Sources & models

Rules on who may act as AA

Legally speaking, a wide range of people can fulfil the appropriate adult role for a vulnerable adult. The PACE codes of practice state that the appropriate adult must be: -

  • a relative, guardian or other person responsible for their care or custody;
  • someone experienced in dealing with vulnerable adults
  • if neither of these are available, some other responsible adult aged 18

The PACE Codes state that it may be more satisfactory if the appropriate adult is someone experienced or trained in their care, rather than a relative. However, if a vulnerable adult prefers a relative, their wishes should, if practicable, be respected.

on Thursday December 07 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

For children, PACE 1984 specifies that the 'appropriate adult' means: -

  • a parent or guardian or, if he is in the care of a local authority or voluntary organisation, a person representing that authority or organisation; or
  • a social worker of a local authority; or
  • if neither of these are available, some other responsible adult aged 18 (subject to a number of explicit exclusions).
on Thursday December 07 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

A number of people are forbidden from acting as the appropriate adult. A critical requirement is independence (both actual and perceived), especially from the police, in order to avoid conflicts of interest and risks to the admissibility of evidence.  

Links to the police

PACE Code C (1.7, 1F) and Code H (1.13, 1F) specify that the appropriate adult may not be:

  • a police officer or a person employed by the police;[1]
  • a person who is under the direction or control of the chief officer of a police force;
  • a person who provides services under contractual arrangements to assist that force in relation to the discharge of its chief officer’s functions;

PACE 1984 Act sections 63B and 66ZA (as amended by the Policing and Crime Act 2017 section 80) state that an appropriate adult may not be:

  • a person employed for, or engaged on, police purposes; and
  • “police purposes” has the meaning given by section 101(2) of the Police Act 1996 (which includes "civilians employed for the purposes of that force").

Other reasons

PACE Code C also prohibits:

  • a suspect, victim, witness or anyone otherwise involved in the investigation (including parents);
  • anyone who has received admissions prior to acting as the AA (including parents).
  • an independent custody visitor (ICV) who is present at the police station and acting in that capacity[2];
  • a solicitor who is present at the police station and acting in that capacity.

Liaison and diversion staff may not act as the AA under the NHS national Liaison and Diversion Operating Model paragraph 8.3. There are two main reasons why L&D staff should not act as the AA: 

  • They have an important role in relation to the identification of need (and this would generate a conflict of interest);
  • They are not resourced to carry out the role. 

For further information about the interaction between L&D and AAs, see the NAAN briefing for liaison and diversion teams


[1] The Home Office has said it is acceptable for a close family member (e.g. parents or partner) is also police officer to be the appropriate adult subject to them not being involved in any way in the investigation.

[2] ICVs are responsible for monitoring/inspecting the functioning of police custody, including the effectiveness of appropriate adult arrangements. This raises a conflict of interest. The PACE Straetgy Board has unanimously accepted a paper proposing that PACE Code be amended to the effect that a person may not be an ICV and an AA in the same police force area.

on Thursday December 07 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

Models of organised provision

In the first ten years following PACE 1984, social workers generally fulfilled the role for both children and vulnerable adults whenever parents and other family members were: -

  • unavailable (for example due to childcare, work commitments, travel difficulties);
  • unwilling (for example due to their relationship with the child or police);
  • unsuitable (for example due to being a victim or potential witness).

In the mid-1990s, the Home Office and Audit Commission responded to concerns over the availability and cost of social workers acting as AAs. Local authorities were encouraged to develop and co-ordinate teams of volunteers. Some took this route, while others continued to embed the role into that of a social worker.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 made it a statutory duty for local authorities to ensure provision of specified youth services, including appropriate adults.  From this point, organised provision for children was typically delivered by youth offending team (YOT) officers and/or volunteers co-ordinated by them.

As the statutory duty did not extend to vulnerable adults, provision has been subject to greater variance. Financial pressures have continued to move the role away from social workers, though adult social care continues to be by far the largest financial contributor.  

There are now a relatively wide range of models of provision, ranging from ad-hoc use of healthcare staff, to continued use of social workers and YOT officers, to the commissioning of private and charitable organisations. 

on Thursday December 07 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

A range of different approaches to AA provision have been adopted across England and Wales. An analysis of models is set out below, with the most common models highlighted in bold.

