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


5.1 Continuity of support is key to making a success of throughcare and aftercare services. The regulations make clear that the responsible authority is the local authority that is looking after, or last looked after, the young person.

Protocol between local authorities

5.2 It is recognised that young people will move from one local authority area to another but the responsible authority will remain the same under these regulations. Local authorities may wish to enter into agreements with each other for certain cases where a young person moves authority area if that is the most sensible way of proceeding. An inter agency protocol has been endorsed by COSLA and ADSW and is attached at Annex C. The following are principles from that document:

  • If practically possible the responsible authority will remain directly involved with the young person, thus minimising the need for a receiving authority to become involved.
  • Where a young person is moving from one authority to another on a planned or agreed basis, the receiving authority will provide that young person with exactly the same standard of care or service as they would to a young person in their own authority.
  • Where a young person is moving from on authority to another on a planned basis, or arrives in another authority unannounced, the responsible and receiving authority will give each other maximum co-operation and work together in providing a service to that young person.

Young people moving between Scotland and England and Wales

5.3 Similar principles apply to young people leaving care who move between Scotland and England and Wales (or vice versa). The authority that last looked after the young person retains responsibility for their support, whether that authority is in Scotland or England and Wales. However, immediate support should be provided by Scottish local authorities to young people who have been looked after in England and Wales who now reside in their areas, if it is required by the young person. Local authorities should follow the principles in Annex C in providing this support.

Duties of responsible authority

5.4 The responsible authority is required to undertake the following:

  • seek the pathway views of the young person
  • prepare a written policy statement on how it carries out pathway assessments
  • carry out a pathway assessment within the prescribed timescales
  • prepare a pathway plan where required within the prescribed timescales
  • arrange for the pathway plan to be reviewed
  • arrange for a young person to have a pathway co-ordinator
  • appoint a young person's supporter if requested to do so by the young person
  • provide a package of support that meets the young person's requirements, including financial support in line with the regulations, and appropriate accommodation
  • make sure that the young person has access to, and knowledge of, the appeals procedures
  • provide the young person with the required information and documents
  • inform other local authorities if the young person moves to their area
  • maintain an appeals procedure in line with the regulations

Regulation 3(1)
Regulation 7(1)
Regulations 8 and 9
Regulations 10 and 11
Regulation 12
Regulation 4
Regulation 5
Regulations 13 and 14

Regulation 3(4)(e)
Regulation 3(4)
Regulations 16-20



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