Skip to main content


The transition from childhood to adulthood can be a stressful time of change, especially if you are a young person with special educational needs and or a disability. You will need to think about and prepare for:

  • Higher education and employment
  • Independent living and housing
  • Participating in society, (having friends and supportive relationships, and participating in the local community)
  • Being as healthy as possible in adult life

You should begin discussing transition at school from the beginning of Year 9 (approximately 14 years old) to complete the process by age 25.

It is important that the transition process is tailored to each individual and their specific needs.

The young person will be actively involved in discussing what they wish to do when they leave education or training and the support that they need to do this.

This means that the age at which a young person has completed their transition into adult life will vary. You can find more information via the Getting a Life website (external link).

The Transition Social Care Team

The team work with young people and their carers who will continue to need social care support after the age of 18. These are young people with substantial or critical social care needs who will meet the eligibility criteria for adults services set out in the Fair Access to Care Services policy.

If the young person meets the criteria, from 16-18 the Transition team will work in partnership with the young person's children's social worker to ensure that the young person has a smooth, well managed transition into adult services. The children's social worker will remain the young person's allocated social worker until they turn 18, continuing to monitor, update and review their children's support package and support plan. From 18 up to 25 the Transition worker will be their allocated worker.


  • Young people who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or receive services for SEN Support. These young people may still require support in planning and adapting to adult life because of social, behavioural or emotional impairment, including higher functioning autism.
  • Young people with a disability covered by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (a physical or mental health impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day to day activities).
  • Young people who are likely to have on-going community care needs over the age of 18 which would fall under the provisions for the NHS and Community Care Act 1990, and
  • other legislation such as Fair Access to Care (it should be noted that all current legislation relating to adult social care will be repealed on implementation of the Care Act in 2015).
  • Young people with mental health needs or long term medical conditions - including those who may, from time to time, need intensive support or intervention and help with managing their condition for their social and educational needs.
  • Young people who have a disability and who have been supported by children's services and need on-going support from adult services.


There will be other young people who have been identified with special educational needs whilst at school and who will need advice and guidance from services as they progress into adult life. They are not likely to be eligible for support from social care or other agencies.

These young people and their families will be signposted to other services. They will be able to access mainstream career services and support from voluntary agencies for advice and guidance.

When a young person reaches 18

If a young person has support from children's social care and will be eligible for social services as an adult, their support will be provided by Adult Social Care services.

For young people with low to moderate needs any social care support will end on their 18th birthday. They will be signposted to alternative support options including the voluntary sector.

If a young person has ongoing health needs their health team will support them to plan their future. This could include their GP, paediatrician, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, physiotherapist and nurses.

You can find further useful information on transition via the Preparing for Adulthood website (external link).

Powered by Open Objects © Idox plc