Preparing for adulthood

Transition to adulthood for people with disabilities

As part of the work around implementing the SEND reforms, Peterborough City Council agreed to explore the development of a 0–25 disability service. This was in recognition that the families and young people consistently report that the combination of leaving school and changing from children to adult social care, feels like a “cliff edge”.

The 0-25 Disability Service provides social care support for children and young people with a range of disabilities and who meet thresholds for these services.   We are committed to person centred approaches in assessing and safeguarding young people, to ensuring their views are heard and aspirations are met and that they remain safe and well.

The joining of a children and adult social care team offers families and their children a smooth transition from childhood to young adulthood, enabling a less stressful journey and offering a consistent approach within a multi skilled workforce.

We strive to work closely with our partner agencies in health, education and the private sector. We welcome close working relationships with our families and feedback through our parent/carer participation group Family Voice to support us to develop a service that fits the needs of disabled children and young people. 

Eligibility for adult care

The Care Act (2014)

This new law recognises that for some young people a timely referral to adult social care for an assessment of needs may be required. The law says that this must happen if it would be of “significant benefit’ to the young person. 

Assessment

Generally, in order to determine eligibility for a service from adult social care, the 0 to 25 service will begin to gather information about the young person from the age of 14.  Where appropriate, if the child is looked after, has complex needs, lives out of area or has a risk of homelessness, then we will start the assessment at 16 to ensure it is up and running at 18.  For other young people the assessment will start at 18.

The Care Act (2014) supports the view that young people moving from children’s social care to adult social care should never lose support during this move. The Act therefore says that a young person should continue to receive childrens services even after they are 18, until adult social care services are put in place, to ensure that there is no gap.

The assessment will be undertaken by the 0 to 25 Disability Service if the young person has learning, sensory impairment and/or physical disabilities, including Special Educational Needs (SEN) Or Education Health and Care Plan.

If young people have a dual diagnosis including mental health needs, the 0-25 Disability Team will work closely with health to determine which pathway the young person will follow.

For further information, please contact the 0-25 Disability Service Duty Telephone Lines 0-17 years old – 01773-864397, 18+ years old 01733 747474

Transitions pathway

A person-centered transitions pathway is designed around the individual needs, aims and ambitions of each young person with special educational needs and disabilities. This builds upon the education, health and care plan and translates to the care and support plan at the age of 18. This aims to ensure the right level of care and support is arranged along with securing opportunities for learning and education, training, employment, social and leisure activities, and independent living. This helps young people to choose the care they want, and say how they want to live and what they want to achieve.

Key elements of the transitions pathway are:

  • Raising Aspirations - every young person is encouraged to exceed their own and other people’s expectations of them
  • Inclusion - young people are automatically 'included' rather than 'excluded' by improving awareness of what they can offer to their local community and prospective employers
  • Transparency - young people, their parents and carers, and wider agencies take ownership of implementing the transition pathway and work together to meet outcomes
  • Communication - all agencies are involved in a young person's transition review process and relevant information is shared to improve outcomes whilst observing safeguarding protocols
  • Early intervention – all young people will begin transition at age 14 with the support of all agencies to plan access to universal and specialist support, and provide information and advice so that young people and their families can fully engage in the process.

The 0 to 25 Disability Service can combine the “transition” assessments with any other assessment being carried out for some other person (provided all parties agree). If an external organisation (such as a hospital) is carrying out an assessment of the individual or a relevant person, for example, the individual’s carer or someone the individual cares for, around the same time as the local authority’s assessment, the local authority can carry out that assessment jointly with the other organisation or on behalf of the other organisation

What young people and their families in transition can expect

Every young person with a disability and their parents and carers will be offered information and advice about the range of universal support services available in the local area. This will also include guidance on accessing community and voluntary sector support services.

If a young person with disabilities, young carer or an adult caring for a child (a “child’s carer”) is likely to have needs when they, or the child they care for, turns 18, the local authority must assess them if it considers there is “significant benefit” to the individual in doing so.

In order to determine eligibility for a service from adult social care, the 0 to 25 Disability Service will begin to gather information about the young person from about the age of 14, and where appropriate, will undertake an assessment of your needs before you reach 18 in line with adult social care eligibility for care and support.

