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Moving from children’s to adult services

Top tips for parents when thinking about transitions

We should all be preparing for adulthood right from the beginning when a child starts nursery and all the way through. However planning for transition should definitely start at year 9 when ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ (PFA) outcomes start to be a real focus.

We should all use person centred planning tools like ‘All about me  and talking mats and videos to ensure the voice of the young person is represented and heard alongside their parents

  1. Parents/carers and young people should always be involved in the process
  2. Parents/carers should gain the support of a lead professional to coordinate the professionals involved and the plan of action. The lead professional should make sure information is shared with the people who need to know to ensure that different services and agencies are working together
  3. Parents and young people should be supported to have clear aspirations and goals for achieving good life outcomes
  4. Parents should be supported to make sure they have all the necessary information in order to make choices
  5. Parents must know what actions have been taken or agreed and keep thinking about what is in your Educational and Health Care Plan and make sure that it is flexible
  6. Parents should be supported to ask if unsure – your  lead professional will be the most important person
  7. Parents should  go and look at different options and opportunities
  8. Parents should always be involved in the reviews at school – be prepared beforehand and know what you want to ask. Have the people present who you would like there.

Download the transition to adulthood guide

Leaving school

Thinking about a child leaving school can be daunting for parents and carers of young people with special educational needs and disabilities. There are a number of further education and social care options for young people in Luton who are leaving school.

Further education settings or social care settings are accessed and funded differently to school settings. As for all young people, full time education beyond school does not necessarily mean five days a week provision; what is needed will be considered with the young person where possible and their parent(s)/ carer(s) and the professionals who work with them and know them well.

The Transition Team

The Transition Team can help guide you and your child through how further education settings can be accessed and what the offers from these are. The Learning Disability Team can help guide you and your child through social care assessment processes and about the provisions available.

The Transition Team is a specialist team that supports young people with an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) aged 13 to 25.

The team focuses on Preparing for Adulthood (PFA) outcomes outlined in the SEND code of practice

  1. higher education and/or employment
  2. independent living
  3. participating in society
  4. being healthy.

The Transition Team Personal Advisor (PA) meets with young people and parents/carers to discuss transition to adulthood plans. During years 9, 10 and 11 the allocated PA will visit your child in school and where possible will attend annual reviews and other relevant meetings so they can get to know you and your child.

In year 11 you will receive a letter from the Special Educational Needs Assessment Team (SENAT) asking where you would like your child to attend for their year 12 education. You will need to complete this and return as requested but don’t worry there are people who can help you with this.

The Transition Team Personal Adviser

  • helps parents and young people choose a suitable college or independent further education provider and supports young people with this transition
  • supports everyone with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to have a post 16 option when leaving school
  • works in partnership with key agencies and professionals who know the young person best such as their school nurse and school staff to ensure the right people are involved in supporting each young person to achieve their goals and aspirations
  • ensures all young people have a positive destination e.g. employment or a purposeful package of adult social care before ceasing their EHCP
  • signposts which services from Education, Health and Social Care will lead in supporting each individual to prepare for adulthood
  • makes sure young people with complex medical or educational needs have access to education training and health and social care opportunities.

At the end of the academic year in which the young person reaches 18 years of age if they would like to access support from Adult Social Care then the Personal Advisor will make a referral. If the young person is already known to social care the Personal Advisor will support this transition to Adult Social Care services.

Related information

Moving to adult social care

Luton Council Adult Social Care offers advice, guidance and support to disabled young adults, with a range of disabilities and or complex health needs who are transitioning to adulthood.

Young adults approaching adulthood with a disability may be thinking about their future. They may think about what happens when they leave school or college. How they can be as independent as they want to be to live a fulfilled life. 

Supporting the young adult through ‘transition’ is key to building a good foundation for the adult’s early adult life.

This can be an exciting time in their life but the changes also might be worrying.

Luton Council Adult Social Care wants to ensure that, during this period of change, the young adult and their families are fully supported to make the right choices. 

We work with the young adult to:

  • understand what their ongoing care and support needs might be
  • help them to identify and achieve their goals and outcomes
  • connect the young adult to their community and services that are available to support them

How we support you

We work with a range of people to help the young adult with their journey to adulthood; this might include:

  • children social workers
  • adult social workers
  • teachers
  • SEND workers
  • health professionals
  • voluntary and independent sector providers

These agencies work together to make sure that the young adult has the right support in place that helps them to live a fulfilling and independent life.

When approaching transition age

When approaching transition age a young adult will be referred to Luton Council’s adult social care Early Intervention and Prevention team, the referral might come from the young adult or their family/carer, children’s social workers or SEND workers. The Early Intervention and Prevention team will help identify which team will support young adults through their transition to adulthood and identify the appropriate team, these are:

  • Community Learning Disability and Autism Pathway

A multi-disciplinary team of social workers, learning disability nurses and social care assessors whose focus is to support adults with a diagnosed learning disability and/or autism.

