Preparing for adulthood


The SEND Code of Practice 2015 says:

…Health service and other professionals should work with the young person and, where appropriate, their family. They should gain a good understanding of the young person’s individual needs, including their learning difficulties or disabilities, to co-ordinate health care around those needs and to ensure continuity and the best outcomes for the young person. This means working with the young person to develop a transition plan, which identifies who will take the lead in co-ordinating care and referrals to other services. The young person should know who is taking the lead and how to contact them. (8.54)

It is expected that preparation for adulthood begins from year 9 as part of the Annual Review and includes planning for supporting the transition from children’s to adult care and health services.

Parents and carers of a young person aged 14-25 with a learning disability, are being encouraged to make them an appointment for a free, annual health check (mencap easy read PDF)  at their local surgery. This provides the opportunity to check on any ongoing health issues, such as diabetes or asthma, as well as talk over any physical or mental wellbeing concerns – so they can be referred to other organisations for help and support.

Watch this video (from the National Children’s Bureau) about moving from child to adult health services.

Social care

Section 58 of The Care Act 2014 places a duty on local authorities to carry out an assessment of a child’s needs where this would be of ‘significant benefit’ to the child, and if it is likely they will have care and support needs when they turn 18. This is often known as a ‘transition assessment’.

The local authority has to provide support to enable you to plan ahead as your child approaches their 18th birthday, so there are no gaps in services.

You, or your young person, may request an assessment at any time ahead of their 18th birthday. However, the local authority can be flexible with the timing of the assessment, and they decide whether and when there is ‘significant benefit’ to assessing needs.

If your child has an EHC plan, preparation for adulthood should begin as early as possible and from year 9 at the latest, as part of their Annual Review.

An autistic adult (over the age of 18), has the right to a community care assessment and their carer, a right to a carers needs assessment.
Statutory guidance for local authorities and the NHS 2015 (adults with autism)

Human Rights Act

EHC plan

The SEND Regulations 2014 say:

‘Where the child or young person is in or beyond year 9,the EHC plan must include within the special educational provision, health care provision and social care provision specified, provision to assist the child or young person in preparation for adulthood and independent living.’

SEND Regulations 2014, Reg 12 (3)

Further information

The Suffolk Local Offer  (for the full range of services and support for children and young people with SEND)

Read the local authority guide Preparing for Adulthood. (PDF)