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Becoming an adult: Social Care

Preparing for adulthood: Social Care

We'll make sure all young people and their parents or carers get the information, advice and support they need when moving from children's social care services to adult social care services.

The following guidance is related to the social care needs of a young person as they reach 18 years.

Transition social workers work for Adult Social Care as part of the assessment team and provide a link between children’s and adult’s social care services.

They will:

  • Attend annual reviews from Year 9 for those young people who currently use and are likely to continue to use social care services, or who are likely to require social care services when they reach adulthood
  • Complete an assessment for a young person on request to establish their eligibility for adult services

For those young people who will require services at the age of 18, the transition social worker will:

  • Complete an assessment
  • Draw up a support plan and agree funding in plenty of time for the Education, Health and Care Plan annual review before their 18th birthday. Any changes in provision will likewise be agreed prior to future Education, Health and Care Plan reviews

Some young people with additional needs will continue to require services and support as adults to help meet their health and disability needs and to enable them to have access to the same opportunities as their peers. Transition workers will help the young person with this process. Other professional can be involved in this process, for examples - occupational therapists, community nurses, psychologists and physiotherapists.

When does this process start?

A young person with a Statement of Special Educational Need / Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will begin to discuss the transition process at their annual review, from the time they are 14 years of age. Young people who do not have a Statement/EHCP will still receive support from their school and the Adviza Service during this time.

At the age of 16 years, young people who are receiving services from the integrated LDD team (Learning Difficulties and Disabilities) may be referred to Adult Social Care Services if it is likely that they will have future needs. An assessment will be carried out by the transition social workers, to identify their eligible needs and the support they and /or their carer’s will require in the future.

The eligibility criteria for adult social care services are not the same as the criteria for children’s services. If a young person is not eligible for adult social care services, they will be signposted to other sources of support and advice.

Adult Social Care Services include:

If it appears that the young person will continue to need services as an adult, a transition social worker will attend their Year 9 review. The social care assessment completed by Children’s Services will be made available to the transition worker, and an initial decision about the young person's eligibility for adult services will be made.

The transition worker will become involved again during the school year when the young person turns 17 (usually Year 12). They will attend the annual review and arrange to complete an assessment of the young person's needs as an adult. This assessment will be completed in advance of their next review and will be available to inform the discussion and planning at their Year 13 review. Dependent upon where the young person's date of birth falls within the school year, the transition social worker may attend the young person's Year 11 review to ensure that they have the time they need to get everything in place for the young person. It is important that the transition social worker are able to have funding agreed and in place for when the young person turns 18, and that this can be included on the EHCP drawn up from their annual review when they are 17.

If adult social care services are to be provided from 18, the transition social worker will present the young person's case to their forum for agreement of funding. This process will happen in time to ensure that your finalised EHC Plan can be issued by the 31 March of the school year.

Can a young person stay with children's social services?

The Children and Families Act (2014) allows a greater deal of flexibility about when services change from children’s to adult’s services than previous legislation.

Funding responsibility for social care services will transfer from children’s social care to adult social care on a young person’s 18th birthday. However we do have flexibility to transfer services on a different date if it’s more helpful to the young person and their family. This will, however, be dependent upon the service being able to offer what is required. Some services may be unable to offer this flexibility at this present time.

A young person will be allocated a transition social worker before they are 18. They will complete the adult assessment process. If the young person is eligible for the adult social care services, they will present the case to their forum to agree the personal budget and then draw up a support plan with the young person. Once the plan is up and running, they will review to ensure that it is meeting the needs identified in the young person's assessment and make any adjustments needed.

If the plan is working and meeting the young person's needs, then it is likely that they will no longer need to see them regularly, and their case may be held by the team for review only. This will mean that the young person does not have a named social worker, but they will still be able to contact the team if there are any problems or queries, and their case will still be reviewed regularly to ensure that the services are still meeting their needs.

A transition assessment can be carried out even if no services were received as a child. A request can be made to the  Adult Social Care Team

Any equipment provided to a young person will stay with them until it is no longer needed / suitable.

If a young person no longer need their equipment, they can either contact the Adult Social Care Team or NRS Healthcare on 0844 893 6960 to arrange for the equipment to be returned.

If equipment is broken and needs to be replaced, contact the Adult Social Care Team.

If the young person's needs have changed and the equipment is no longer meeting their needs, contact the Adult Social Care Team who will arrange for a new assessment of their needs to be completed.

A young person does not have to return to the Wokingham Borough after their education. However, when deciding where to live, various factors may need to be considered, such as in which authority the young person is deemed to be “ordinarily resident”, or their capacity to make this decision (see information regarding the Mental Capacity Act). Before making a decision the young person should seek advice and information from the professionals supporting them.

To find out more about adult social care services visit the care and support for adults section.

Read the NHS England Accessible Information Standard which informs organisations how they should make sure that disabled patients receive information in formats that they can understand and receive appropriate support to help them to communicate.

The Council for Disabled Children has produced a guide to your legal rights which includes a chapter on transition to adulthood

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