  • Complex Care and Review Pathway

The complex care and review pathway support people with a physical disability, emotional needs care leavers and young adults with sensory needs.

  • Prevention and Enablement Pathway

Consists of social care assessors, enablement coordinators and local area coordinators. Its focus is to promote a person’s independence and connection to their local community by using living skills assessment, training plans, personal and assistive technology and an excellent knowledge of what is available locally. The prevention and enablement pathway support people across adult social care.

Leading up to the young adult’s eighteenth birthday a transition social worker, nurse or social care assessor (transition worker) will arrange a meeting to find out all about the young adult and their family. This is also to make sure their family needs are also identified and understood.

Luton Adult Social Care calls this part of the process ‘a conversation’. This ‘conversation’ will enable the transition worker to identify the young adult’s care and support needs including goals or aspirations.

The transition worker will help the young adult and their family through this process.

The transition worker will always make sure the young adult has someone to help them with the process of the ‘conversation’ and where there is no one to support them then an advocacy service is used.

The young adult’s ‘eligibility’ is determined under the Care Act 2014 legislation. This means that the transition worker considers the young adult’s care and support needs that arise from, or are related to a physical or mental impairment or illness. The transition social worker also need to know what the young adult is able to achieve with or without support, and as a result, if the young adult’s wellbeing is likely to be significantly affected.

Support plan

The transition worker will work with the young adult, their family or carer to put together a support plan, also referred to as a move-on plan. A support plan is a document that shows how the needs and outcomes identified in the young adult’s conversation will be met. It will be tailored to the young adult and their needs and outcomes, and so it will be unique to the young adult. Once the transition worker identify with the young adult what their needs are, they will work out how much support hours, personal technology, informal support or universal services are needed to meet the needs.

Financial assessment

The transition worker will discuss with the young adult whether they need to pay for some of the support through their own funds or benefits, and what Adult Social Care will help fund. The young adult will also receive a financial assessment to work out if they need to make a financial contribution towards their care. This financial assessment will also help the young adult to maximize their income. The financial assessment is based on the benefits the young adult receives, or any other income and finances they are in receipt of.

The funds that pay for the young adult’s support are called a ‘personal budget’. The support can either be provided via a ‘Directly Commissioned Support’ or via a ‘direct payment’. If via a Direct Payment’ Adult Social Care will usually provide the young adult with a pre-paid card to help the young adult to pay for any services that the transition worker have identified with the young adult they need.

Regular reviews

Once the young adult’s support is up and running, the transition worker will check that the support is working in the way the young adult wants, that it is meeting the young adults needs and that it supports their whole family.

These regular reviews help the transition worker to update the plan if anything changes as the young adult go through transition to adulthood. If the support is working well then the young adult will be reviewed annually or if there is a change in need or circumstance for them or their family member.

How to get in touch with Adult Social Care services

If you are already receiving services as a young adult then please speak to your Social Care team who currently support you on 01582 546000.

If you are under 18 and need help and support now, please contact 01582 546000.

If you are 18 or over and you may need help and support, then please contact customer centre for adult social care on 01582546000

For enquiries please email:

Related information

Moving to adult health services

Moving from children to adult services at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital

The transitioning process for young people with complex health needs is led by their individual lead consultant paediatricians and clinical nurse specialists within the various sub-specialties. The process can begin, if appropriate from 14 years onwards and involves the young people and their parents/carers. We utilise the ‘Ready Steady Go’ process which is well established across the NHS.

There may be joint clinics offered with both paediatric and adult speciality colleagues, these are arranged as appropriate in individual cases. This occurs prior to the final phase of the transitioning process, when adult colleagues fully take over the care and management of the young person. In the most complex cases we can arrange short visits to key adult care areas and can facilitate a handover to key members of the adult teams at ward level. In some cases it is appropriate for care to be transitioned back to the GP for the community services to lead further management and support.

Moving from Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMAll about HS) and Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS)

East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) transition policy between the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) is aimed at for young people aged 17 and over.

The purpose is to ensure

  • a smooth, co-ordinated transition to other services once the young person reaches 18
  • that clinicians fully engage the young person in making choices and decisions in transition planning
  • that gaps in service provision are identified in the notes, so that these can be escalated to managers and commissioners.

Arrangements for transition begin as soon as it is clear that care will need to continue beyond the young person’s 18th birthday. The young person’s views on the most appropriate service will be sought and be taken into account when deciding the timing of any transfer between services.

A transitional, face to face meeting is then arranged between the CAMHS lead clinician and the prospective AMHS care co-ordinator to agree a timetable for introducing the young person to the new care co-ordinator and formally transferring the care of the young person into AMHS at an appropriate time. This can be any time after the young person’s 17th birthday and before the young person reaches 18.

CAMHS have dedicated transition link workers to help facilitate the young person’s experience of transition and work alongside the clinicians to effect a smooth transition.

All about me

This booklet allows you to tell your new mental health worker about yourself, and give them the information you want them to know.

Download All about me booklet

Related information