Appropriate adults come from all walks of life, genders, ages and ethinicty. It is critical that AA schemes reflect the communities they serve and equality and diversity is critical to our National Standards. There is no prior experience or qualification required for the appropriate adult role. Each scheme will have its own recruitment guidelines. The Appropriate Adult Scheme for Persons with Mental Disabilities (AAPMD) Scheme provides support to various law enforcement stakeholders during the investigating interviews involving defendants, victims, or witnesses suspected of having Intellectual Disability (ID), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and/or Mental Health issues through trained volunteers.
Appropriate Adult Scheme for Young Suspects. An independent and trained adult will accompany a young suspect under 16 years old to law enforcement interviews. The appropriate adult is a neutral party that provides emotional support to the young suspect . Appropriate adult services are currently provided on a non-statutory basis, often by local authorities. We are working with the justice agencies, local authorities, third sector organisations and other stakeholders to develop a model for a statutory appropriate adult service across Scotland.
The Appropriate Adult role is entirely different to the role of a Responsible Adult, which is defined under The Children (Scotland) Act, as any adult who has legal responsibility for a child. This person can be a parent, carer or officer of the local authority.