As you grow and develop moving from childhood into adulthood you may need advice, information or support to help you plan for your future. We call this Preparing for Adulthood and we refer to the move or progression from child to adult education, health or social care services as a ‘transition’.
We can help you with information and practical advice about preparation for adulthood and ‘transitioning’ from child to adult services.
The move or transition for social care is slightly later than in education and is usually 18, but some services may start the transitions from aged 17. Depending on what services you use, a transition plan should be put in place to help you move smoothly from services who help children to those who help adults.
You should be offered a transitions assessment if you are likely to need practical help because of a physical or learning disability, or sight or hearing problems, when you turn 18. This is needed to get the right care and support plan in place for you. If you do not already have support from social care, you can still contact them about this on telephone: 01904 555111, or on email: email@example.com.
If you have a diagnosis of autism you should be offered a community care assessment. If this assessment is not offered, then ask the City of York Council’s Adult social care team. You can contact them on telephone: 01904 555111, or on email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See further information about support from age 18 and Preparing for Adulthood (City of York Council).
Most children and young people have thoughts about their future and have aspirations about pursuing a career which matches their interests and passions. They will want paid employment, independence, to be in good health, to have friendships, relationships and be involved with their community. A good quality education, health and care plan will contain a ‘golden thread’ (in the words of the Department for Education) that connects your aspirations with your needs, provision and outcomes.
Your outcomes or goals should be included in your Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan), if you have one. They should be ‘ambitious and stretching’ with the aim of helping you to improve your skills and knowledge. They are divided into short-term and long-term outcomes: a short-term outcome may last to end of the year whilst a long-term outcome to the end of the key stage or next stage of education. It's important that the outcomes are reviewed and updated at each Annual Review of your EHC Plan and all that support over the years builds into small stepping-stones on the journey to adulthood.
- Starting to prepare for adulthood
- Education or employment
- Independent living
- Friends, relationships and community
- Health and wellbeing
- Help with preparing for adulthood
- Person-centred planning
Starting to prepare for adulthood
The preparation for adulthood starts from the earliest years for all young people. People around you have helped and supported you to make progress with each year that has passed. However from age 13 (Year 9), you will be asked to think about your future and what you would like to do as an adult.
The review meeting for your My Support Plan or EHC Plan, should focus on planning and preparing you for adulthood. The outcomes in your plan from Year 9 onwards should also reflect you as an individual, including what you would like to do - whether that is engaged in further education, training or working towards some form of employment.
If you have an EHC Plan and stay in education or training you may keep your plan to the age of 25.
As an adult you become more independent. This means having more control over your life and making decisions about it. It is important that you feel ready for this and get any support or help that you need.
The law says that at the end of Year 11 (age 16) you are a young person rather than a child and you have more of a say about your education. Young people are encouraged to make decisions about their EHC Plan, learning and life choices. It is likely that you will still need help and support from your parent or carer with decision making and the EHC process as you move into adulthood. The law says that parent and carers should still be involved.
When you turn 16, you can start making decisions around the EHC process, you can:
- ask for an assessment for an EHC Plan at any time up to your 25th birthday
- ask for changes to your EHC Plan
- ask for a particular school or college to be named in your EHC Plan
- ask for a Personal Budget to fund certain parts for your EHC Plan
- appeal to SEND Tribunal about decisions made about your EHC Plan
If you are concerned about Preparation for Adulthood, then you can speak to a parent, your school or college. You could ask for a meeting to discuss this and to identify any planning and support that is available. We can help you or your parent prepare for a meeting or EHC Plan Annual Review.
You can find further information and resources for preparing for adulthood on the YorOK website.
We can provide advice on the kinds of things which you might need to plan for as part of the preparation for adulthood.
It may help you to focus on the following 4 areas:
- Education or employment
- Independent living
- Friends, relationships and community
- Health and wellbeing
Education or employment
When thinking about your education and employment as you move into adulthood you should consider:
- what you would like to study when you leave school
- what type of study or training programme you think you would like to do
- if there is a particular job you think you would like to do
- what you enjoy doing now; does that link to a job you might like to do?
- what help or support you think you might need to pursue a career
- if there is someone at your school, college or setting you can talk to who knows you well, and who can help to get more information and help you make your choices
- if you can visit places to see what’s on offer, who will help you with this?
York has many services to help young people on their next steps. Whether you just want information, or you would like help with finding opportunities, making applications, CVs, interview preparation or keeping motivated, there are services to help.
