Find out about the support available from PACT Stockport as you prepare for adulthood

Preparing for Adulthood with PACT Stockport

It’s a good idea for anyone to think about what you might want to do in adulthood. If you have a learning disability, you might benefit from some support when thinking about your options – from building friendships to finding a job or thinking about where you want to live in the future. Find out about preparing for adulthood with PACT Stockport…

It might also help children to prepare for making decisions for themselves when they become 16, if they have capacity to do so. This preparation for adulthood should happen from their earliest years and no later than by Year 9, when they are aged 13 or 14.

Children and young people should be encouraged to set what outcomes they want to achieve in future. These outcomes should be reviewed regularly as someone approaches adulthood. Young people must also have access to careers advice and advocacy to help them prepare for adulthood.

Leaving education or training

Young people must remain in education or training until they are 16 and, in England, until they are 18.

However, some young people with a learning disability – for example those in England who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan – may remain in education or training, free of charge, until they are 25 if it is agreed that it would be beneficial for them to do so.

When it is anticipated that a young person with an EHC Plan will soon be leaving education or training, the local authority should agree in advance the support the young person might need to access and the support they might need to help them access it.

Transition into adult services

Children with a learning disability who are eligible for social care support can receive it until they become an adult. At this point they transition to social care services designed for adults.

The transition from children’s services to adults’ services is often very challenging for young people with a learning disability and their families: it combines a change of services and professionals at the very time when they are also negotiating wider changes to their life, for example in their educational circumstances.

These changes should, however, be planned in advance. If a child, young person or their carer is likely to have support needs when they turn 18, the local authority must assess them if it considers there is “significant benefit” to the individual in doing so.This is regardless of whether the child or young person currently receives any services.

This assessment can be requested by the young person’s parents. There is no particular age at which this assessment request should be made, and in some cases it would be reasonable to request an assessment when the young person is 14 or 15. 

This is likely to be necessary for young people with complex needs who are going to continue to need significant levels of support from adult services. The complexity of their needs will mean that meticulous planning and a gradual transition to new services will be required.

The assessment is the starting point and could be requested years in advance of their 18th birthday to allow sufficient time for this planning and transition to take place.

There should also be no gap in services. In England, when the transition between children’s and adults’ services takes place, a local authority must continue to provide the individual with any children’s services they were receiving throughout the assessment process.

This will continue until 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.

This continuation of children’s services into adulthood can also happen in order to avoid the transition to adult services coinciding with other stressful events such as exam periods.

Planning the transition to adult services early aims to reduce the possibility of a “cliff-edge” where someone receiving support turns 18 and suddenly finds themselves without the care and support they need.

Preparing for Adulthood with PACT Stockport

PACT is ‘Parents and Carers Together Stockport’. We are Stockport’s official parent / carer forum, recognised and funded by DfE. We are a voluntary body, run entirely by volunteers, with over 400+ members. We’ve been running since 2008 to provide free membership to parents and carers who live in Stockport or whose young people (0-25) receive services in Stockport.

We provide individual information, advice and support to parents and carers of 0-25s in Stockport with additional needs. This includes:

  • signposting to services, both face-to-face and online
  • running events and workshops providing information and advice
  • conducting surveys and consultations on SEND issues
  • representing the views of 0-25 year old SEND families with Stockport officials (at individual and strategic levels)
  • working with officials to champion participation, improve services and bring about cultural change

Whilst we are not a careers company or a training provider, we have many parents with lived experience of supporting their young people into adulthood. We have “walked the walk” and can support you on your teenager’s journey towards adulthood.

We offer information and advice on any aspect of moving into adulthood, including support in education, careers and preparing for adult life.

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