Preparing for Adulthood
When your child is young, you make most of the decisions for them. But as your child gets older, they begin to make decisions for themselves. This can be a difficult time, especially for parents of disabled children.
For more and more youngsters, planning for adulthood can start at primary school age. The journey to adulthood will also span child and adult services in education, health and care as well as a changing benefits system.
Preparing for adulthood in Cambridgeshire:
- Read about Cambridgeshire Preparation for Adulthood (PfA) services on Cambridgeshire County Council’s webpages
- There is a useful information section for parents and carers
- Read about what should happen and when in the council’s Preparing for Adulthood protocol
- Find out about benefits changes for young people – for example moving from DLA to PIP as they reach 16 – on our benefits page
- View our transitions page if your son or daughter is moving from children’s social care services to adult services
- An introduction to supported housing options are outlined on our housing page which also explains how to get on the local housing register
Could be useful …
- Preparing for Adulthood – website featuring resources and stories of young people moving into work
- Transition Information Network
- Education factsheets on Further/Higher Education from Disability Rights UK See them on the DR UK website
- Government guidance on 19-25 year olds’ entitlement to EHC Plans
Now running in Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire: The Inclusion Project.
It offers supported activities for on a one to one basis and in small groups of young people aged 16+ with autism/learning disabilities to help them have a healthy, social and active lifestyle. It provides transport to and from young people’s homes and is currently running in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Cambourne and St Ives.
Activities range from swimming and walking to cinema trips, independent travel skills and gym/fitness classes. It currently runs during the day, Monday to Friday but evening and weekend sessions are planned for the autumn. Sessions can be financed privately, through PIP benefit payments or social care direct payments.
Free annual health checks for young people aged 14-plus
Young people with learning disabilities can get free health checks with their GP once they reach the age of 14. Has your son or daughter had theirs?
Do take the opportunity to arrange regular checks for your young people as it may identify hidden health conditions early – and help them lead healthier, longer lives well into adulthood.
Post-16, you will probably need to have third party agreement with their GP surgery to help manage their appointments and prescriptions on their behalf.
Why is it important?
People with learning disabilities don’t have equal access to healthcare as the general population are they are often not able to communicate their health needs and are more susceptible to certain health conditions.
Cambridgeshire Learning Disability Partnership wants to boost the take-up of health checks. Only about one in three 14-18 year olds who are eligible have had their check and it wants to make sure that rises to three out of four (75%) by 2020.
Every GP in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is signed up to provide them but parent carers are being asked to make sure their son or daughter is on their local GP’s Learning Disability Register.
How to claim the free health check
- Are you registered with a local GP?
- Ask the receptionist at your GP Practice to check your young person is on the register
- If your son or daughter has not been invited by letter for a check, ask for a health check appointment. It should take between 30-60 minutes (see what’s covered below)
- You can talk to your teenager/young adult about the check and watch a YouTube video about what it will be like or go through an EasyRead guide about the appointment.
- After the appointment, your young person will receive a follow-up action plan.
- If your son or daughter lives at a different address, ask your GP to send the letter to you as well.
Even if your son or daughter goes to see your GP/paediatrician regularly, booking a health check will help identify any other health conditions as it covers 26 different areas.
Come along: Pinpoint's PfA group for parent carers
Our group for parents and carers of young people aged 14-25 is run by Jackie King. And usually meets termly at Bar Hill Tesco’s community room.
Our sessions – listed on our events pages – usually include guest speakers and have included:
- Relationships and sexual health
- Supported housing
- Transitioning from children’s services to adult services
- Online dating with My Favourite Hello
- Legal information sessions
- Independent Supporter service
- One page profiles
- Recruiting personal assistants
To find out more, please contact Jackie on 01480 499043 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Read our latest PfA posts
Help with education, training or work
If your young person attends a special school, has a Statement or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) they can get information, advice and guidance on education, training and employment and other social options from the Additional Needs Team (ANT).
They help parents and their children consider options for moving on from school or college. And should start work with young people in Year 9 at the annual educational review meeting. Support can continue through to a young person’s 25th birthday.
Your son or daughter’s school can put you in touch with the Additional Needs Team. However, you can contact the service direct and young people can also self refer.
Download the ANT booklet and find contact details for your area of Cambridgeshire.
View the Additional Needs Team’s’ Moving On booklet, which provides basic information about education, training and employment choices young people will have when they leave school.
- College Courses
- Sixth Forms
- Other learning, training and volunteering opportunities
- Individual Curriculum solutions
- Specialist Residential Colleges
- Social Firms/Enterprise Organisations
- Training programmes
- Apprenticeships/Traineeships/Supported Internships/Access to Work
One Page Profile
You might want to create a one page profile with your young person which highlights important information about him or her.
This can include:
- What’s important to me
- What people like and admire about me
- How best to support me.
Sex & Relationships
Cambridge-based charity DHIVERSE runs a six-week ABC programme for young people with learning disabilities and can arrange training for small groups, couples and one-to-one. The course covers relationships, sexual health and appropriate behaviour. Since the course began in October 2014, over 400 people have benefited. The course can be tailored for specific audiences and covers lots of different scenarios and role-play.
Find out more about the ABC course by contacting Liz MacKenzie on 07985 447846 or email email@example.com
Growing Up – useful information
- Charity Contact has updated its Growing Up, Sex and Relationships guide for parents of teenagers. It’s been written specially to support parents of disabled children.
- There’s also an information leaflet written for disabled young people in, or approaching, teenage years.
- Contact A Family’s Preparing for Adulthood factsheet
- Sense info pack, for young people aged 14 to 25 who are deafblind or have MSI, to guide them through the transition from school or college to adulthood and the world beyond.
- Relationships and sex are a rich and important part of everyone’s life – and that includes people with a learning disability. Visit Mencap’s advice and support page on the subject
Housing options for young people
Is your son or daughter is thinking about moving out and living independently? Here’s an overview of the different kinds of housing options for young people in Cambridgeshire, written by the county council. Support Living Options for Young Adults updated Nov 2017
Visit our housing page for details about:
- getting on the local council housing register – you must be 16 to apply
- housing adaptations and funding help such as the Disabled Facilities Grant.
Could be useful …
- The county council’s website – Preparing for Adulthood housing and independent living
- Mortgages for people with disabilities/support needs- My Safe home website
Police service PEAL (Police Enhanced Access Line)
Cambridgeshire Police have a service for people who have difficulties with communication and who may benefit from additional support whencontacting the police. This service provides pre-registered citizens direct access to a highly trained police call taker if they ever need to contact Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Find out more and register