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Preparing for adulthood

Preparing for Adulthood is about supporting children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) to prepare for adult life, and to go on to achieve the best outcomes in higher education and employment, independent living, health and community participation.

It centres on working with the young person and their family to identify the young person’s strengths, interests and capabilities, and what they want to achieve. 

When does it start?

If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, preparing for adulthood should start at age 13/14, at the Year 9 review of their EHC plan.  

The school will organise the review, which will involve you and your child and can include 

  • Education professionals
  • Health professionals
  • Social workers from children’s and/or adult social care
  • Your SEN key worker

What happens?

At the review you and your child will talk about their aspirations and the support you’ll both need to achieve these. You’ll get information and advice on subjects such as:

  • Further education and training
  • Skills to help you get a job
  • Transition events to support your future
  • Accessing community activities
  • Independent living and travel
  • Living a healthy life

During the meeting we will draw up and agree a personalised transition plan.

We will review your EHC plan annually and each review will include a focus on preparing for adulthood.

Post 16

After your child turns 16, they will have the right to make their own decisions about their future. You can continue to support them in making decisions, or act on their behalf, as long as they are happy for you to do so.

If your child needs support to express their view, we will arrange for them to have an advocate.

Your transition plan

Transition planning is personalised and person-centred. This means that:

  • It is tailored to your child
  • You will be encouraged to take a lead role

Transitioning from children’s to adult social services

Some young people with SEND turning age 18, or their carers, may become eligible for adult social care services, regardless of whether they have an EHC plan. We will make a transition assessment if there is significant evidence that you are likely to need care and support after turning 18. 

Assessments for adult care and support will consider:

  • Your current need for care and support
  • Whether you are likely to need support after turning 18
  • What your needs will be and whether they are eligible for our services

If your needs are not eligible for adult service, we will provide information about how those needs can be met within the local area.

There is no set time for the transition assessment but we usually begin the process around the time of your Year 9 EHC plan review.

Transitioning from children’s to adult health services

Young people with complex health needs requiring continuing health care when they turn 18 will transfer to adult health or adult mental health services. 

Planning for this transfer will usually begin at the time of the Year 9 review. Your health professional will work with you to develop a transition plan, which identifies who will take the lead in coordinating care and referral to other services.

Our goal is to ensure continuity of treatment and management of a young person’s health needs when they moved from paediatric care.

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