AA Partnership Agreement
Home Office publishes framework to support development of AA provision for vulnerable adults.
The Home Office has today published the Appropriate Adult PCC - Local Authority Partnership Agreement England.
The document provides a framework for local authorities (LAs) and police and crime commissioners (PCCs) in England to ensure that vulnerable adults have access to justice and their rights and welfare are safeguarded by appropriate adults.
The partnership agreement is one of the outcomes of the working group set up by the Home Office in response to NAAN's There to Help report.
While the agreement is voluntary, it is supported by the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), as well as by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC).
The Rt Hon Nick Hurd MP (Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service) has today written to all PCCs and Directors of Adult Social Care Services. He has encouraged them to work together to adopt the approach or tailor it to meet local circumstances. The minister also sets out that the performance of the partnership agreement nationally will be evaluated after 6 months and 12 months - something that NAAN requested.
The APCC has today released a statement welcoming the focus on the issue and setting out what they feel needs to happen next, including a new statutory duty on LAs to ensure parity with children's AA provision.
Chris Bath, chief executive of NAAN said,
“The National Appropriate Adult Network has consistently highlighted gaps in the resourcing of provision of appropriate adults for vulnerable adults which, unlike children's provision, is currently non-statutory. This issue causes problems not just for vulnerable people but also for police and the integrity of the wider justice system.
"To quote the Rt Hon Theresa May's response to our 2015 There to Help report: the status quo is clearly not acceptable and the priority must be to act to ensure vulnerable people are provided with the support they are entitled to.
"Since our report we have been pleased to see a number of developments driven at the local level. We hope that the partnership agreement will encourage and support further improvements and we stand ready to provide support to local areas in translating it into effective provision on the ground. Resourcing remains a key challenge, especially given the widely reported pressures on adult social care budgets. We will be monitoring developments and look forward to supporting the Home Office in its planned evaluation of the partnership agreement initiative”.