‘Transition’ describes the process whereby a Young Person transfers from Children to Adult Services and generally happens when the Young Person turns 18.  The Transition from Children to Adult services can often be challenging for Young People with additional needs and the family as a whole. It involves a period of huge change in many aspects of the Young Person’s life including Education, Social Care, Health Care and Housing. It also involves adapting to the different working practices between Children’s Services and Adult’s Services.

In order to reduce the stress and ensure a smoother and more gradual Transition, preparation and planning should begin much earlier. Typically this is when the Young Person reaches year 9 in school at the age of 14-15 years.  This early planning, led by the Health and Social Care Practitioners but with full involvement from the Young Person and their family is key to the success of Transition. It allows the Young Person more time to be involved in decisions and adjust to the changes in their future care.

The 2014 Care Act was introduced to ensure that Young People do not experience gaps in services during transition.  It makes clear that the Local Authority have a duty to continue to provide any Children's Services a child is receiving before their 18th birthday and after their 18th birthday until Adult Care and Support takes over. The continuation of Children’s Services into Adulthood can also happen in order to avoid this Transition coinciding with other stressful events.

This also applies to a Carer receiving support from Children's Services when their child is under 18. The Local Authority must not allow a gap in care and support when young people and Carer’s move from Children's to Adult Services.

Before the Young Person leaves Education the Transition Team  will carry out a Needs Assessment to determine their needs and the care and support they require to meet these. This Assessment must be carried out for all young people who social services believe may have care needs when they reach 18, even if they are not currently receiving services or have not had an Assessment in the past. Therefore if your child has not had an Assessment but you believe they may need one, you can request it.  This Assessment ensures that the Learning Disability Team are provided with the most current information about your child’s needs when they turn 18.

You will need three documents to ensure that your young person’s services continue into Adulthood. Make sure you save a copy of each document and keep them safe.

  1. Needs Assessment: Your young person would have already had a Needs Assessment by the Transition Team, however when your young person reaches 18 social services will carry out another Needs Assessment. It is always important for you to ask to have a Needs Assessment one to one meeting with your Social Worker/Care Manager as this Assessment will best reflect the needs of your young person.
  2. Carer’s Assessment: You as a Carer also have the right to have a Carers Assessment which will also be carried out by the Learning Disabilities Team. Even though the ‘Carer’s View’ would be included in your young person’s Needs Assessment, it is important that you also complete the Carer’s Assessment as it is more likely to reflect your needs as a Carer.
  3. Care Plan: It is vital that this new Care Plan is correct and that it fully represents and quantifies your Young Person’s needs and what services they need to access, such as Speech and Language therapy, Transport and Short Breaks.