When a young person is in Year 9 (13 or 14 years old) the council, school and family need to begin to support their move from childhood to adulthood.  We use the term “Preparing for Adulthood” to describe this planning.  It takes place when a young person moves from Children’s Services to Adult Services or when a young person starts to think about what they want to do as an adult.

Some things young people with special education needs or a disabilities (SEND) want to think about and make plans for are:

  • Employment – this includes exploring different education and employment options, such as support for becoming self-employed, apprenticeships, internships and college courses.
  • Independent living - control over life and choices, support, and accommodation and living arrangements, including supported living, educational and residential settings.
  • Participating in society - having friends, supportive relationships and opportunities for participating in and contributing to the local community.
  • Being healthy - Being as healthy as possible in adult life. 


Schools, colleges and services of health, education and care work together to support the transition of children and young people between the ages of 14 and 25 who have disabilities and/or complex needs, including:

  • Those young people who have an Education, Health & Care (EHC) Plan
  • Those eligible for Children’s social care services
  • Those who are likely to meet the eligibility criteria for Adult social care services (in line with the Care Act 2014);
  • Those with Continuing Healthcare needs;
  • Those who would benefit from support in planning for adult life but do not have an EHC Plan (for example those leaving care or with high-functioning autism or social/emotional/mental health difficulties/ill health);
  • Carers and parents of young people preparing for adulthood and young carers who are themselves preparing for adulthood. 

Click on the links below to find out more about what to expect in: