Preparing for adulthood

Empowering young people with SEND on the journey to adulthood.

Preparing for adulthood is about enabling and empowering, children, young people and adults with special educational needs and disabilities as well as their families to prepare for a smooth transition from children’s right through to adulthood.

This seamless way of working is instrumental in underpinning the four pillars of the preparing for adulthood principles:

  1. Opportunities for further education and employment
  2. Independent living including access to supported living
  3. Having friends, relationships and being part of the community
  4. Being healthy

The transition years from childhood to adulthood raises new challenges and opportunities for most individuals. For young people with special educational needs and disabilities, the transition may take longer and will likely require additional preparation.

Parents and carers will have been thinking about the future for a long time and it’s never too early to start discussing your hopes and aspirations for your child. 

From year nine, if your child has an educational, health and care plan (EHCP), it is a requirement that this is recorded during the annual review process and outcomes are set in line with your child’s goals and aspirations for the future. Starting these discussions much sooner, for instance in year seven, is viewed as good practice and increases the likelihood for successful transitions into post-16 provision.

This is an exciting time for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities to become successful young adults who are forming their grown-up lives and the way they want to live. Preparing for adulthood is inclusive and empowers people to achieve as well as promoting community participation, independence and being as healthy as possible.

A guide for parents of young people with education, health and care plans aged 14 to 25 years in mainstream and special education who are preparing for adulthood

View our approved lists of adult social care service providers, including information on how we monitor our providers.