Stepping in to listen and offer support

The role of the Appropriate Adult is to safeguard the interests, rights, entitlements and welfare of children and vulnerable people who are suspected of a criminal offence, ensuring that they are treated in a fair and just manner, and are able to participate effectively.

A child is anyone who appears to be under 18. PACE uses the term ‘juvenile’. Other areas of law refer to ‘children and young people’. However, since 2013 when 17 year olds were finally recognised as juveniles, these have all meant the same thing.

The minimum age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10 years old (one of the lowest in the world).

A person is now vulnerable if a police officer has any reason to suspect the person may:

  • have difficulty understanding the full implications or communicating effectively about anything to do with their detention; or
  • have difficulty understanding the significance or things they are told, questions, or their own answers; or
  • may be prone to confusion, suggestibility, or compliance
  • may be prone to providing unintentionally unreliable, misleading or self-incriminating information.

Insight into the role of Appropriate Adults

Follow the link below to view our segment with ITV Granada News in an appeal for more to train as Appropriate Adults to safeguard rights of the vulnerable in custody.

ITV Granada News

Child Action North West delivers the Appropriate Adult service in 6 counties across the country.

We operate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

In 2021 we supported 3978  children and 8042 vulnerable adults across all our custody delivery areas.

In 2022 we saw an increase of 38%, supporting 5477 children and an increase of 35%, supporting 10865 vulnerable adults.

We support

  • Children and vulnerable adults who have been detained in Police Custody,
  • Voluntary pre-arranged interviews,
  • Return home interviews for children who have been missing from home,
  • Witness statements,
  • Age assessments,
  • RSPCA interviews,
  • DWP interviews
  • Support within the courts when required.

Would you like to support children and vulnerable adult’s as an Appropriate Adult?

Are you a good listener with strong communication skills? Do you live within 30 minutes of a Police Custody suite? Do you like working within a fast paced environment to ensure children and vulnerable adult’s are supported in Custody? Do you want the flexibility of a sessional role with no commitment of hours or days?

If so click the link and select your closest location…

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