Children legally become adults at 18, regardless of their needs. It's a time of change and we aim to help everyone plan for, support and recognise a young person's adult status.
For children and young people with a disability, when we talk about Preparing for Adulthood, it means the ‘Transition’ from being a teenager to being an adult, at which point the young person may also move on from using children’s services to adult services.
We start working with young people when they are in year 9 to plan their move towards adulthood. Families or carers are fully involved in this planning.
This is a time when young people gain new rights and responsibilities. Preparing for Adulthood can be an exciting time for young people, full of new opportunities, but it can also be a time of uncertainty so planning is important.
Here are a few things to consider when preparing for adulthood.
Education - what next? Does the young person wish to continue at school or college or start training for work?
Work - what sort of jobs and career are of interest? What sort of support will be needed to start work? Think about paid work, apprenticeships and traineeships.
Money - look into benefits, budgeting, paying bills and saving. Find out about paying for adult social care and funding to meet people’s needs.
Getting around - ask us about travel training, find out about free bus travel with a disabled person's bus pass and think about how they'll pay for transport.
Housing - where to live? Will the young person live at home with family, share with friends, live in the home of a Shared Lives carer or want a place of their own? Will support or adaptations be needed?
Health - getting the right healthcare; staying healthy, encouraging healthy choices and thinking about physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Activities - find out about local activities and support run by or for us.
Relationships: friendships, social life, personal safety, sexual health and sexuality - all these are key issues for young people and you'll need to discuss them.
Please see our Moving on leaflet here - it is a guide to becoming an adult for young people with disabilities.
Please see West London Alliance's 2017 Guide to Supported Internships by clicking this link.
If the young person is eligible for support following assessment, your local transition team will help with the preparation for adulthood by exploring the young person’s needs, wishes and circumstances and will help with planning for how needs can be met.
The young person, their family and their carers are encouraged to take an active role throughout this process to ensure they are properly listened to, and are at the centre of planning and decision making.
For more information, contact Hammersmith and Fulham's Learning Disability Transition Team on 020 8383 6464 or via LDTeaminfo@lbhf.gov.uk.