1. The principal relevant primary legislation to which this guidance refers is the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 ("the 2014 Act"). This guidance provides local authorities and their community planning partners ( CPPs) with information and advice about how they should fulfil their duties under Part 11 (Continuing Care) of the 2014 Act. The duties came into force on 1 April 2015. To ensure full compliance with the legislation it is recommended that this guidance is read as a whole. Sections should not be read in isolation from each other, or without reference to guidance on relevant parts of the 2014 Act and other legislation.
2. In particular, this should be read alongside the guidance relating to the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 as each of the relevant parts is commenced.
3. For a full explanation of the principles on which this guidance is based (and the Scottish Government's policy objectives) please refer to Staying Put Scotland published in 2013  . Other relevant legislative and policy guidance is listed at Appendix A. This guidance may be reviewed, as necessary, when all the other relevant parts of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 are commenced.
4. Although the guidelines set out in this document are not in themselves statutory requirements, all local authorities and CPPs should have regard to them. They reflect the expectations of Scottish Ministers, in accordance with current legislative requirements and may be referenced by scrutiny bodies in the course of external inspection.
5. Moreover, this guidance has been designed to support effective implementation of the Continuing Care provisions introduced by Part 11 the 2014 Act, highlighting issues which local authorities are likely to encounter, and outlining potential solutions. It is also useful to frontline practitioners, providing an explanation of how the duties should be applied in day-to-day practice. However, this guidance is not intended to provide answers to every unique situation, and where appropriate looked after young people and local authorities should seek independent legal advice.
6. The aims of this guidance are:
a) to reinforce the legal and ethical responsibilities of local authorities towards looked after young people and care leavers;
b) to explain local authorities' duty to provide Continuing Care;
c) to provide a framework for enhanced and improved personal support (based on on-going personal contact) for Scotland's young people when they cease to be looked after.
7. This guidance is directed towards local authorities, but it will also be of importance to corporate parents (as defined by schedule 4 of the 2014 Act) and other individuals and organisations involved in supporting looked after children, young people and care leavers.