Supporting young people leaving care in Scotland: regulations and guidance

Regulations and guidance on services for young people ceasing to be looked after by local authorities in Scotland.

Regulations and Guidance on Services for Young People Ceasing to be Looked After by Local Authorities


Principles of appeals and complaints

10.1 It is important that young people have swift access to an appeals system that is transparent and easy to understand. The Regulations set out the procedures that must be followed by the responsible authority should they receive a representation from a young person appealing against their decisions on the manner or level of support to be provided, or a decision not to provide support to a prospective supported person. The responsible authority should continue providing support to the young person while any appeals process is continuing.

Regulation 16(1)

10.2 The young person also has the right to make a complaint to the local authority about the service they have received or how an appeal has been handled. Complaints should be made through the normal methods of complaint about social work service under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 or any other appropriate complaints procedures. Current Guidance and Directions on the 1968 Act procedure were laid out in Circular Number SWSG 5/1996 of 15 March 1996.

Appeals under the regulations

10.3 The authority should appoint a nominated officer to co-ordinate the authority's appeal procedures.

Regulation 16(3)

10.4 Appeal can be made orally or in writing. If the appeal is made orally the authority should record the appeal in writing, allowing the young person the opportunity to comment on the written version.

Regulation 17

10.5 The emphasis in all cases should be on swift and informal resolution of the appeal. No detailed procedural requirements are laid down for the informal resolution of appeals, but young people should have access to independent advocacy services to assist them when making a case and to help them see their case through its conclusion. The authority should seek to discuss the appeal with the young person, taking account of their point of view together with any representation made on their behalf. The pathway co-ordinator and young person's supporter should be involved throughout the process. The authority should ensure appropriate access to meetings and information for those young persons with particular needs related to impairment. The authority should facilitate attendance of the young person at meetings by appropriate support, including paying travel and subsistence costs. If both parties wish to continue to explore the possibility of informal resolution beyond the timescales laid down, they may do so provided there is mutual agreement to any extension.

Regulation 18

10.6 Where the appeal has not been resolved informally within five working days, or the agreed extension, then the nominated officer should be informed and an independent person appointed by the authority to assist in considering the appeal. A formal response should be prepared for the authority by an officer who was not involved in the original decision and who is more senior than the officer who dealt with matters at the informal stage. Before preparing this response, the senior officer and independent person should meet together with the appellant, nominated officer, pathway co-ordinator, young person's supporter and any other person whom the appellant wishes to attend. All persons at the meeting should be given the opportunity to make verbal or written submissions. The senior officer should send to all persons at the meeting a formal written decision on the appeal within 10 working days of the end of informal stage.

Regulation 19

10.7 The local authority should, within two working days of the formal part of the appeal being completed give its decision and details of any further action to:

the appellant; the independent person; the nominated officer; the pathway co-ordinator; the young person's supporter and any person the authority thinks has an interest in the case.

Regulation 20

10.8 There is no further appeal against decisions under these regulations. Any further representations should be made under the complaints procedures under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968, or any other appropriate corporate complaints procedures for the local authority or other service providers.

Regulation 20(3)



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