77. The amendments to Aftercare eligibility introduced by Part 10 of the 2014 Act mean that any looked after young person who ceases to be looked after on or after their sixteenth birthday is potentially eligible for Aftercare support until their twenty‑sixth birthday.

78. If the young person is aged nineteen or older, their application for Aftercare support is subject to a pathway assessment, but those aged sixteen to eighteen must be provided with support unless an assessment has evidenced that their welfare does not require it.

79. In circumstances in which a care leaver is a compulsory supported person due to age and either a pathway assessment has not been carried out or a pathway assessment has demonstrated a need for support, the local authority must continue to make every effort to provide advice, guidance and support even when the young person continues not to engage with the service being provided.

Managing the expansion of eligibility

80. The extension of eligibility to care leavers until their twenty-sixth birthday will represent a substantial increase in the numbers eligible for, and accessing, Aftercare services. From April 2015, all young people currently eligible for Aftercare services will be able to potentially continue to receive support up to their twenty‑sixth birthday (previously only up to their twenty-first birthday). Care leavers aged between twenty-one and twenty-five will also be eligible to re-apply for assessment for support from their relevant local authority.

81. Local authorities should make reasonable attempts to inform those young people who are currently between twenty-one and twenty-six about their new entitlements. For example, by ensuring all corporate parents in their local authority area are aware of these new entitlements and how to signpost eligible young people. Local authorities may wish to consider setting up information or training sessions within local authorities and with other corporate parents. Information on websites accessed by young people may also be a useful vehicle for reaching newly eligible care leavers. Information and advice should also be provided to care leavers from kinship and 'at home' placements, outlining their entitlements.

82. Managing the expansion of eligibility to a wider population who can access Aftercare services will require to be considered by each local authority, and will make the need for collaborative work within and between agencies even more essential. Children's Services Planning will play a key role in ensuring this expansion is managed effectively.

83. Community Planning Partnerships ( CPPs) also have a central role in improving the connection between national priorities and those at regional, local and neighbourhood levels. The expansion of Aftercare as described in Part 10 of the 2014 Act is a key national priority for the Scottish Government.

84. Collaboration between corporate parents is crucial to the effective implementation of Part 10 (Aftercare) of the 2014 Act. It is not expected that social work services will be able to manage this expansion alone. Within local authorities cooperation between departments will be as important as cooperation between corporate parents. Within an authority it is essential that housing, social work, education, adult and economic development services all work cooperatively, recognising that it is everybody's job to support care leavers into sustainable positive destinations as they move towards adulthood.

85. All corporate parents (as listed in schedule 4 of the 2014 Act) have a duty under section 60 of the 2014 Act to collaborate with each other when exercising their corporate parenting responsibilities where they consider doing so would safeguard or promote the wellbeing of those children and young people to whom Part 9 of the 2014 Act applies. Corporate Parenting in the 2014 Act is described as the formal and local partnership needed between all services responsible for the needs of looked after children, young people and care leavers.

86. The Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland ( CELCIS) is supporting organisations to prepare for meeting their duties under Part 9 and Statutory Guidance on Part 9 (Corporate Parenting) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 is available. Further information on Corporate Parenting is also available on the CELCIS website [11] .

87. Who Cares? Scotland has also been commissioned by the Scottish Government to provide training and an online resource for Corporate Parents in Scotland to help all organisations understand and better meet their Corporate Parenting responsibilities. Information is available on the Who Cares? Scotland website [12] .

88. We know that establishing and maintaining relationships with care leavers (particularly when they move away to another local authority area) can be challenging. Processes of preparation, assessment and review, which respect the young person's entitlements, will require both time and adequate resources and therefore planning is essential.

89. In the context of Corporate Parenting, it is recommended that where looked after children and young people have been placed into an area by another local authority, or a care leaver moves to a new area of their own volition, the 'placing or home' local authority should remain the child or young person's corporate parent. This is consistent with the principles and rules set out in Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 and The Support and Assistance of Young People Leaving Care (Scotland) Regulations 2003. In contrast, when a looked after child is placed or a care leaver moves into, a new area, the territorial health board for that area becomes the child or young person's corporate parent. This is consistent with guidance set out in Chief Executive Letter 06: Establishing the Responsible Commissioner issued in 2013.

90. Where relevant, Corporate Parenting plans and reports should make explicit reference to how Corporate Parenting duties are being fulfilled for children placed outside of administrative boundaries, and for care leavers who have moved away.

91. In view of the age range of young people eligible for Aftercare (from sixteen to twenty-sixth birthday), links between children's and adult services must be robust. Although the local authority as a whole is the corporate parent, we recognise that the implementation of Part 10 (Aftercare) of the 2014 Act will have a particularly significant impact on adult services. Local Authorities should consider developing and implementing formal agreements and protocols which will best ensure a seamless transition of support involving these services. Care leavers should not experience the withdrawal of a service or support because of organisational or systemic delineation between child and adult services, or between departments. This is central to corporate parents being able to effectively fulfil their duties and responsibilities under Part 9 (Corporate Parenting) of the 2014 Act.

92. A Champions Board approach has in some areas proven helpful in ensuring that these links are robust and transparent. The Champions Board approach commits local Corporate Parenting partners (local authorities, health boards, higher and further education bodies, the third sector) or national policy-makers and service providers to involve care experienced young people directly in
co-designing and coproducing services and supports so that, over time, they can more effectively meet the needs and aspirations of care leavers.

93. Collaborative partnerships are paramount to make sure we become effective and consistent corporate parents - working together and sharing relevant information which will enable care leavers to be the best they can be. The purpose of the 2014 Act is to ensure that the involvement of multiple partners and/or services appears totally integrated from the perspective of the recipient.


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