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News: Transitions to Adulthood Bill to be formally introduced

Posted 13 December, 2021 by Jennifer Drummond

The proposed Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) (Scotland) Bill has won enough support from MSPs to be formally introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

Last week, a total of 59 MSPs from across the political spectrum confirmed support for Pam Duncan-Glancy’s proposed Members' Bill to provide better, more consistent support for disabled children and young people leaving school, allowing the Bill to be formally introduced to Parliament.

The Bill needed 18 MSPs from a minimum of two parties to support it in order to be allowed to progress to the next stage.

The Bill will give a right to a statutory Transitions Plan to every disabled child or young person and secures provision of transition support until it is no longer needed, or the young person’s twenty-sixth birthday. The Bill would also require the Scottish Government to introduce a statutory national transitions strategy to improve outcomes for disabled children and young people in the transition to adulthood, and the appointment of a Minister with special responsibility for transitions.

Speaking on the support for the Bill, Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP said:

“I am so proud that the bill secured support from MSPs representing every party in the Scottish Parliament, and I look forward to continuing to work cross-party, and with Camphill Scotland, and Inclusion Scotland and others, to ensure that parliament delivers the changes that disabled children and young people need to see.

“Young disabled people have been held back for far too long. That’s why this bill is so important, and I hope we get it through parliament and ensure the support that young disabled people so desperately need.”

The Bill is being progressed with support from Camphill Scotland and Inclusion Scotland.

Emma Walker, Camphill Scotland’s Director, said:

“This is a huge step and we are delighted with the support from MSPs from across all parties. Young disabled people across Scotland deserve a positive transition into adulthood, opportunities to access work and further education, and a legal right to support when needed. Now that Pam has secured the introduction of this Bill to parliament we are hopeful that families in the not-so-distant future will no longer have to fight for their child’s access to these rights.”

Bill Scott, Senior Policy Advisor, Inclusion Scotland added:

“Inclusion Scotland welcomes the incredible level of cross-party support for the Transitions Bill. This legislation will provide support when it’s needed most to young disabled people facing the difficult transition between school and adult life. That support will be vital in reducing the huge employment gap between non-disabled people, 80% of whom are in work and disabled people , less than half of whom work. We look forward to working with Pam Duncan-Glancy to successfully steering her Bill through the Scottish Parliament”.

Click here for more information on the Disabled Children and Young People (Transition to Adulthood) (Scotland) Bill

Pam Duncan-Glancy features in the first edition of Insight, speaking to Editor Jennifer Drummond about the importance of representation and accountability, and giving a national platform to challenges facing young disabled people.

Click here to find out more about Insight

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News: New Bill proposed to give legal right to transition support for disabled young people

Posted 21 September 2021 by Jennifer Drummond. Main image: Phil Wilkinson

New proposed legislation has been lodged with the Scottish Parliament to secure the statutory right to a transition plan from school to adulthood for every disabled child.

The proposed Disabled Children and Young People (Transition to Adulthood) Bill,  lodged by Labour MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy, calls for a statutory requirement on local authorities to develop a transitions plan for every young disabled person.

It also looks to introduce a Ministerial brief specifically to oversee and manage how transitions are supported.

Speaking after lodging the Bill, Ms Duncan-Glancy said:

“For too long, young disabled people have been let down. Their outcomes from school are far poorer than anyone else’s and that is not a situation we should allow to continue. The talent and potential of every disabled young person is undervalued and underused.

"That lets them down, and society down – we need to harness the potential in all of us if we’re to create a society where all children can grow up and have a fighting chance at realising their ambitions.

“This bill will help do that. By assigning a minister to oversee transitions, requiring, by law, a strategy and plan for every child’s transition from school to adulthood, we can be sure that no one falls through the cracks.

This will be the second time proposed legislation to better support transitions has been lodged in the Scottish Parliament.

In October 2019, a Members' Bill was introduced by Labour MSP Johann Lamont but fell in May 2020, at the end of the fifth parliamentary session.

The Disabled Children and Young People (Transition to Adulthood) Bill was announced on the same day BBC One Scotland aired the documentary Disclosure: On a Cliff Edge.

The 30-minute documentary film highlights the experiences of young disabled people as they move into adulthood. It features interviews with Children in Scotland’s Head of Inclusion, Sally Cavers, and former Inclusion Ambassador, Ciaran Buchanan.

Speaking in the documentary, Sally Cavers commends some local authorities for their innovative and positive practices, but highlights a need for a consistent approach that incorporation of this bill would address, and the absence of young people's participation in the planning process.

Click here to watch 'Disclosure: On a Cliff Edge' on the iPlayer, aired on BBC One (Scotland) at 8.30pm on Monday 20 September, 2021.