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Preparing for Adulthood


Recently there have been a lot of changes to the way young people with SEND prepare and move towards and into an adult life. This is because many people, including young people, families, those who provide support to young people and the government felt that things could be done in a better way to make it easier during this 'transition' stage.

A video was made by The Council for Disabled Children and young people, where young people actually explain the changes and what they mean.

Main Changes

Thinking and planning for adult life now starts when children are in Year 9 (aged 13-14) at school. Checks will be made every year to see how things are going and changes can be made to anything that is not working well.

The main big changes are:

  • Statements of SEN and LDA’s are being replaced by Education Health and care Plans (EHC Plans).
  • Council's need to have a Local Offer/interactive directory (like this website) as one place to go to where all useful and relevant information can be put and found.
  • Coproduction and person centred approaches/Listening to and being led by what families and young people themselves think helps or would help.
  • Working towards outcomes/goals that young people would like to achieve in the various stages of their life.
  • More joined up working between the services that are available to help such as education, health and social care services.
  • Identification and planning at an earlier stage to help young people.
  • More choice and a bigger say in things for young people aged 16 and over.
  • Help staying in education or training until the age of 25 for people who are eligible.
  • Offering Personal Budgets and Individual Budgets which are ways that young people can have more control over the way their support and care needs are met.

The four areas for preparing for adulthood

The four areas that are looked at to try and plan what you want from them are:

All of these areas along with more information can be found on the Preparing for Adulthood website. This was set up by a national organisation who specialise in giving advice and strategies to young people with SEND to help them develop independence and go on to lead fulfilling lives.

Tools available

The Department of Health (DoH) has published a document called Pathways to getting a life: transition planning for full lives. This document sets out the best ways to help young people have the lives they really want and was recommended as a way to achieve better life chances for young people with learning disabilities, as well as a way of using resources more efficiently.

The Department of Further Education (DfE) has designed a supportive tool to help think and plan for the four Preparing for Adulthood outcomes. This includes a section to support families to navigate the system of support and prepare young people for adulthood.

Last reviewed: 16/08/2019

Useful links


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