Acting as an appropriate adult
Family members are often asked to act as an appropriate adult.
Guidance provided to family members is not always detailed enough to enable them to act effectively. The information provided below is intended to help untrained appropriate adult do the best possible job for their family member.
Quick guide to being an appropriate adult for parents, carers and other untrained AAs (NAAN, 2018) [1 x A4 to print at home doublesided. Fold into three section]
- Detailed guide to being an appropriate adult for parents, carers and other untrained AAs (NAAN, 2017) [8 x A4 pages]
You may also like to read the following pages on this website:
- FAQs (NAAN)
If you are acting as an AA for a child, and they are being held in police custody after being charged, you may also find this guidance helpful:
- Local authority accommodation transfers under PACE s.38(6) (NAAN)
Acting as an AA during coronavirus
A number of temporary measures are in place due to coronavirus. The most important elements for AAs to be aware of are:
- The police may not conduct an interview of a child or vulnerable adult without an AA physcially present (more information)
- For a list of police procedures and whether the AA must be physically present (see Which procedures does an AA have to be present for, and which could be done remotely?)
- As a temporary measure, interviews are going ahead with remote legal advice
- If the suspect or the AA does not consent to remote legal advice, it cannot be used (see the joint interview protocol).
Finding a trained appropriate adult
Family members are not always in a position to act as a person's appropriate adult. This might be because they are unavailable, unsuitable (for example if they may be a witness) or they simply don't feel they are the right person to take on the role.
Within the NAAN membership, there are many local organised schemes which can provide a trained appropriate adult.
If you feel your family member needs an appropriate adult, please see our guide to finding an appropriate adult.