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Becoming an adult

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Becoming an Adult : Preparation for adulthood

Becoming an adult is a stage every child reaches, moving through your SEND journey you will start to hear professionals refer to this as 'preparation for adulthood'. 

With support, most children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities can live a full and independent life. They can continue in education, find work and have a full and active social life.

Professionals will talk about the preparation for adult programme (PfA) which is funded by the Department for Education, and will  start to share information and resources with you to help you make decisions around: 

  • Employment (Looks at the process of getting a job and asks what your aspirations are)
  • Independent Living (Looks at decision-making skills, living alone or supported living options.)
  • Community Inclusion (Understanding what is available in the community such as youth clubs, and social groups)
  • Health (Understanding what GPs can offer, what happens with health appointments, understanding your health issues and needs)

Barnsley’s Preparation for Adulthood strategy covers: 

  • What does Preparation for Adulthood mean for us?  
  • Strategic Aims and Key Principles
  • Our priorities 

You can read the strategy in full here  

When you start to think about your child becoming an adult the first step is to start to gather information, and build your knowledge so that you are in the best position to help your child and talk to professionals. 

Key sources of information  are : 

  • The Preparation for Adulthood website, where you can find resources and information to help you make informed decisions about your future.
  • Transition Information Network has some useful resources for parents and disabled young people. They cover things such as activities, housing, employment, money, and participation.

Preparation for adulthood starts in Early Years but more detailed conversations and outcomes start in Year 9 ( age 13-14 years ) . Read more about the steps towards outcomes across the age ranges here



Moving into adult health and social care services

If you have continuing health and social care needs, professionals work with you to plan how they can support you in the future.



You will need an adult social care assessment. This will tell you if you qualify for help with care services when you become an adult.

Read more about an adult social care assessment and what's involved here


Download the 'children's transition to adult care services' leaflet here

Jargon Buster : What does that mean?
Community Inclusion  living as part of the community, being involved with things
StrategyA plan for, a way of doing something
Strategic aimPurpose, 'what the strategy hopes to achieve.'
Key principlesKey points 
Transition Moving from one thing to another, e.g from children to adult services