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Moving from Children's Services to Adult Social Care

Moving from Children's Services to Adult Social Care is often called transition.

How transition planning works

From year 9 at school you should start thinking and talking to others about:

  • what jobs you might like to do when you're an adult
  • your options for education or training
  • your future goals
  • where you might want to live and how to be as independent as possible
  • things you want to do in your community, like your hobbies, interests and meeting friends
  • how you're going to be as healthy as possible

These are known as your preparing for adulthood outcomes.

What transition means

When we talk about transition we mean the time when a young person moves from childhood into adulthood.

Life for adults is different to life for children. It's important that you and your family have the right information at the right time to make sure you're prepared for adulthood.

Dorset Council Transitions Team 

To help us understand what your care and support needs might be when you reach adulthood we have a small specialist transitions team. Our Transitions Team meet with you and your family to carry out a transition assessment. This assessment shows us where you might need care and support as an adult.

We also provide information, advice and guidance about preparing for adulthood and being independent as possible. 

Transitions assessment

Our Transitions Team is a small group of social workers and social care practitioners. This team carries out the transition assessment with young people from 14 years old who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and who may need care and support as an adult from age 14 onwards to plan for adulthood.

Transitions assessment meeting

The transition assessment meeting is all about you. 

The transition worker asks you what you like to do and what you're good at. They will ask you what your plans are when you leave school, which could include things like:

  • training
  • doing voluntary work
  • getting a job

The transition worker asks you what skills you want to learn and what help you might need. They'll also talk to you about any worries you may have and if you have any questions. 

Care and support

Care and support is the term we use to describe the help some adults need to live as well as possible with illness or disability. Care and support can include things like:

  • washing
  • dressing
  • eating 
  • getting out and about
  • keeping in touch with friends and family

The Transitions Team will arrange to meet with you and your family to understand your situation and plan for the future by giving you information about what you can expect. 

All transition assessments include a written record of:

  • current needs for care and support and how these impact on wellbeing
  • whether you're likely to have eligible needs for care and support after you turn 18
  • what these needs are likely to be and which count as eligible needs 
  • what you want to achieve in day-to-day life and how care and support can help you achieve them
  • information, advice and guidance on local and community resources

Find out how to prepare for your transition assessment (easy read).

Who can be referred for a transition assessment

You may be referred for a transition assessment if you:

  • live in Dorset
  • are aged between 14 and 25 and haven't had a previous adult social care assessment
  • are likely to have care and support needs as an adult 

We should carry out a transition assessment at a time of significant benefit. 

This means thinking about the timing of the assessment and what might be going on in your day-to-day life, such as exams or medical treatment.

Care Act assessment

Our Transitions Team also carry out a Care Act assessment to understand what you want to achieve in your life. They can provide information, support and advice to help you, so you have what you need to start planning for your future. 

How to request a transition assessment

If you have an education, health and care (EHC) plan

You should have discussions about preparing for adulthood from year 9 at your EHC plan review if you have an EHC plan. This should happen at every review after this too. This is a chance for everyone involved to think about whether they should make a referral for a transition assessment for you. If they agree that it's the right time then any professional at the review meeting can request a referral for a transition assessment [link to doc]. 

Children's social care

Your children's social care professional who works with you will decide if you need a transitions referral. They will discuss this with you and make the referral directly to the Transitions Team.

Self referral 

You can make a referral for a transition assessment yourself. This is called a self-referral. Contact the Adult Social Care team to make a self-referral.

Consent and the Mental Capacity Act

If you're over 16 years old and you're able to, you should consent to a referral being made.

We must be satisfied that an assessment is in your best interests if a young person is:

  • under 16 years old
  • not competent
  • lacks capacity

Watch this video to find out more about the Mental Capacity Act:

What happens after your Care Act transition assessment

The Care Act transition assessment identifies:

  • what's important to you
  • what care or support you might need to live your daily life
  • how you might become as independent as possible

We'll send you a copy of the assessment along with a letter providing:

  • recommendations linked to preparing for adulthood; this covers the 4 areas:
    • employment
    • independent living
    • friends, relationships and community
    • good health
  • information and advice on a range of community and specialist resources that might be useful to you as you approach adulthood
  • information on technological aids that could support your independence
  • the agreed next steps

There can be several next steps after an assessment:

  • you need care and support but you have family or other arrangements in place to support you; you don't need adult services at this time. The Transitions Team will let you know how to get back in touch with us if your circumstances change
  • you need care and support and planning should start now to make sure you have a smooth transition to adult services. The transitions team will hand over to the appropriate locality team so they can allocate you a worker and you can start planning together 
  • you need care and support from Adult Services, but it's too early to start planning as things are likely to change. The Transitions Team will agree a time to review your care and support needs
  • you don't need care and support from Adult Social Care. The Transitions Team will provide information to help you be as independent as possible

Preparing for adulthood recommendations 

Part of the assessment is to consider what we need to do to support your independence. We will make recommendations for how this needs to happen. 

These are known as the preparing for adulthood recommendations. We ask you for your consent to share your recommendations with:

  • your parents 
  • your careers adviser
  • your school or college
  • the SEN team

The recommendations are used for the preparing for adulthood section of your EHC plan. They should also be part of your discussions at your EHC plan review from year 9 onwards.

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