There is no national recommendation in terms of effectiveness of each model. Local areas are free to select and combine models in order to best meet need and achieve the defined outcomes.

Table: Models of AA provision 

 

Volunteers

Sessional

Employee

Local authority

Model 1

Model 2

Model 3

Private

Model 4

Model 5

Model 6

Non profit

Model 7

Model 8

 

 
on Monday December 11 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

Provider

Youth Offending Teams, Social Care

Appropriate adults

Appropriate adults are volunteers for the local authority, which likely already has a volunteer recruitment function with which the AA scheme is integrated.

Funding

Funding is internal but there may be contributions from other local partners. Additional income may be received from spot purchasing of AA services where required from other agencies (e.g. DWP)

Costs

In order to accurately assess costs, full cost recovery methods must be applied to take into account the costs of local authority staff in co-ordination and administration. Although volunteers are not paid, investment is required in training and retention. 

Co-ordination

A co-ordinator is employed and based within core adult social care or the emergency duty team. The co-ordinator manages all recruitment, initial training, ongoing development, rotas, supervision and support for appropriate adults. They are line managed within social care.

Referrals

Police contact the service directly for AAs.

Information sharing

Co-ordinator can access social care information sources directly or via colleagues both to gain and supply case information. Management information is shared with internal managers and other partners.

Example area

London Borough of Southwark / Avon & Somerset

Example provider

Southwark social services / Bristol YOT

 

on Monday December 11 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

Provider

Youth Offending Teams, Social Care

Appropriate adults

Appropriate adults are paid directly by the local authority, on the basis of sessional contracts.

Funding

Funding is internal but there may be contributions from other local partners. Additional income may be received from spot purchasing of AA services where required from other agencies (e.g. DWP)

Costs

 In order to accurately assess costs, full cost recovery methods must be applied to take into account the costs of local authority staff in co-ordination and administration. In additional to being paid, sessional staff still require investment in initial and on-going professional development. 

Co-ordination

A member of local authority staff is tasked with co-ordinating provision, managing all recruitment, initial training, ongoing development, rotas, supervision and support for appropriate adults. 

Referrals

Police typically contact the co-ordinator to secure an AA. 

Information sharing

Co-ordinator can access social care information sources directly or via colleagues both to gain and supply case information. Management information is shared with internal managers and other partners.

Example area

London Borough of Sefton

Example provider

Sefton YOT (Early Intervention & Prevention)

on Monday December 11 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

Provider

Youth Offending Teams, Social Care

Appropriate adults

YOT Officers and/or social workers act as an integrated part of their wider role. Sessional workers may also be used.

Funding

Funding is internal but there may be contributions from other local partners. Additional income may be received from spot purchasing of AA services where required from other agencies (e.g. DWP)

Costs

Costs may be less transparent where there is no dedicated budget line for AA provision.

Co-ordination

Co-ordination requirements are lower where employees act as AAs. Responsibility for ensuring staff are trained, developed and supported forms part of an employee’s role. Where sessional workers are used, the requirement for co-ordination increases.

Referrals

Police contact social care for AAs.

Information sharing

Social workers can access social care information sources directly both to gain and supply case information. Management information is shared with internal managers and other partners.

Example area

Warwickshire

Example provider

Warwickshire Youth Justice Service

 


 

on Monday December 11 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

Provider

A private commercial organisation is commissioned to co-ordinate and deliver the scheme. 

Appropriate adults

Appropriate adults are volunteers from the local community.

Funding

Via contract by open tender.

Costs

Costs are usually fixed so do not rise or fall in-year dependent on call out volume.

Co-ordination

The private organisation employs staff to co-ordinate volunteers and administrative support. The co-ordinator manages all recruitment, initial training, ongoing development, rotas, supervision and support for appropriate adults and the reporting of management information to the commissioner. Co-ordination and administration is more likely to occur at national and/or regional level (rather than locally). 

Referrals

Depending on local arrangements, police may contact the provider directly for AAs, or may have to go via the funding organisation (i.e. social services or YOT).

Information sharing

Sharing of case information is dependent on local protocols and agreements.

