Moving Into Adulthood
The transition from childhood to adulthood is probably the most significant change any of us have to make, because when we reach 18 years of age, we are seen by the law to be independent of parent or carer, though we know the practical reality is different for young adults with disabilities/additional needs. The aim of the Transition process in St. Helens is to help disabled young people make a positive move into adulthood, and get the support they need to move them towards greater independence.
What is transition?
Transition is a widely used term that can be applied to all young people as they move into adulthood. It covers that stage in their lives when most young people develop to become more independent. This will typically include leaving school, perhaps going on into further education, or going into employment or training, and maybe leaving home.
For some young people with special educational needs, having access to timely and comprehensive information and support prior to 18 may be enough to help them reach their goals. For other young people more support may be needed during and beyond the transition period from a range of services to enable them to reach their potential.
The period of transition in St. Helens applies to young people aged 14 -25 years who have special educational needs (SEN) AND those who are also identified as being disabled or with complex health needs. This will include young people with:
- Severe learning disabilities
- Complex physical, sensory and/or social communication impairments
- Complex health needs
- Severe and enduring mental health problems
Currently we have a legal responsibility to provide full time education up to the age of 16, although young people with significant additional needs are encouraged to remain in education and take advantage of the process described here. The Connexions Service works closely with schools and provides advice and guidance during this period.
Transition from Children's Services to Adult Services also takes place during this time and inevitably there are going to be differences between the services offered for children and for adults. These changes will have a bearing on issues such as finances. The benefits and mobility allowances of young adults are recognised as belonging to them and where possible they will be encouraged to manage their own finances. This will include any costs and charges payable under the Charging Policy in Adult Services.
The Transitions Pathway
A Transitions Pathway has also been produced which seeks to provide an easy to read guide for parents and young people on what the Transitions process involves and what support you might expect from specific agencies