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Preparing for Adulthood

The process leading up to a young person's move from school into adult life is called transition. It is essential that the voice of the young person and their family is heard and careful planning of process is key to helping all young people make decisions about their future.

During a young person's last few years at school they will be encouraged to begin to think about future options.

  1. A commitment by all services and by every professional at every level. Cumbria Children's Services in partnership with a range of other multi agency services might be needed to support a successful transition process for a young person.
  2. The young person and their families should be fully involved in the process. .
  3. Information about the young person is collected to assess the young person's needs.
  4. A range of different services working together from the time a young person is 14 years old onwards up to 25 years old.
  5. Regular monitoring of the Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to make sure actions have been achieved.  

The transition review is a meeting involving the young person, parents or carers, educational providers, Children's or Adult Services and any other services invited by the family. This takes place in year
9 and continues annually according to the young person's need.

Each meeting will end with an action plan to ensure that everyone involved is clear on the actions that they will deliver to ensure that the transition plan is successful. Everyone is different and so it is likely that all action plans will vary accordingly. This means that different services contribute at different times during the period when the young person is aged 13 to 25 years; this ensures that the process is truly 'person centred'.

Before the meeting

  • The young person's school should arrange a transition review meeting.  Parents and carers should be given notice of this meeting and the people invited should include; you, the young person (and anyone else either of you would like to attend) and all services who are involved or likely to be involved with supporting the young person.
  • For children educated at home parents should contact Children's Services if they need support with transition.
  • Representatives from appropriate services can be invited to reviews by the young person's school.
  • It is important that the young person has had access to impartial information, advice and guidance about their future options. Some young people will need a lot of time and support for this stage.  Cumbria's SEND IAS Team can help with this.
  • All services should provide information as requested by the school at least 2 weeks before the review meeting.
  • The transition review meeting should coincide with CLA (Child Looked After) review where possible and where relevant.
  • Information contributed by each service should be distributed to all those who are attending the transition review meeting at least 2 weeks before the meeting. This should be co-ordinated by the school.

At the meeting

  • A Lead Professional is identified to oversee the delivery and co-ordination of the transition plan.
  • The Lead Professional should support the young person and their family or carers to contribute to their transition review. 
  • The review should provide a relaxed and comfortable environment to support the young person and their family and carers.
  • The transition part of the EHCP records who has agreed to undertake each action and when it will be done.
  • The meeting may identify where specialist learning provision is needed. The meeting should include checking on progress and review of all areas of need for the young person e.g. education, health and or care support needs, finance and benefit checks and or support, legal responsibilities, supported employment, social activities, future transport needs, housing and long term plans.
  • The young person should be given information advice and guidance on sport and leisure activities.
  • Young people and their families should be informed of advocacy services to support as required.
  • Health Care professionals should identify whether a young person is likely to continue to have health care needs when they leave school or turn 18. This information will have been submitted before the meeting in the form of a health care plan.
  • If the young person is in care and in Year 11 then the Leaving Care Team will commence involvement and a Housing Officer should also attend.
  • A transition worker from Adult Social Care should attend the review from year 9 if Social Care Services are required. The transition worker should; provide information about the young person to other adult services, signpost to finance and benefit checks and or support if needed and make a pre-referral to the appropriate Adult Services team if the young person is thought to be eligible.
  • When the young person is 17 years old information and recommendations should be given to them and their family on post-18 opportunities and or options available relative to the young person's identified needs.

After the meeting

  • A copy of the updated EHCP will be circulated to the young person and their parent or carer and all relevant agencies following the review. The Lead Professional will make sure this is discussed fully with the young person and their family.
  • The SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Team should be provided with information about the young person's support needs by the young person's school.
  • The young person and their family should be given the opportunity to visit potential future educational provisions in year 10.
  • Where continuing in education has been identified as appropriate, and needs cannot be met by other local educational provision, professionals should ensure funding applications for specialist and residential colleges are made in good time.
  • Where it is agreed that alternative options to education are most appropriate to meet the young person's needs professionals should ensure funding applications are made in good time.
  • Referrals for respite should be made by a Children's Social Worker or through a TAC (Team Around the Child) meeting if the young person has a high level of need.
  • Where there is not a clear transition pathway due to the complexity of health care needs of the young person, their GP will be responsible for arranging future co-ordination of health care and referrals to other health professionals as needed.
  • If the young person is over 18 years old and working with Adult Social Services, they will continue to work together to carry out the recommendations for the young person from transition reviews.

