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

Find out about how to prepare for your transitions assessment meeting in our easy read factsheet.

What transition means

When we talk about transition we mean the time when a young person, who has care and support needs, 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.

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


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 provides information, advice and guidance about preparing for adulthood and being as independent as possible.

Transitions assessment

An Adult Social Care worker, often from the Transitions Team, carries out a 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.

Transitions assessment meeting

The transition assessment meeting is all about you. 

Our Transitions Team arrange to meet with you and your family to understand your situation and to plan for the future. They give you information about what you can expect. They usually do this by doing an assessment under the Care Act 2014.

The transition worker asks you what you like to do and what you're good at. They ask you what your plans are for 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 with things like:

  • washing and dressing
  • eating and drinking
  • looking after your home

The transition worker will ask you about relationships and being part of your community which could include things like:

  • getting out and about
  • keeping in touch with friends and family
  • your hobbies and interests

The transition worker will also ask you about your health and this could include things like:

  • eating healthily
  • taking exercise
  • looking after your mental health

The transition worker will also talk to you about any worries you may have and if you have any questions. 

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:

  • usually 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. It also means doing the assessment at a time in your life when planning for adulthood can start in good time.

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. These discussions 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. 

If you have a children's social care professional

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.

If you want to refer yourself

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 you are:

  • under 16 years old, unless you can consent yourself
  • over 16 years old and do not have the capacity (you are not able to make the decision)

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

What happens after your Care Act transition assessment

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 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

A really important part of the assessment is to think about what we need to do to support your independence. We will make recommendations for how this could 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.

Adult social care

Tel: 01305 221016
Full contact details