Moving to Adult Services

Young people who have been accessing support from Southwark's Children's Services may at some point need to transfer to Adult Services, this usually happens around the time of their 18th or 25th birthday.

Under no circumstances should young people find themselves suddenly without support or care as they make the transitions to adult services. Transitions to adult services for those with EHC plans should begin at an appropriate annual review and in many cases will take place over several months or years.

Under the Care Act 2014 local authorities must continue to provide a young person with children’s services after they have reached 18 years old, until they have decided whether it is appropriate to transfer the young person to adult services. This is to ensure that there is no gap in the care and support that the young person is receiving. In deciding whether it is appropriate to transfer the young person to adult services, following the transition assessment, the local authority will decide that the young person:

  • Does not have needs for adult care and support, or
  • Does have such needs and begins to meet some or all of them, or
  • Does have such needs but decides it is not going to meet them (either because they or not eligible needs or because they are already being met).

The local authority can also decide to continue to provide care and support from children’s services after the young person has turned 18. This can continue until the EHC is no longer in place or a decision is made that children’s services are no longer suitable. The local authority must then continue children’s services until they completed the transition steps explained above.

The Transitions Team are also here to help young people aged 14 to 25 years old with disabilities to increase their independence and help them plan for the future.

Transition to Adult Social Care

Young people with SEN turning 18 or their carers may become eligible for adult care services regardless of whether they have an EHC plan or already have been receiving care from Children Social Care. The local authority must carry out an adult care transition assessment where:

  • There is significant benefit to a young person or their carer in doing so
  • The young person is likely to have needs for care or support after turning 18

Transition assessments must take place at the right time for the individual:

  • There is no set age for when young people reach this point, therefore the transition assessment should take place when it is of ‘significant benefit’ to them
  • This is regardless of whether the young person or carer is currently receiving any services
  • The local authority will take into account each individual’s circumstances when deciding whether to assess them

In deciding whether a young person or carer is eligible for adult care services, local authorities will look at if the young person is unable to achieve one or more of the following:

  • Basic care activities; these are activities that the person carries out as part of normal daily life, including eating and drinking, maintaining personal hygiene and getting around the home.
  • Maintain their family or other significant personal relationships, which if not maintained would have a significant impact on the young person’s wellbeing.
  • Engage in work, training, education or volunteering;
  • Make use of necessary facilities or services in the local community; or to engage in recreational activities.
  • To carry out any caring responsibilities the carer has for a child.

When considering if a young person is ‘unable’ to achieve these outcomes, local authorities will look at circumstances where the young person:

  • Is unable to achieve the outcomes without assistance
  • Is able to achieve the outcome without assistance but doing so causes the young person significant pain, distress or anxiety.
  • Is able to achieve the outcomes without assistance, but doing so endangers or is likely to endanger the health or safety of the young person, or others.

For more information on adult services please see Care