Rainbows hospice for children and young people and national charity Together for Short Lives observed that parents using their services were encountering significant difficulties in understanding how to negotiate new laws which come into effect when their children turn 16.
At this age, under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, children are made legally responsible for making many of the decisions which previously would have rested with their parents or guardians. However, if children who reach this age are deemed unable to make their own decisions, the transition can be very difficult and abrupt for parents attempting to understand what the change means for them, especially if it comes as a surprise.
My Adult – Still My Child provides accessible information that describes what the law says and how it applies to individual circumstances, as well as case studies to help parents know who is best-placed to make an appropriate decision concerning their child’s health and overall welfare.
The website was developed through collaboration with young people and their parents and carers from across the East and West Midlands, Rainbows Hospice and a coalition of other partners, and is funded with help from the NHS England Mental Capacity Act (MCA) Improvement Programme.
Online feedback has been extremely positive so far, with one parent commenting: “If only this website had been in existence 18 months ago! It’s easy to read and the answers are clear…” Another wrote: “I think the website is a tool to empower parents to be able to collaborate and not battle with professionals post 18.”
Find out more on the My Adult – Still My Child website.