Appropriate Adults


The Young Lives Foundation Appropriate Adult Service has been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK – equivalent to an MBE!

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MentoringAppropriate Adults

An Appropriate Adult acts independently from the Police to ensure that all processes necessary are conducted fairly and properly whilst a detained person is in custody. Our Appropriate Adults are volunteers that are fully trained to ensure they can give the best support to the detained young person or vulnerable adult*.

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) requires that an appropriate adult is present whenever a young person aged 10-17 or a vulnerable adult is being interviewed by the police. Most often this role is undertaken by the parent or carer. When the parent or carer is not present, Kent Police call for one of our volunteers.

The role of the volunteer appropriate adult is to ensure that the detained person understands their rights and entitlements whilst they are in custody (e.g. to obtain free legal advice) and that the police follow the procedures laid down in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act code of practice.

Being detained in police custody can be a difficult time for anyone, but for young people and those who are vulnerable the situation can be even more distressing.  Being an Appropriate Adult is a challenging, satisfying and worthwhile role and therefore if you have a little time to spare and you wanted to make a difference to the people of Kent then please apply to become a volunteer with the Young Lives Foundation.” Colin Piddock | Inspector, Head of Central Custody, Kent Police

The role of Appropriate Adult involves:

  • facilitating communication between the police and the detained person
  • advising and assisting the person being interviewed
  • observing whether or not the interview is being conducted fairly and properly
  • ensuring the person understands their rights, entitlements and is safeguarded whilst in custody

To find out more about Appropriate Adults and becoming a volunteer, please download an info pack.


*A vulnerable adult refers to a person over the age of 18 who is or may be suffering from mental ill-health, learning difficulty, physical disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to protect him or her from harm or exploitation.