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Preparing for adult life (ages 14 – 25 years)


Planning for the future and gaining the skills and knowledge necessary for achieving your goals can be an exciting yet daunting prospect for many young people.

If you have additional needs and receive support from education, health and social care services it can be a time of exploring your options as well as planning and agreeing on a future direction. For many young people who require additional support this process can start from the age of 14.

We want you to be clear about your aspirations and what support is available to you to help you achieve them.

In order to help you we will:

  • Ensure that you have access to timely and practical information, advice and guidance, to support you to live as independently as possible in your local community.
  • Adapt our professional practice from traditional delivery to personalised support, working with you, your family or carers.
  • Make sure our education, health and social care services, work together to achieve planned outcomes.
  • Expect our providers to support progression and promote independence.

If you have any questions about making a referral to the Preparing for Adulthood team, the services we provide, or wider questions about Adult Social Care please call the Preparing for Adulthood team on 01392 381 291 or email them at preparingforadulthoodsecure-mailbox@devon.gov.uk for an informal chat.

What does the team do?

The main aim of our Preparing for Adulthood team is to help young people who are likely to require care and support that continues into their adult lives.

We aim to engage with young people, families, carers and supporting agencies in order to help young people capitalise on every opportunity and become as independent, self-reliant and confident as possible.

We don’t commission services or hold case responsibility for young people, this remains with childrens agencies until the age of 18.

What support can be provided?

Our SEND Strategy aims to identify young people who may need continued care and support into their adult lives and explain how we and our partners intend to meet national requirements for support. This can include the following areas:

  • Education, training and employment– including getting help from employment agencies, apprenticeships and voluntary work programmes, self-employment or further education.
  • Independent living –the ways in which you can have a choice and control over your living arrangements.
  • Participating in society – help creating supportive relationships, finding social activities and contributing to life in the local community.
  • Health and wellbeing – we want you to be as healthy as possible in adult life, so we aim to your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

How do I get support from the team?

If you are a young person between the ages of 12 and 18, a carer, parent or a professional seeking support from the Preparing for Adulthood team, then please complete the referral form below.

If you have already given consent and are known to the team, then there is no need to fill in the form again but if you aren’t sure, then please do.

Please note, you do not automatically qualify for support from the Preparing for Adulthood team.

You can complete the online referral form here.

This form includes a privacy notice, explaining the information we record and how we will use it.

Who can access adult social care services?

To find out more about the type of help that may be available use the self-help tool on our Care and Health webpage.

For more information about who is eligible for adult social care services have a look at the useful links below.

Helpful Tools

Below are some useful links and tools that the team have put together to help you learn more about how to prepare for adult life and the skills you may need.

  • The Independence Toolkit will help you think about the types of skills that you might need for adulthood. It is a useful way to track your progress in learning new skills, record achievements and recognise things that you may find more challenging.It can also help you to navigate the transitions between services. This could mean moving from school to college, moving between social care and health services or even finding you own place to live.
  • Independence Toolkit- PDFs to download and print.
  • We have produced a decision-making toolkit to help young people with the decision-making process.
  • The Developing Independence Checklist leaflet is a visual tool using small drawings and symbols to explain some of the skills that you might need to develop when preparing for adult life.
  • The Preparing for Adulthood Core Handout provides a summary of things that you need to consider as you prepare to start adult life. These will also be given to you by adulthood social workers at review meetings.
  • Preparing for Adulthood is an organisation that works to ensure that young people with SEND achieve paid employment, independent living, good health, friendships, relationships and community inclusion.
  • The Intensive Assessment and Treatment Team can provide specialist health support for people with learning disabilities and their families.
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