For many parents who have children with learning disabilities and complex support needs, the transition from childrens’ to adults’ social services can be a daunting time.
In the UK around 40,000 children and young people with complex physical health needs are in this transition phase, with many hurdles to overcome due to the numerous changes to support networks as they reach adulthood.
With new health teams, therapy teams, and adult social care services to be consulted, it poses a major change for young people and their families – at the very time when they are also negotiating wider changes to their life, including educational circumstances.
Transition should be an ongoing process rather than a single event with ‘transition plan’ preparations starting from 14 years, tailored to suit each child’s needs. Between the ages of 16 and 18, the child will then start a transition of the services affecting:
· Health and social care
· Mental health
· Financial benefits for the young person and their family
During this phase, it’s important everyone involved understands the process and feels supported and prepared. Being aware of the options available, understanding the legislation and knowing how to communicate with local authorities will all form part of this phase. This makes it even more important for parents to go out there and be as informed as possible when making those crucial decisions for their child’s future.
Blogs such as Created By Parents offer invaluable inspiration and advice to parents or carers’ during this phase. You can also research your rights as parents, and your child’s rights, through reading up on The Care Act 2014, the Health & Social Care Act 2008 and Mental Capacity Act 2008. Joining parent/carer groups or online forums can also offer a rich supportive network by talking with other parents and sharing findings with each other
If you are starting the search for adult service providers, take a look at the Parent Prompt List, which is a helpful tool to refer to as an example list of questions to ask providers when visiting.
We are sponsoring the Next Steps Transition Event on 28th March, at The Social Care Exchange. The event will be an excellent opportunity to gather relevant information about transition and give you an opportunity to see what services are available for your young person. You are welcome to drop in to network with exhibitors about your child’s future. To attend any of the workshops, please register your interest by email firstname.lastname@example.org as places are limited.