You should be given careers advice at school from the age of 12, to help you decide what you want to do when you leave school and which job you’d like to do when you’re an adult. We would advise you to speak with your school or Learning to Work advisor. Learning to Work advisors work in partnership with schools, supporting young people into work and learning. Priority is given to young people in care and in year 11.
If you are a young person with an EHC Plan, aged between 13 and 25, and live in York you will be able to ask for support from a specialist careers advisor.
You can leave school at the end of the school year in which you turn 16, but you must continue in education or training up to age 18.
If you have an EHC Plan, your home to school transport arrangements will need to be considered in your Year 11 annual review. Your parents may need to make a contribution to the cost of this. After you leave school at 16, any free home to school travel will stop even though you must remain in education or training. You may be eligible for assistance with travel to college or sixth form.
You can look at different education, training or employment options to see which suits you.
After school you could choose to:
- stay in full-time education and go to college or sixth form
- study (up to 20 hours per week) and work part-time; ;this can be in paid employment or as a volunteer
- start a traineeship; traineeships are for people aged 16 to 24 years and are unpaid and usually last for 6 months, they help you to get ready for work and can be a stepping stone to an apprenticeship
- start an apprenticeship; apprenticeships are paid training programmes which combine practical training in a job
- start a supported internship for young people with an EHC Plan; supported internships are unpaid and usually last for 6 months, they help you to get paid employment by teaching you the skills that you need for work
See further information and resources for planning for education and employment:
- Education, Employment and Training advice (YorOK)
- Advice for school leavers (City of York Council)
- Post-16 school and college open evenings (City of York Council)
- Post-16 Education Options (YorOK)
- What’s next - Life, Learning and Work (YorOK)
When thinking about where you will want to live as you move into adulthood you should consider:
- if you want to live at home or elsewhere
- if elsewhere, where you would like to live and who you want to live with
- what you need to be able to do before you can live independently, or with support
- housekeeping skills, such as cooking, shopping, cleaning
- looking after you money and household finances
- if you need help, who can help you
This means thinking about your living arrangements and housing options, and any support that you may need to look after yourself. This includes skills such as cooking, cleaning, travelling and handling money.
If you have a social worker they will talk to you about this and help to make a plan for the move. It might be helpful to ask your social worker to come to your annual review if you have an EHC Plan.
Some options for living arrangements are:
- Living at home with your family - You could choose to live at home with your family and have a support worker to help you to be independent.
- Supported living - You could choose to live in your own flat, or shared house within a supported living community, where there are staff on hand to help you if you need it.
- Buy or rent your own home - You could choose to live alone and then have a support worker help you when you need it. You could also apply for home adaptions (changes) to help you to be independent, such as access ramps, bath rails or other special equipment.
See further information and resources for planning for independent living:
- Benefits and tax credits (Contact)
- Benefits for people with a learning disabilities (Care Home)
- Benefits for people with a learning disability (MENCAP)
Friends, relationships and community
When thinking about how you will deal with friendships and relationships as you move into adulthood you should consider:
- the opportunities you have to socialise
- what might help you to socialise with friends
- whether you would like to make some new friends
- whether you would like to join any clubs or activities to try something new, to help you to make some new friends
- if there are any clubs or activities you want to do to help you learn new skills, such as cooking classes, gardening or money skills
- if you did join a club, group or activity, how you would get there
- the costs of any activities and how this will be paid for; you might be able to ask for a personal budget or direct payments
When you leave school your friends may take a different path. You might want to consider how you stay in touch with the friends you’ve made, and to consider making new friends.
As you move into adulthood you may start thinking about relationships, such as having a girlfriend or boyfriend, or whether you would like to get married.
You might want to consider how you can be involved the community where you live, taking part in socialising or volunteering activities.
See further information and resources for planning for an active social life:
- Shine - what's happening in York (YorOK)
- Friends, community and relationships (Preparing for Adulthood)
Health and wellbeing
When thinking about looking after your health as you move into adulthood you should consider:
- speaking to your GP or health worker about any transitions you might have coming up
- making a list of any questions or worries that you have
- whether you need to visit the dentist, optician or see any other medical professionals about your heath
- if you have specific medical requirements, such as allergies or fears, make a note of it and take it to any appointments
- whether you need any help to manage your health, such as with reminders about appointments or taking medicines
- whether you want to learn more about anything to help you to manage your health and be more involved in your treatment and care
- if you know who to contact about your health in an emergency
Knowing how to be healthy as an adult and how to look after yourself properly into adulthood might involve learning about:
- diet and exercise and how to keep in good health
- any long term health condition you may have and what support you need to manage the condition yourself
- how to manage your medication yourself
- how to manage any common medical or health conditions as they arise or what support do you need
- booking and managing routine appointments with your GP, optician, dentist and any other health professionals you see regularly
Any health services that you work with should talk to you about these things and help you to plan for the transition to adulthood. Young people usually move (transition) from child health teams to adult health teams at age 18, but some transitions can start at 16. It might be helpful to ask the health professionals that work with you to come to your EHC Plan annual reviews if you have an EHC Plan.
