Moving from children's services to adult social care

When a young person turns 18 years old, they are classed as an adult and this will mean changes to the way they are supported by different professionals and organisations. This time of change is sometimes called 'preparing for adulthood' or 'transitions'. In Herefordshire, we are committed to supporting our young adults, their families and carers in preparing for adulthood to make sure they are supported to be independent.

Young Adults Team

At Herefordshire Council, we call the team that supports the transition from children's to adults' social care the Young Adults Team which is part of adults' social care. The Young Adults Team consists of social workers, social care assessors, a senior practitioner and a team manager.

The Young Adults Team provide support for young adults (aged 18 - 25) who have an appearance of an eligible need under The Care Act 2014. We work closely with colleagues in:

  • The Special Educational Needs Team (SEN)
  • Children with Disabilities Team (CWD)
  • 16+ Team
  • SEN schools and colleges
  • Voluntary services
  • Local provision

The team receives notifications for individuals from the age of 14 for those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), or from 18 upwards for those that do not have an EHCP.

We attend school reviews from the age of 16 (usually two reviews) and commence a strengths based adult social care assessment six months before the young adult reaches their 18th birthday if appropriate. The two reviews are generally attended before their 18th birthday to gather information to help inform the adult social care assessment. The reviews are multi-disciplinary, with the young adult and their parent or carer central to the process.

We understand that preparing for adulthood can be a worrying time and that young adults will need information and support to help them. Support will be co-ordinated across a range of agencies including health and social care, education, housing, employment, information, advice and guidance, providers, benefits, and youth and day services.

We have a responsibility to young adults and their carers in adult services under our main piece of legislation called the Care Act 2014. If a young adult is leaving care then the Care Act may not be the only legislation supporting them. The young adult's social worker or personal advisor (PA) will be able to tell them more.

Preparing for adulthood process

Adult social care have social workers and social care assessors to work with young adults to prepare them for when they turn 18 years old. They will explain to the young adult what this means and how it will impact on the support they receive.

This process is all about the young adult and to support their aspirations for the future, staying in education, getting a job, being more independent – to identify the strengths they have, regardless of any diagnosis, what type of support they need or what support they have had previously. The focus is on four key 'preparing for adulthood' areas:

  • Employment
  • Independent living
  • Community inclusion
  • Health

One of our adult social care practitioners will attend the young adult's Year 11 school review to introduce themselves to the young adult and the people important to them. They will ask the young adult about all of the things that are working well for them, what their interests are, and what their aims are for the future.

We know the earlier we start talking to young adults and the people important to them, the better we can start to plan for their future. All the information we record will be shared with the young adult.

What happens next?

If there is an appearance of an eligible need under the Care Act, then the young adult will be entitled to a Care Act assessment (known as a strengths based assessment). This will be the young adult's document and should reflect their strengths, wishes, and desired outcomes.

An allocated worker from adult social care will complete a strengths based assessment with the young adult to identify what their aims are for the future, what they would like to achieve and who can help with this. This will be the start of the young adult's preparation for adulthood.

What support will I receive?

As part of the assessment, we will identify whether the young adult meets the Care Act eligibility criteria for care and support.

As a result of the assessment the young adult may be offered information, advice or be signposted to another agency that we think will be able to meet their needs, rather than providing a formal service from adult social care.

If we identify that a young adult needs more formal support with being independent and/or having their care and support needs met, we will arrange support to ensure that these needs can be met. This can be from existing services in the community that can help them be or become more independent.

If a young adult needs paid care and support we will work alongside them to create a support plan that will be designed to help them to meet any assessed social care needs. The young adult works with their allocated worker to create a plan to meet their needs. The plan, like the Care Act assessment, will be all about the young adult and how we will support them to be as independent as possible. Support provided could be via a community service, a commissioned service or a personal budget/direct payment.

Whichever way a young adult chooses to have their care provided, we will review the care in place every year or more often if necessary - the allocated worker can explain this further.

If a young adult's circumstances change or they want to review their care, a review can be requested at any time.

Once a young adult turns 18 years old, if they decide to stay in education we will support their Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP). The young adult may already have an EHCP before they turn 18, but the support they'll receive will change as they may be assessed under the Care Act.

Will I have to pay?

The assessment and any information and advice provided by the council may be free. The services the young adult receives as a result of the assessment may not be free. Depending on individual financial circumstances, a young adult may have to contribute to the cost of any support provided. Everyone who receives a service will have a financial assessment to determine whether they will need to contribute.