Parties commit to improving transitions for young disabled peopleType: News
Topic: Disability rights | Policy and legislation | Transitions
Published on: 29th April 2021
The right to a positive transition for all young people with a learning disability has been described as a matter of equality & justice by Johann Lamont MSP, who introduced a Transitions Bill to the Scottish Parliament on behalf of Camphill Scotland and Inclusion Scotland. To ensure this important work continues in the new Scottish Parliament, we have engaged with the main political parties to request that they include a commitment in their election manifestos that they will support the Transitions Bill when it is re-introduced in the next Scottish Parliament.
Four parties have subsequently included commitments in their manifestos to improve outcomes in the transition to adulthood for disabled children and young people, including the Scottish Labour Party, the Scottish Greens, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the SNP. Read TFN to find out more about their commitments.
Emma Walker, Camphill Scotland’s director, said:
Families across Scotland face the fight of their lives as they try to access support to ensure a smooth transition for their child as they moved towards adulthood. Decisions that will impact a young disabled person’s life are often made without the child or their family, and are often made in such a way that causes unnecessary trauma for the young person.
The current system, which relies on guidance, is failing young people and their families. A transitions plan would allow for the individual needs of each young person to be recognised and met. We look forward to working with politicians across all parties to make this a reality in the next parliament.
Background to the Transitions Bill
We believe that the Transitions Bill has the potential to improve outcomes for all young people with a learning disability as they move from child to adult social care services. So too did 53 cross-party MSPs who supported the Bill. Sadly the Scottish Parliament committee ran out of time in the current parliament to complete their scrutiny of our Bill, but they noted that this is a “really important issue” and they have asked that the new committee continue to work on the Bill.
The Bill would give a right to a Transitions Plan to every child or young person with an impairment or long term health condition, with support remaining in place until no longer needed, or the young person’s 26th birthday. The bill would also require the Scottish Government to introduce a national transitions strategy to improve outcomes for disabled children and young people in the transition to adulthood, and require the Scottish Government to appoint a minister with special responsibility for transitions.
Bill Scott, senior policy advisor, Inclusion Scotland, said:
Young disabled people face huge challenges in making the transition between school and adult life. It results in their being twice as unlikely to achieve a “positive destination” as their non-disabled peers. Therefore, we believe that they need the same level of support as is currently, and rightly, available to young care leavers.