Preparing for adulthood (PfA) - professional guidance for SEND

Information, advice and guidance for SEND professionals around furthering education, employment, independent living, community participation and being healthy.

Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) is about enabling and empowering, children, young people and adults with SEND 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 (PfA) principles:

  • opportunities for further education and employment
  • independent living including access to supported living.
  • having friends, relationships and being part of the community.
  • being healthy

The transition years from childhood to adulthood raises new challenges and opportunities for most individuals however, for young people with SEND, 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 9, if your child has an education, 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 7, 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 SEND to become successful young adults who are forming their grown-up lives and the way they want to live. Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) is inclusive and empowers people to achieve as well as promoting community participation, independence and being as healthy as possible.

Preparing for Adulthood outcomes

The preparing for adulthood outcomes guide was developed using the preparing for adulthood outcomes framework set by the Department for Education and the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi). The guide aims to help all children and young people for adult life. The outcomes published in the guide cover four main themes:

  1. Further education and employment
  2. Friends, relationships and community
  3. Independent living
  4. Health

The guide can be used to set personalised Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) outcomes for children and young people as part of their annual review and record their hopes and aspirations as they move through school or college. It is open for everyone to use, and the outcomes aren’t just limited to the school curriculum - many of the outcomes can be accomplished at home too.

For more information regarding Preparation for Adulthood, please visit these guides in our SEND parents and carer's section: