Transition refers to the move from children’s services to adult services; this can involve leaving school, transferring from children and family services to adult social care services and transferring from paediatric services to adult health services.
For many young people who have learning disabilities and their Carers, this transition into adult life can be both an exciting and a daunting time. This step can present fresh challenges in terms of moving on to further education and employment. Some may need support to get ready for living in their own home or forming new friendships and social life. The support that people need changes as they get older – this is why it is paramount that young adults with a learning disability and their Carers have the right kind of information and advice available to help plan and explore options. Good quality support can help reduce the stress and anxiety of the transitional stage as new life opportunities unfold.
At Carers Link we appreciate that this is also a challenging time for you. As a parent or Carer you will no doubt worry about the impact the transition will have on your own life as schools provide a settled and structured pattern for your week and the opportunity for you to work, study or just have some time much needed time to yourself.
It is important that this period of change is well co-coordinated by services and that planning should therefore start at an early stage. Carers Link can offer guidance and advocacy to help ensure that the transition process begins in plenty of time in order to achieve the best future for yourself and the person you care for.
Education authorities have a legal duty to begin the transition process at least 12 months before your child is due to leave school. However, if your child has complex needs or will require significant levels of support to make the transition from school, it is recommended that the transition planning process should begin even earlier, when your child is about 14 years of age.
Enable Scotland have put together comprehensive information on this transition process, including guidance notes and a toolkit to help make things a little easier.