The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 (ASP) applies to over-16s. It is recognised that there is a risk that those between 16 and 18 are potentially vulnerable to falling between gaps in services.
Cases can only be dealt with under ASP if the person meets the three point test:
- Suffers from a disability or mental impairment
- Unable to manage own welfare and finances
- Is at risk of serious harm
If the person has capacity then they can choose not to comply with any proposed protection plan, this may not be suitable in cases where a child is subject to statutory measures, i.e. under ASP legislation an adult can be removed to a place of safety but can choose to return home at any time provided they have capacity. Any transition plan may therefore be dismantled if the young person chooses not to comply.
It is essential that consideration of transition into Adult Support and Protection arrangements is given for children and young people aged 15 – 17, who are being dealt with under child protection procedures. In these cases the social work team leader will ensure that there has been dialogue with the Adult Support and Protection/Mental Health Co-ordinator and/or Co-ordinator, Adult Services Care, Learning & Wellbeing, Children Services to:
- Notify them of a case that may require transition into Adult Support and Protection (ASP) arrangements,
- Agree the level of ASP involvement, and
- Enable commencement of work to prepare a transition plan.
If a child protection conference is being held Adult Support and Protection Co-ordinator (ASP Co-ordinator) will be invited to attend or send a representative. (Provided the three point test is met). If it appears statutory measures under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 might be required (at age 16) then a mental health officer should be in attendance.
Child protection care plans should clearly outline how the transition should be managed to ensure that safety and protection issues are addressed and there is no disruption to service continuity.
A Child Protection Plan will automatically become an Adult Protection Plan on the young person’s 18th birthday or earlier if the child is not looked after, and will remain in place until an Adult Protection Conference is convened. Members of the Child Protection Core Group should be invited and attend the conference to ensure that arrangements for final transition are completed.