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Transition planning for the future

What is transition planning?

Transition planning is about thinking about your future, talking with your family, teachers, friends and people who help you about what you want for the future, preparing for adult life, as well as thinking about what you want to happen now to help you plan.

Until the age of 18, the care of children with long-term disabilities is the responsibility of the Children and Young People's Disabilities Service (CYPDS). From 18, your services are usually the responsibility of Adult Services for social care with continued input from CYPDS for education. From the ages of 14-18, you will start a "transition" of the services affecting:

health and social care
mental health
education
financial benefits for the young person and their family
work
housing

Planning for this transition will begin when you are in Year 9 at school (13 or 14 years old) at the latest. Transition is an ongoing process rather than a single event and is tailored to suit your needs. Transition assessments could potentially become part of your education, health and care plan.

Transition between services can be a scary time for young people as the teams they know and are used to working with change.

We know that it's important everyone involved understands the process and feels supported and prepared to try to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

Accessing needs

If a child, young carer or an adult caring for a child (a 'child's carer') is likely to have needs when they, or the child they care for, turn 18, we must assess them if we consider there to be 'significant benefit' to the individual. When you (a child or a young carer) approaches your 18th birthday, you or your parents may ask us for an assessment. This right applies to everyone, whether or not they are currently receiving services. The assessment will help you to understand whether you (and your carer, where relevant), are likely to be eligible for care and support when you turn 18, and what might be available to you.

We will provide advice and information about what can be done to meet or reduce your needs, as well as what you can do to stay well, and prevent or delay the development of needs. It will help you or your carer to plan ahead. There is no set age that you have to be assessed at, as the best time to plan the move to Adult Services will be different for each person.

We will make sure you are given the right information and advice to be able to make plans. Browse the Adults, Family and Local Offer Directory for information on local services, equipment, activities and schemes, including those that are provided free of charge from the Royal Borough or voluntary organisations.

Emotional support and advice for young people and parents is available from the charity Young Minds.

There is a handy guide to mental health helplines here.

Paying for your care and support

At the age of 18 all people accessing Adult Care services undergo a financial assessment to assess whether they are able to make a financial contribution to their care. More information can be found on our web page Paying for my care and support.

What will happen to my existing care and support services?

You will continue to receive children's services during the assessment process either until the adult care and support is in place to take over or until it is clear after the assessment that adult care and support does not need to be provided. You will start seeing a different team at the Royal Borough and there will be a detailed exchange of information between the two teams before this takes place.

Transitional planning and education

At age 16, and beyond, young people will often become increasingly independent and may want to exercise more control over the support they receive for their special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Colleges, your local authority and others who provide services for young people when they are over compulsory school age are expected to communicate directly with the young person. You should talk to your parents and agree how best they can be involved and how much support you will need as you get older. Once you and your parents have agreed arrangements that work for you, you should let your college know. Your parents will still need to receive the information and support they need as a parent to continue to give yoyou the support that you need.

If a college can't meet a your needs because you require specialist help, then you, with support from your parents, should consider whether you need an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment, which might lead to an EHC plan. EHCs offer families personal budgets so that they have more control over the type of support they get. If you or your parent think that you need an assessment, you should both discuss this with the college. A request can be made for an EHC plan up until you reach the age of 25.

Benefits for you and their family

A parent carer can claim benefits on your behalf until you reach the age of 16.

From the September after your 16th birthday, your parent will only be able to get payments for you as a dependent if you are in full-time education or on an approved training course.

Once you reache 16 you may be able to claim certain benefits in your own right. This could have an impact on the family's household income, because certain benefits will reduce if you are no longer classed as a dependent. For information on how your benefits might be affected, contact a specialist benefits advisor; for example the Citizens Advice Bureau.

In some cases young people with disabilities will not be able to manage their own benefit payments and will need an appointee (usually their parent or carer) to help them.

Disability Living Allowance

If you are a parent or carer of a child with a disability, you can claim Disability Living Allowance for your child until they turn 16.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the new benefit that has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working-age adults (aged 16-64) with a disability. As with DLA, PIP is designed to help you meet some of the extra costs you may have because of a long-term health condition or disability.          

This means once a disabled person turns 16 and wants to claim a disability benefit, they will need to apply for PIP.

Transitioning from school into work

If you decide to move into work, you might want advice and guidance. If you meet eligibility criteria for the Ways into Work service you will be able to access supported employment. You can get specialist advice about work and disability through a Disability Employment Adviser at your local Jobcentre Plus office. This adviser can help with assessments, work plans and advise on schemes such as Access to work and Workchoice.

Find more about disability and the workplace.

Supported housing

If a you are thinking of moving away from home, you might want to consider 'supported housing'. Supported housing may be available for people who are vulnerable or have a disability. It allows you to live independently and still receive the care you need. The care offered in supported housing can range from onsite support to occasional visits, and can be offered for a few hours a week or up to 24 hours a day depending on your needs.

Sheltered housing may be available for physically disabled people, people with mental health problems, people with learning disabilities and older people. It's a good idea to visit the supported housing scheme you're interested in wit your parents before applying so that you can speak to other residents and make sure that they can sufficiently tend to your care needs. To find out more about housing options in your area, speak to the Housing Options team.

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