This section will look at the provision available in Adult Services, which can be accessed by young people after leaving school.  There are four main options for a young person supported by an Education Health and Care Plan and/or Adult Social Care pending eligibility (see social care support below) to consider when they are looking at the opportunities available after they leave school. These are:

Continued Education

The Government has increased the age to which all young people in England are required to continue in education or training to at least their 18th birthday.  This does not mean young people must stay in school. They are able to choose from:

  • full-time education (e.g. at a school or college) Please note: It is only if, on assessment, the local college(s) cannot meet you or your child's needs that specialist options can be considered; 
  • an apprenticeship or traineeship; or
  • part-time education or training combined with one of the following: 
    • employment or self-employment for 20 hours or more a week
    • volunteering for 20 hours or more a week.

The following have provided support on how to apply to their College: 

Community Options

  • Local community assets
  • Day opportunities


  • Cumbria Council for Voluntary Service


  • Disability Employment Advisor (DEA),  Jobcentre Plus
  • Supported employment i.e. Imagine Independence

Adult Social Care is responsible for providing you with help to access the care and support that you need. Following the introduction of the Care Act 2014, we must provide a wider range of care and support than we did before. This includes helping
people who pay for their own care.

Examples of what we can help with include:

  • general information, advice and sign-posting to organisations that can help you;
  • advice about housing including how to adapt your home and the range of accommodation options available;
  • equipment that can help you to remain independent at home;
  • short-term services, for example,  offering help when coming out of hospital;
  • an assessment where you can talk about your longer term needs and how you think these could be met;
  • a care and support plan about how your needs will be met;
  • help to understand how your care and support is funded.  What we pay for and what you might be asked to pay if your service is not free;
  • you can use your personal budget to arrange your own care in the way that best suits you.

If you care for someone, you can have an assessment from us. We can help you develop a support plan to make it easier for you to care. 

We can also help any member of the public or family who is worried about the safety of a vulnerable adult living in Cumbria. We call this 'safeguarding adults'.

Please view our Care and Support in Cumbria Booklet [PDF 3.2MB] for further information and advice. 

Cumbria County Council must carry out a Care Act assessment (2014) when there is significant benefit to the young person or carer in doing so, and if they are likely to have care and support needs after turning 18.

For the young person, this is sometimes referred to as the Transition Assessment, which should take place at a time when it is most appropriate for the young person.

Transition Social Workers work with young people from age 14 and potentially through to 25 years of age. The Transition process applies to all young people with additional needs and not just those with a learning disability or autism.

They work with young Cumbrians:-

  • who may require advice and information relating to social care needs;
  • who have significant disabilities and complex support needs;
  • who need support to move into adulthood;
  • who are eligible for Adult Social Care support.

Following completion of the assessment under the Care Act, information should be given about whether the young person, their Carer or young Carer is likely to have eligible needs for care and support when they turn 18.

Inspira is a source of information about these options. Their role is to help young people (from the age of 13 up to 24) to prepare for their transition to adult life.

Depending on the young person's needs, an Inspira professional adviser can offer information, advice and guidance on many areas including education, benefits, training and employment.

In addition young people should be encouraged to consider their aspirations for their living arrangements in the longer term.

A Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre can help you find a job or gain new skills and, tell you about disability friendly employers in your area. They can also advise you about claiming benefits such as Universal Credit;
Jobseekers Allowance; Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independent Payment.

DEA Services include:

  • employment assessment to identify skills and experience;
  • referral to a work Psychologist for specialist assessment;
  • practical advice regarding adjustments or support at work; and
  • advice regarding employers' obligations under the Equality Act 2010.

All services work under the Cumbria Transition Policy. Please speak to the health professionals who are involved with your child. If you do not know who to contact, please contact NHS North Cumbria Integrated Care Community Paediatrics.

Adult Social Care

Adult Social Care is an online resource for all adults with care and support needs. As well as information and advice, it includes a directory of national helplines and local services and activities.

Alternatively, you can contact your local Adult Social Care office as below:

 Allerdale   01900 706301 
 Carlisle  0300 303 249 
 Copeland   01946 506352 
 Eden  0300 303 249
 Furness  0300 303 2704
 South Lakes   0300 303 2704

Make an online enquiry about Adult Social Care: Online enquiry form

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