Transition to Adulthood

Transition involves the many changes that occur as a young person moves through their teenage years and into adult life. These changes may include the transition from school to college, college to adult life and include thinking about and planning for employment, housing, good health and accessing things in the community. Schools, colleges health and social care should work together to support young people with special educational needs and disabilities to prepare for adult life.

Preparing for Adulthood is a key element of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) reforms that aims to improve young people’s achievement of the four key life outcomes:

  • Employment and further education
  • Living independently
  • The best health possible
  • Having friends and relationships and being able to participate in the local community

The process includes the preparation and planning needed to support young people to move from school to further education choices such as sixth form or college and university. Depending on the needs of the young person, it may include the move from children’s social care and paediatric health services to adult social care and health services.

The SEND Code of Practice Chapter 8 highlights the need for this preparation to start early and centre on the young person’s own aspirations, interests and needs. The Department for Education Outcomes Chart illustrates the preparing for adulthood outcomes across the age ranges for children and young people with SEND. 

When does the process start?

The process starts in Year 9 (age 13 – 14) and can carry on until age 25, if necessary. Young people that have an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan must have Preparing for Adulthood Reviews and receive information, advice and support about their options and choices. All young people with an EHC Plan have an allocated Education, Health and Care Plan Co-ordinator.

Transition Service

The Transitions team at Doncaster Council work with young people aged between 16 and 25, to prepare them for the transition into adult services. Our aim is:

  • to provide young people with a personalised support offer to enable them to maximise their potential
  • to identify aspirations, and discover opportunities
  • to offer support in reaching identified goals
  • to ensure that young people have a seamless transition into adult services

What is 'transition'?

‘Transition’ is the stage in someone’s life when they are moving from childhood into adulthood. We offer support in understanding the differences from children’s and adult services.

As young people move into adulthood there are choices to make around living situations, work, socialising and gaining skills and qualifications, we offer assistance to access the right support and information

‘Transition’ is the stage in life when a person is moving from childhood into adulthood. We offer support in understanding the differences from children’s and adult services.

What support does the Transitions Team offer?

We work with young people to identify their needs and goals

We offer advice and information around housing and accommodation options, employability and local social and community activities.

To access the correct support services to ensure individuals reach their potential to live a fulfilling life in adulthood.

We will also offer support and advice for parents and carers.

Who is involved in the transition process?

This process is centered around the young person, they will choose who will be involved.  They may wish to include their family and any other people who offer support to them.

Our service work very closely with partner agencies in Doncaster, including health colleagues, educational establishments and training organisations, community groups, health care providers, charities and many more to facilitate people receiving a holistic approach to their next steps.

What will change during the move to adult services?

While health care is free at the point of need, and there is no charge for children’s services, adults may have to pay a contribution towards any social care they receive.

Doncaster Council have a dedicated financial assessment team who offer advice on welfare benefit entitlements as well as calculating the care contribution. This is based on the individuals income and relevant benefits, not those of the household.

In adult services we work under the Care Act and Mental Capacity Act to assess an individuals understanding and ability to make decisions for themselves. This includes managing their finances, where they would like to live and what support they receive.

If an individual is deemed to lack capacity we work under the best interests framework to reach a decision. It is important the persons wishes and feelings are represented in this.

When should the Transition Service be accessed?

People are described as reaching adulthood when they turn 18, but we work with young people, in partnership with children’s services from the age of 16. This is to ensure that we allow enough time during the transition period to put the correct support and guidance in place in a timely manner.

To be eligible for support from the transitions team, the young person must be either in education currently, or wanting to re-enter education or training.

How are referrals made?

People can self-refer, or a family member or carer can refer to the transitions team, by contacting the Integrated Support and Assessment Team on 01302 737391.

Other professionals are able to refer to the team on someone’s behalf with their consent. Young people may also become known to us through their school or college, or if they have an existing Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

What's next?

Once a referral has been made, a member of the transitions team will contact the person or their designated family member or carer to gather additional information about their needs and complete an assessment in line with the Care Act.

In addition to the Care Act assessment if significant health needs are identified, there will be a separate assessment from Continuing health care to access support and funding.

If it is determined that a person is not eligible for the transition service, we can still offer advice and guidance and can signpost to alternative services and organisations that can be accessed for support.

Case Studies

Case Study 1

I’m Charlotte and I’m 17 years old. I like going to the cinema and listening to music, and I love animals. I have cerebral palsy and moderate learning difficulties, and my behaviour and mood can sometimes be unpredictable.

I currently live in a residential home for children with one-to-one staffing and attend college twice a week. I need support to manage household tasks and ensure I take my medication, and to access community and social activities. 

I have already begun working with a Transitions Social Worker to make plans for my future. We are looking at accommodation options that offer staff that are trained in working with learning disabilities and behaviour management.

We are also considering opportunities for work experience with animals and working on a fulfilling programme of daily activities.

Case Study 2

I’m Jake and I’m 23 years old. I enjoy looking at photographs and magazines, and I love spending time with other people. I currently live with my family and attend a specialist school, and spend 42 nights per year in respite provision.

I have a rare genetic disorder with physical and learning disabilities. I also have limited speech and communicate mostly through signs.

I need support to ensure my general safety, maintenance of my personal care and hygiene, and taking medications.

I also need supervision when planning and preparing my meals and accompanying when travelling or leaving the house.

My worker in the transitions team supported me to look at my future and make some positive decisions about where to live and my daily routine.

We are looking at supporting living schemes for when I leave school which will mean I get to live and socialise with others my own age, but also have a consistent staff team to manage my disabilities.

The team are also working with me and family to determine a fulfilling weekly routine.

Additional Information and Support

For more information and resources and to find out a little bit more about what young people can expect to happen as they go through this process have a look at the below sources of information. This information may also be of interest and use to young people with non-statutory Support Plans who receive SEN support in school or college.

Young people age 16 years or above or their parents/carers can contact SENDIAS for independent information, support and advice at any point in the SEND process.

Return to Preparing for Adulthood


Last updated: 02 December 2021 11:31:27