Transition to adult social care services

When a young person reaches 18, they start to get help from adult social care instead of children’s services. This change of services is called transition. 

Planning for transition starts in Year 9 at school, when a young person is 13 to 14 years old. The young person and their family should start to prepare for adult life and think about what help may be needed. This is called a transition review.

A transition review should look at:

  • Post-16 education
  • starting work
  • money and benefits
  • independent living
  • how health services change at 18

Transition planning should carry on until the young person is 18 years old.

Transition assessment

When they reach 18 there’ll be an assessment to check whether the young person can get help from adult social care. If they already get help from children's social care, their social worker will make sure this happens. If not, a referral may be needed.

If the assessment shows the young person qualifies for support under the Care Act 2014, a social worker will work with the young person and the people around them to decide on the level of support needed, how the support can be provided, and when responsibility for providing the care will change from children's services to adult social care.

The support could be:

  • support to access day care
  • transport to services
  • support for post-16 education
  • a personal assistant paid for with a direct payment
  • carers, to help with personal care
  • home care, like help making meals or going shopping 

Carer's support

Unpaid carers who are over 18 and looking after another person over 18 who is disabled or ill should be offered a carer’s assessment. This looks at the carers needs. It looks at the impact caring has on their life and what support or services they might need. 

Find support, information and advice at Carers Hub Lambeth.

If the assessment shows the young person doesn’t qualify for adult social care, the social worker should make sure they know what other support is available.