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:

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Mental Capacity

Benefits photo montage link to disability benefits for families Benefits photo montage link to disability benefits for families Benefits photo montage link to disability benefits for families

Benefit changes

logo of the Inclusion ProjectNow 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.

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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. But check your son or daughter is on your GP’s Learning Disability Register – you can ask the receptionist at your GP Practice to check for you.  Read more about the scheme on our health and hospitals page.

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

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
  • Volunteering
  • Employment
  • Apprenticeships/Traineeships/Supported Internships/Access to Work

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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.

Template examples from the Helen Sanderson Associates website


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

Read our PfA blog for some top tips from Liz

Growing Up – useful information

Housing options for young people   supported housing logo

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.


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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