Our Work

Role of appropriate adults

Find out more about the role of appropriate adults in the justice system by visiting our FAQs page.  

Who we are

NAAN is a registered charity aiming to ensure the rights and welfare of the most vulnerable people in our society by developing effective appropriate adults. We are a membership organisation open to organisations and individuals. We don't provide appropriate adults but many of our member organisations do. 

Vision

Every child and vulnerable adult detained or interviewed by police has their rights and welfare safeguarded effectively by an appropriate adult.

Mission

To gather, develop and share knowledge, skills and standards that inform, inspire and support effective appropriate adult policy and practice.

Beneficiaries

People arrested and/or interviewed by police who are: - 

  • Children and young people (aged 10 to 17) 

  • Adults who are mentally vulnerable (including but not exclusively; mental health, learning disabilities and difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders, severe dyslexia)  

We work with 

  • Appropriate adults (parents, relatives, carers and support workers; professionals; community volunteers)

  • Appropriate adult schemes (local authorities, private sector, charities)

  • Appropriate adult commissioners and funders (both current and potential)

  • Influencers including reformers, academics, media and service users

  • Policy makers including civil servants and politicians.

Strategic objectives

  • Improve practice: More children and vulnerable adults are safeguarded by effective appropriate adults operating to national standards

  • Improve policy: National and local policy development and implementation enable appropriate adults to be effective

  • Improve ourselves NAAN is a more effective, efficient and sustainable organisation

Activities

  • Raising awareness 
  • Setting national standards

  • Developing guidance

  • Supporting volunteering

  • Informing parents and carers

  • Providing training

  • Conducting research

  • Informing policy

 If you require an Appropriate Adult, you can search for your local NAAN member using the Our Network map.

Legal Status

Initiated as an informal practitioner network, the National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN) became a registered charity on 5th July 2004 and is a company limited by guarantee. 

Geography

NAAN supports the role of the appropriate adult as constituted under the law in England and Wales. NAAN includes members from outside England and Wales (such as Jersey and Guernsey). However NAAN does not cover Scotland where the role and policing and justice legislation is constituted under Scots law and supported by the NAAN membership. See our Network Map for more details.  

Memberships

NAAN is a member of: -

Funding

NAAN is currently funded via: -

  • Membership fees
  • Earned income from the provision of training
  • Home Office grant funding
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