Example area

West Yorkshire

Example provider

The Appropriate Adult Service

on Monday December 11 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

Provider

A private commercial organisation is commissioned to co-ordinate and deliver the scheme.

Appropriate adults

AAs are usually casual/sessional workers, recruited locally.

Funding

Services are procured via an open competitive tender.

Costs

Contracts may be on a fixed basis or use a ‘pay as you go’ model paid by the hour.

Co-ordination

Co-ordination may be at the national or regional level. The provider manages all recruitment, initial training, ongoing development, rotas, supervision and support for appropriate adults and the reporting of management information to the commissioner

Referrals

Depending on the contract, police may contact the provider directly or be required to contact social services in the first instance (who then pass on referrals to the provider).

Information sharing

Sharing of case information is dependent on local protocols and agreements.

Example area

Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight

Example provider

The Appropriate Adult Service

 

on Monday December 11 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

There are no known examples of formal arrangements with private sector organisations using employees. The typical proviate sector model is to use sessional staff as AAs, with paid employees in administrative and management functions. 

However, there are some new entrants to the market who do use paid staff, for example Appropriate Adults UK, at a relatively small scale. 

on Monday December 11 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

Provider

A non-profit organisation co-ordinates and delivers the scheme. For example, this might be a local charity specialising in advocacy, social care or appropriate adults. Alternatively it might be a different public sector organisation (other than the funding organisation).

Appropriate adults

Appropriate adults are volunteers from the local community, and are often students and retired professionals. 

Funding

Via grant or contract. Increasingly commissioned by open tender but there may be elements of collaborative-design in the commissioning process.

Costs

Costs are usually fixed so do not rise or fall in-year dependent on call out volume. Although volunteers are not paid, investment is required in training and retention.

Co-ordination

The non-profit employs a local scheme co-ordinator and (depending on the size of the scheme) administrative support. The co-ordinator manages all recruitment, initial training, ongoing development, rotas, supervision and support for appropriate adults and the reporting of management information to the commissioner.

Referrals

Police contact non-profit directly for AAs.

Information sharing

Sharing of case information is dependent on local protocols and agreements.

Example area

Kent and Medway / Norfolk

Example provider

Young Lives Foundation / Equal Lives

on Monday December 11 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

Provider

A non-profit organisation co-ordinates and delivers the scheme. For example, this might be a local charity specialising in advocacy, social care or appropriate adults. Alternatively it might be a different public sector organisation (other than the funding organisation).

Appropriate adults

Appropriate adults may be employees or casual/sessional/zero hours workers

Funding

Via grant or contract. Increasingly commissioned by open tender but there may be elements of collaborative-design in the commissioning process.

Costs

Costs are usually fixed so do not rise or fall in-year dependent on call out volume.

Co-ordination

The non-profit employs a local scheme co-ordinator and (depending on the size of the scheme) administrative support. The co-ordinator manages all recruitment, initial training, ongoing development, rotas, supervision and support for appropriate adults and the reporting of management information to the commissioner.

Referrals

Police typically contact non-profit directly for AAs.

Information sharing

Sharing of case information is dependent on local protocols and agreements. Police contact non-profit directly for AAs.

Example area

Greater Manchester and Lancashire

Example provider

Child Action North West


 

on Monday December 11 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?

Areas are not limited to the above models and may wish to innovate based on local circumstances. In a number of areas a hybrid approach is taken.

This might involve using different models to cover different times of day/week. For example, a YOT may provide during the day with an Emergency Duty Team or contracted provider covering out of hours.

Alternatively, there may be different approaches for different groups of people. This may be as simple as having one provider whose expertise is in children and one which is in vulnerable adults. Or it may be broken down further, for example with one provider for adults already engaged with social care services (e.g. adult social care) and another for those who are not (e.g. a contracted provider).

Some areas have chosen to add AA services to existing contracts at the point of recommissioning. For example, this could be a general advocacy contract or one to provide Independent Mental Health Advocates (under the Mental Health Act 1983) or Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (under the Mental Capacity Act 2005). If this is being considered, market research should be undertaken to establish whether there are sufficient providers in the area who are capable of delivering such combined contracts.

on Monday December 11 by Chris Bath
Was this helpful?
Download Free Designs http://bigtheme.net/ Free Websites Templates