Supporting people with preparation for adulthood
Transition planning is about preparing for adult life. It involves talking with your family, teachers, friends and the people who help you, to understand what you want for the future, as well as thinking about what you want to happen now to help you get ready.
The care of children with special educational needs and disabilities is the responsibility of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead's provider of Children's Services Achieving for Children.
If a young person has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) they remain the responsibility of Children's Services for education and social care needs until the EHCP ceases, at which point they will transfer to adult services if they meet eligibility criteria. This can be at any age between 18 years and 25 years. Achieving For Children, employ a Transitions Social Worker who will help support young people and their families through the transition process.
We understand that transition between services can be a scary time for young people, as the teams they know and are used to working with change. Services provided to young people are not always continued, in the same way, once young people become adults. That is why it is vital the transition is as smooth as possible and everyone involved understands the process and feels supported and prepared.
As assessment seeks to understand the young person's ambitions and what help and support the young person may need to live as independently as possible when they become an adult.
If a child, young carer or an adult caring for a child 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 a young person approaches their 18th birthday, they may request an assessment. This right applies to everyone, whether or not they are currently receiving services.
There is no set age for when a young person is assessed, as the best time to plan the move to Adult Services will be different for each person.
The young person 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.
Benefits and finances
A parent carer can claim benefits on the child's behalf until they reach the age of 16.
From the September after the young person's 16th birthday, their parent will only be able to get payments for dependents in full-time education or on an approved training course.
At aged 16, the young person may be able to claim certain benefits in their own right. This could have an impact on the family's household income, because certain benefits will reduce if the individual is 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.
Transition planning may involve moving into new accommodation. Supported housing allows a person to live independently and still receive the care they 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.
To find out more about housing options in your area, speak to the Housing Options Team.