Transition support bill launched

Disabled children

A new bill has been unveiled which aims to ensure every disabled child with an impairment or long-term condition has a right to a transition plan

10th October 2019 by Gareth Jones 2 Comments

New legislation which aims to ensure young people living with a disability receive support with the transition to adulthood has been launched.

Johann Lamont has launched a bill in the Scottish Parliament to ensure every disabled child with an impairment or long-term health condition has a right to a transition plan.

Although every child is entitled to a child’s plan there is at present no statutory requirement to put a plan in place to assist disabled children and young people in their transition to adulthood.  As a result, the transitions for many disabled children and young people are often challenging, and consistently deliver poorer outcomes.  Support with transitions would then remain in place until no longer needed, or the young person’s 26th birthday.

The bill would require the Scottish Government to introduce a national transitions strategy to improve outcomes for children and young people with a disability in the transition to adulthood and require the Scottish Government to appoint a minister with special responsibility for transitions.

Research shows that people who are workless are more likely to have poorer health and lower life expectancy than those with meaningful and fulfilling work. But according to the National Audit Office, supporting a young disabled person into work could increase their income by between 55% to 95%, thus reducing the risk of poverty and poorer health.

Lamont said: “As a former teacher I know only too well about the challenges faced by disabled youngsters in moving on into further and higher education or finding work or training.  Since 2008 the percentage of Scottish disabled people in employment has fallen from 48% to 44%.   

“We need to do much more to assist young disabled people during this important and challenging time in their lives; my bill aims to help address the problems they face and provide the additional support that they so desperately need”.

Speaking in support of the bill, Dr Neil Henery, director of Camphill Scotland, said: “Camphill Scotland and our members are proud to support Johann Lamont’s Bill, which we believe will improve outcomes for children and young people with a disability in the transition to adulthood. Having the right support at this crucial time will deliver enormous benefits for young people, their families and their communities.” 

10th October 2019 by Iain Wilson

This work is already underway through the forum led by ARC Scotland and the Scottish Transitions Forum. There are already legislative duties in place. What is required are the resources to implement these; not just financial but in terms if the time and skill to put in place what are very complex and individualised plans.

14th October 2019 by U Mac Fadyen

Children's Health Scotland supports the efforts to improve the experience of transition to adult services for families where a young person has disability, chronic condition or complex needs. While some specialist services provide transition clinics and guidelines for named diagnoses there is no equity of provision leaving families often struggling to find their way through a confusing and potentially inappropriate or inadequate provision of health care. The report of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 'Think Transition' highlighted the key role of the GP in offering continuity of health care through the transition period as well as the need for a key person known to the young person throughout the process. Formal recognition of this unmet need is welcome providing the resources for training and workforce accompany any legislation.