10 things about transition

Parents and carers have many considerations when young people move to adult care services.

1. Opportunity rather than anxiety

“Transitioning to adult care is about maximising the opportunities for that young person,” says Sharon Evans, Social Work Professional Lead at The Children’s Trust. Parents will obviously feel anxious about their child’s provision, and transition will be a challenge, but embrace the next step to adulthood and have aspirations for your child.

2. Know about the Care Act

The Care Act in 2014 created a single consistent route to establishing an entitlement to public care and support for all adults with these needs (for adult social care in England only). Prior to this Act there were a number of Acts of Parliaments that were complex and potentially confusing. The Care Act brings everything together in one place.

3. Know your rights

Under the Care Act, young people now have an assessment on their needs, and once it is established whether their needs are eligible, a financial assessment takes place. The Care Act makes advice and information available to parents regardless of how their child’s care is paid for. Along with the duty to provide information, the Care Act has a well-being duty, prevention duty, eligibility threshold and it takes a ‘whole family approach’.

4. Plan ahead

For transition at 18 years, start thinking about the future in the early teenage years, and at least three years ahead. “Parents need to prepare and be asking ‘What’s going to be ready for my child in three years’ time?’” says Paul Baker, Transition Team, Surrey County Council.

5. Expect change

When transitioning to adult care, parents may find that the language used is different, as well as the timetables and expectations. The change in relationships will be a challenge, especially if your child has had the same people working alongside them for several years. However, the transition process will build-in time to get to know the new setting and people involved.

6. Remember it’s a partnership

Transitioning is by no means a job for families alone. You will work with the local authority, social worker and your child’s current setting.

7. Ask questions

Be prepared to push to know what’s going on and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s worth remembering that the Care Act was only established in 2014 so some local authorities will still be coming to terms with it.

8. Consider your child’s needs

Are you looking for residential care or would your consider living in the family home using a transport provider and a day setting? Be open to new ideas about the settings that could work for your family. Adult care will bring together health and education so consider your needs specifically, for example, the social needs may be stronger than clinical needs for some.

9. Talk to people

Professionals working in your child’s setting will have been through the transition process many times before. Talk to them and get advice. It is likely they will have helpful information to share. Professionals will also help you with the transition plan; share information with the new setting; and accompany you in meetings at the new setting or in a visit from the new provision.

10. Take time to find the right setting

Finding the perfect place that’s not hours away from the family home or has the right clinical or social provision may take time - months or longer. Jennie Sykes, head of one of the residential houses at The Children’s Trust, said: “One young man had been at The Children’s Trust since he was 11 years old and the time came to go to an adult setting. “The family were comfortable in their current setting so they were reluctant to move on - but we worked together to find the perfect provision. “It is difficult but we found the right place and the young man is very happy there.” The Brain Injury Hub’s information library has more information on moving to adult services.
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