Annual health checks
You can have an annual health check at your doctors if you are aged 14 or over. You don't have to feel unwell to have an annual health check.
A health check would give you a chance to get used to visiting the doctors, or ask any questions you have about your health. The doctor will offer you a physical check and will talk to you about your emotions, well-being, lifestyle and diet. They will also talk to you about any medications that you take and check that any health conditions you have are well managed.
The National Development Team for Inclusion in partnership with Mencap have written an easy read guide to annual health checks.
If you’ve not been able to go to the dentist because of a disability or medical condition, you could ask to be referred to the specialist dental service.
Ask your dentist what is needed for a referral and if it is suitable in your case. This service is usually provided in the community and can include hospitals, specialist health centres, mobile clinics and home visits.
Find out more about dental treatment for people with special needs (NHS).
See further information and resources for planning for good health and wellbeing:
- Moving on from child and adolescent mental health services: The transition (Royal College of Psychiatrists)
- Transferring from CAMHS to Adult Mental Health Services (Young Minds)
- Moving on from CAHMS (Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families)
Help with preparing for adulthood
The support that you get from parents and carers, family members, professionals and in your wider community should help you to achieve and encourage you to be as independent as possible. The help and support you get from professionals may be written in a My Support Plan or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) and as you grow these plans should change and adapt to reflect your support needs and progress towards achieving your outcomes or goals on your journey towards meeting your aspirations for adult life.
A number of people or organisations might be involved in the process of helping you to prepare for adulthood. Each person or organisation who has contributed to your development so far will have valuable insight to offer.
You - the young person
The law says that as you develop, you should be more closely involved in decisions about your future, and if there is a disagreement your view can override that of your parents. You can say what your needs are and what you would like to do after leaving school.
You can also ask for the support of an advocate. This person’s role is to make sure that your views are considered by everyone involved. For information about advocacy for children and young people in York email: email@example.com.
Parents or carers
If you want them to, your parents or carers should continue to be involved in discussions about your future. Think about what you would like to achieve and what support you may need to do this.
You can help by considering the things you need to think about. See some helpful ideas about getting the transition planning process started: Making a plan (Contact).
You may like to make a list together. You could think about:
- your strengths, what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing
- what is important to you now and for the future
- the support that has worked well and what you have achieved
- the support that hasn’t worked so well and what may need to be changed
- what you still need to learn and what support you might need to do this
School or college
If you're concerned about preparing for adulthood, then you can speak to your school or college. You could ask for a meeting to discuss this and to identify any planning and support that is available.
If you have an EHC Plan, then you could discuss preparing for adulthood at your next EHC Plan review.
We can help you to prepare for a school meeting or an annual review. If you would like further advice, information or support before meeting with school staff please do not hesitate to contact us.
Someone from school or college will provide information about your progress and the support you may need. Support staff that work with you can advise on what they think might be needed.
When a move is being planned, for example from school to college, it is helpful if someone from the proposed new setting can be present when meetings are taking place, to help with any decision-making and provide you with reassurance about the support available.
Specialist Learning and Employment Advisors
The Specialist Learning and Employment Advisors Team (SLEAT) support young people with an EHC Plan who are in education and training.
They work with young people from 13 to 25 years old who are attending a secondary school or local specialist college in York, or those who are with personalised learning and training providers.
See further information about SLEAT (YorOK).
You can seek guidance about preparing for adulthood from any other professional that knows you child well or who is actively involved with you.
This could include health and social care professionals, if you are likely to need continuing health or care services.
See further information and resources for preparing for adulthood:
When planning for the transition into adulthood we would advise that you look at the person-centred planning approach.
Person-centred planning aims to put the child or young person at the centre of the planning and any decisions that affect them.
See further information and resources about the person-centred planning approach:
- The EHC Plan and The Person-Centred Connection (Council for Disabled Children)
- Person-centred planning advice (Preparing for Adulthood)
- Introduction to person-centred planning tools (Preparing for Adulthood)