If a young person is eligible for care and support, further work is undertaken to identify their care needs and develop a person-centered transitions pathway with input from all agencies and family carers. This will determine the best way to meet their care outcomes and achieve their aims and ambitions for living an active and independent life.

Accessing transition support

Young people with a disability aged 14 to 25 and their families can be referred to the 0 to 25 Disability Service for an assessment of their needs as part of planning their transitions pathway, if they are not already known to the service through social care support as a child.

Ensuring young people with a disability remain safe

The government defines safeguarding as: “The process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing impairment of their health and development, and ensuring they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care that enables children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.”

The 0 to 25 Disability Service works closely with Children's Safeguarding to ensure that young people under the age of 18 remain safe, and for those over 18 the service works within the safeguarding processes under adult legislation.

Making the transition to adult healthcare services

  • Support available when moving to adult healthcare service
  • Advice on what young people can expect from adult healthcare
  • Guidance on Continuing Health Care (CHC) and Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS).

Adult healthcare services

When young people transition to adult health services the aim is to ensure that any assessment of need is completed as early as possible and enable a seamless move to appropriate universal and specialist healthcare. Importantly, this includes identifying services that may no longer be available once someone reaches 18 and putting in place alternative healthcare support for young people, and their families, to achieve identified outcomes. 

Customers who receive priority within health service transitions include:

  • young people in receipt of children’s continuing care funding that move to adult continuing healthcare services and funding;
  • young people accessing child and adolescent mental health services moving to adult mental health services; and
  • young people with an Education, Health & Care (EHC) Plan that identifies other health service in order to meet assessed needs and outcomes.

Transition to adult services with continuing healthcare needs

A key aim with transition is to ensure that a consistent package of support is provided during the years before and after the move to adulthood.

The nature of the package may change because the young person’s needs or circumstances change. It should not change simply because of a move from children’s to adult services or a move between organisations with commissioning or funding responsibilities.

Where change is necessary, it should be carried out in a phased manner in full consultation with the young person. No services or funding should be withdrawn unless a full assessment has been carried out in respect of both need for adult health and social care services.

What young people should expect

When a young person in receipt of children’s continuing care reaches the age of 14, the case will be reviewed by a social worker. This ensures that any young person who may require ongoing services in adulthood and who may be deemed eligible for continuing healthcare is identified early and included in the transitions pathway.

When the young person reaches 17 a checklist is completed by a health or social care professional, helped by the use of a screening method called a Checklist Tool. The assessment is done with the young person and their family or carer where appropriate. 

Other health services identified in Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans

There may be other health services that are included within a young person’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan in order to meet an assessed need. For young people aged 16 years and over (as part of the ongoing review and assessment process to identify health needs) any ongoing health needs will be assessed and work done in partnership with adult health services to identify suitable service to transition to, if available

Choosing where to live - support for people with disabilities

  • Support for people with disabilities to live independently
  • Help to build confidence and learn new skills

Independent / supported living

Supported living is a term used to describe the range of services that enable vulnerable people with additional needs to live as independently as possible in their local community. While supported living is often for people with learning difficulties, it can also help people with mental health problems or physical disabilities.

The approach to supported living is largely concerned with designing services round the particular needs and wishes of vulnerable people, which is less likely to result in housing and support arranged around traditional residential living. Department of Health research has shown that supported living is associated with people having greater choice about the support they receive along with involvement in a wider range of community activities.

Supported Living can be provided in either purpose-built or small-scale ordinary housing situations, and can comprise of support to:

  • develop daily living skills such as cooking or budget management
  • take up and sustain training or employment opportunities
  • participate in social and community activities such as swimming, volunteering or local clubs or groups.

Help to find work

We want to support people with disabilities to find work and to lead independent lives  You can find out more information on our getting into work page and City College Peterborough, Day Opportunities, supporting people with disabilities. You can also look at our Employment support providers on the Local Offer.  Please also look at 

Ensuring young people with a disability remain safe

The government defines safeguarding as: “The process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing impairment of their health and development, and ensuring they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care that enables children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.”

The 0 to 25 Disability Service works closely with Children's Safeguarding to ensure that young people under the age of 18 remain safe, and for those over 18 the service works within the safeguarding processes under adult legislation.  

Have your say

We want to make sure that Peterborough's Local Offer continues to develop to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families To let us know your views please fill in our online feedback form.