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 5

Do you have any other comments on the statement of intent?

From the 108 responses received on this final open question (the only available response type for this particular question), the overarching themes which emerged echo much of what has been expressed in responses to previous questions. The following main three themes were identified:

  • Aspiration versus reality
  • Access to services and support
  • Involving young people and parents/carers

Aspiration versus reality

As within responses to previous questions, a small minority of respondents expressed dubiety around reconciling the ambition of the statement of intent with the current reality, and wanted greater clarification on ‘how’ the vision and priorities would be implemented in practice. This was within the context of a perceived lack of appropriate support options, post-school destinations, local services, resources and funding constraints.

Access to services and support

The concerns highlighted above were seen to be especially prominent for young people with complex needs and/or life-shortening conditions. It was generally felt there aren’t enough suitable supports and services for these groups of young people.

Having this focus on transition is so important - what it also needs is the resource behind it.

A small minority of respondents felt that the deliverability of the ambition of the statement of intent must appropriately reflect the current mechanisms of service delivery, and would be reliant on engagement and strategic buy in at a local level.

Again, the particular challenges presented by moving from children’s to adult’s services were highlighted, with fragmented services and lack of equivalent support noted as impeding positive transitions. There were explicit concerns raised by a small number of respondents in relation to the transition to adult health and social care sectors.

Involving young people and parents/carers

A few respondents took the opportunity to further emphasise the need to involve young people - both in the development of the strategy and in delivering the ambition of the statement of intent. Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) were mentioned twice in the context of supporting the meaningful involvement of young people.

It was once again suggested that the role of - and support for - parents/carers as key advocates for their young people, must be acknowledged.

Summary Conclusion

This report has presented an overview of all of the themes emerging through open text responses to each question presented. Within these, there are a number of (sub)themes which recur across multiple questions. For the purpose of this summary conclusion, we highlight the four (sub) themes which emerged in responses to three or more questions. These were:

  • Role of parents/carers
  • Access to services and support
  • Young people with complex needs
  • Transitions between children’s and adult’s services

A fundamental lack of services for young people with complex health needs to transition into, which in turn is the result of a lack of suitable resource, creates risks around basics such as safety and dignity. If the scale of challenge isn’t recognised or defined as the strategy is developed, can the strategy provide the solutions?

Role of parents/carers

The role of parents/carers as key advocates and partners in their young person’s transition to adulthood was highlighted, and respondents felt that the role of parents/carers should be strengthened within the strategy. This was felt to be particularly important for young people with complex needs or who may otherwise lack capacity for decision making.

Respondents noted any implications for guardianship should also be reflected within the strategy. Respondents also highlighted that parents/carers’ own support needs should be considered alongside the support needs of their young person.

Access to services and support

Respondents commented that delivering on the ambition of the statement of intent would be dependent on disabled young people being able to access suitable support and services. Whilst some respondents acknowledged they could have received better support if information had been provided to them, it was generally felt there is not enough choice or availability of support and options across Scotland for disabled young people to transition to. This included in health, social care and further education.

Young people with complex needs

The term ‘complex needs’ emerged frequently, although no fixed definition of this term was apparent. Respondents used ‘complex needs’ to describe young people who:

  • Have complex or multiple healthcare needs; and/or
  • Have significant care needs; and/or
  • Have a life-shortening condition; and/or
  • Require support for transitions across multiple sectors e.g. education, health, independent living and social care; and/or
  • Have a profound learning disability; and/or
  • Otherwise lack capacity for decision making.

Some respondents felt that the ambition of the statement of intent did not sufficiently reflect the aspiration or needs of young people with ‘complex needs’.

Transitions between children’s and adult’s Services

Respondents highlighted the challenges presented by the transition between children’s and adult’s services, particularly in relation to health transitions. Respondents described a sharp drop – and in some cases gaps – in support, and reflected on challenges impeding smooth transitions such as securing adult service representation during transitions planning.



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