National Transitions to Adulthood Strategy - statement of intent: engagement analysis

Full report on analysis of feedback received on the National Transitions to Adulthood Strategy: statement of intent.

Question 4

Do you agree that the priorities are the correct ones for the strategy?

There were 146 responses to this question. As demonstrated in Table 6 at the Annex, the vast majority of respondents either ‘strongly agreed’ (56 respondents; 38%) or ‘agreed’ (71 respondents; 49%) that the priorities are the correct ones for the strategy. Only a small minority either ‘disagreed’ (5 respondents; 3%) or ‘strongly disagreed’ (2 respondents; 1%).

A total of 130 responses were received for the follow up question (‘Please explain your answer’). Whilst a significant minority indicated their support for the proposed priorities as set out, a few respondents felt it was difficult to comment on the priorities without understanding how they would be delivered in practice.

The following seven overarching themes were identified from responses to this question:

  • Envisioned priorities versus reality
  • Choice, control and empowerment for the young person (relevance to Priority 1)
  • Clear and coherent information (relevance to Priority 2)
  • Coordination of individual support and communication across sectors (relevance to Priority 3)
  • Consistency of practice and support across Scotland (relevance to Priority 4)
  • Collection of data to measure progress and improvements (relevance to Priority 5)
  • Other

The priorities are clearly detailed and should be what we all strive to achieve for all young people.

Envisioned priorities versus reality

A significant minority of respondents commented that the deliverability of the proposed priorities would be reliant on the availability of suitable support and services, of which it was felt there currently are not enough, and urged that the strategy also consider improved access to support and services. A similar proportion of respondents expressed that the deliverability of the priorities would be reliant on additional funding and resources.

Choice, control and empowerment for the young person

Early transitions planning was seen to be key to achieving this proposed priority, as was ensuring all relevant key partners were engaged in this process. There were, however, some challenges highlighted in relation to engaging all of the necessary partners - namely adult service practitioners and, in some instances, young people themselves.

Consistent with the theme of envisioned priorities versus reality, a large minority of respondents felt that the deliverability of this priority was inextricably linked to the availability of suitable options for young people to access, and choice and flexibility within these. Access to suitable options was said to be a challenge especially felt by young people with complex needs. Respondents described some other factors which contributed to their perceived lack of suitable options including local availability, budget allocation and siloed working between sectors.

We support all the statements in the “priorities” section, however, the transitions strategy needs to support how these priorities can be more than just a ‘wish list’.

There needs to be an additional focus on availability of options for young people as these are very limited.

The principles here are right, however I think the choices we can give children and young people are limited due to resources.

In order to achieve these outcomes there has to be choice in services. At the moment there are few services, no choice and it is reducing.

Clear and coherent information

A significant minority of respondents commented on the importance of young people and their families having access to clear and accessible information. A small number suggested this would support them to be more involved in the transitions process and increase access to available support.

Coordination of individual support and communication across sectors

The issue of multi-agency working in practice was a point of interest, with a significant minority of respondents keen to see better collaboration and communication across sectors. Towards this aim, suggestions included lead professionals, transitions coordinators, and greater involvement in transitions discussions of third sector partners who support young people and their families.

In relation to this priority, particular challenges in relation to the transition to adult services were again highlighted - with discrete specialisms and siloed working, a lack of continuity of support between children’s and adult’s services, and a lack of adult service representation during transitions planning all noted as barriers to young people experiencing a positive transition.

Support for parents/carers was again mentioned by a few respondents, especially with parents often assuming the mantle of a transitions coordinator for their young person. It was felt the support and information needs of parents/carers should be given greater consideration within the strategy. A small number of respondents also expressed particular care must be taken to ensure young people who are being home educated continue to receive transitions support.

Consistency of practice and support across Scotland

Whilst this priority, as set out in the statement of intent, describes transitions training to improve consistency of support through the transitions journey, a few respondents took the opportunity to comment on their perceived lack of consistency in local availability of services. Respondents described a ‘postcode lottery’ of support which was said to be especially felt when moving between local authorities or health boards.

However, a small number of respondents agreed that the strategy should focus on consistency of support for transitions, rather than consistency of service availability. Access to suitable learning opportunities and training was seen as an enabler of smoother transitions for young people and their families. Better training to understand and support individual conditions was also viewed positively.

I think that we need to be careful to differentiate support from service provision as I do not think it is within the scope of the strategy to determine the latter.

Collection of data to measure progress and improvements

A significant minority of respondents agreed that data collection was vital for ensuring young people are being supported in the right way to achieve positive outcomes. Of interest to some were the practicalities of how relational and experiential data would be collected and reported on, with others noting that already available data sets should be simplified, better organised and more accessible.


A few respondents mentioned the importance of recourse if young people’s rights are not being upheld. Towards this, respondents suggested that options for access to independent advocacy should be clear to young people. It was felt this should be separate to the advocacy support parents/carers receive and should enable disabled young people to have their voices heard and rights upheld.

Similar to issues raised in response to other questions, a few respondents felt the priorities should include a commitment to improving post-school destinations and the availability of support options for disabled young people.



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