Person-centred support is key for new Transitions Strategy
17 Mar 2023
The new Transitions to Adulthood Strategy should put people at its heart, the Inclusion Ambassadors have told the Scottish Government, as they are consulted on the development of a new national strategy.
The Inclusion Ambassadors, a group that comprises secondary school-aged pupils with additional support needs who attend a range of education provision, have been asked to share their experiences of transition planning and support as part of development work on the Scottish Government’s first National Transitions to Adulthood Strategy.
The Strategy, a Programme for Government commitment, is intended to support disabled young people to transition into adult life, providing joined-up guidance and support to unlock better educational and employment opportunities and health outcomes.
The key message to the Scottish Government from the young people was the need to ensure planning was person-centred, and able to be tailored to individual needs and circumstances as appropriate.
The group also emphasised the importance of feeling valued, listened to and included in decision-making, as well as the need for more support at every stage during the transitions process. They also called for more focus on the development of life-skills as a means of providing genuine and meaningful support.
Lucy Johnson, Senior Children’s Rights Officer with national advice service Enquire, which is supporting the Inclusion Ambassadors’ involvement said:
“We are really pleased to be supporting the Inclusion Ambassadors in the development of this new national Strategy. The group has consistently told us about the importance of being involved in decision-making and their desire to be heard – to ensure they get support that works for them and that decisions about their lives are made with them, not about them.
The Scottish Government’s commitment to listening to young people with experience of the issues being discussed is a really positive step. We look forward to seeing how the experiences shared shape discussions, developments and of course the final product.”
Minister for Equalities and Older People Christina McKelvie said:
“I am delighted that the Inclusion Ambassadors are supporting the development of Scotland’s first National Transitions to Adulthood Strategy for disabled young people. We have committed to delivering this strategy in this parliamentary term to ensure there is a joined-up approach to supporting our disabled young people as they make the transition to adult life.
Young people must be at the heart of any change and it is vital that we hear what matters most to them. The voices of disabled young people will be integral to the design and development of this Strategy in order for it to be as effective as possible, and for it to deliver the change that young people want to see.”
Alongside the Inclusion Ambassadors, the Strategy team has also sought input from ILF Scotland and the Scottish Transition Forums’ Divergent Influencers group.
The group will also be integral to the development of a Vision Statement for Transitions. The Vision Statement, the culmination of feedback from a range of children and young people, will directly inform and influence the aims and objectives of the final Strategy document.