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The transitions pathway

The transition from childhood to adulthood is probably the most significant change any of us have to make, because when we reach 18 years of age, we are seen by the law to be independent of parent or carer.

We know the practical reality is different for young adults with disabilities/additional needs and so the aim of the Transition process in St. Helens, is to help disabled young people make a positive move into adulthood, and get the support they need to move them towards greater independence.

Currently we have a legal responsibility to provide full time education up to the age of 16, although young people with significant additional needs are encouraged to remain in education and take advantage of the process described here. The Connexions Service works closely with schools and provides advice and guidance during this period.

Transition from Children's Services to Adult Services also takes place during this time and inevitably there are going to be differences between the services offered for children and for adults. These changes will have a bearing on issues such as finances.

The benefits and mobility allowances of young adults are recognised as belonging to them and where possible they will be encouraged to manage their own finances. This will include any costs and charges payable under the Charging Policy in Adult Services.


The process of Transition is explained in full in our 'Procedures for the Transition of Young People with a Disability From Children’s to Adult Social Care Services' document, which can be found in the Related Documents section at the foot of the page.

What is Transition?

Transition is a widely used term that can be applied to all young people as they move into adulthood.  It covers that stage in their lives when most young people develop to become more independent.  

This  will  typically  include  leaving  school,  perhaps  going  on  into  further education, or going into employment or training, and maybe leaving home.

For  some  young  people  with  special  educational  needs,  having  access  to  timely  and comprehensive information and support prior to 18 may be enough to help them reach their goals.  

For  other  young  people  more  support  may  be  needed  during  and  beyond  the transition period from a range of services to enable them to reach their potential.

The period of transition in St. Helens applies to young people aged 14 -25 years who have special  educational needs (SEN) AND those who are also identified as being disabled or with complex health needs.

This will include young people with:

  • Severe learning disabilities
  • Complex physical, sensory and/or social communication impairments
  • Complex health needs
  • Severe and enduring mental health problems

The worker from the All Age Disability Team will attend all school reviews from year 9 - 11, (ages 14 –16 years). Those young people identified for ongoing Adult Social Care, must have a current combined assessment that will be shared with the worker in ASCH, at least one month before the young person’s 16th birthday. Both workers will have knowledge of the young person, and the worker from ASCH may have already become involved.

At this point, the young person and their family/carers will be advised that ASCH now have lead case management responsibility, and will be advised of the lead worker. All statutory responsibility for the young person will remain with Children’s Social Care until that young person reaches 18 years old.

A full copy of the Transition Pathway may be found in the Related Documents section of this page.

Multi-agency Sharing of Information

For all agencies to work together effectively a Partnership agreement governs the multiagency sharing of information about individual young people, in accordance with principles of confidentiality.

Consent from young people and their parents/carers is integral to this Partnership Agreement and will be required before being discussed at the multi-agency Transitions Operational Group. The group meets 3 times per year and ensures that all young people are assigned a Lead Professional and supported through any particular difficulties in transition planning.

The group also agrees decisions regarding funding and meeting needs in adult social care and health.

Young People with Complex Needs

An early triggering system will ensure that Adult Social Care Services begin their involvement in Year 9, when a young person has a significant learning disability, brain injury or neurological condition affecting their ability to understand or communicate their health needs, and will require significant input from adult services. Health action plans will be started at this point.

New and Unexpected Entries to the System

When a young person acquires an enduring injury during the transition phase, or when families move into St Helens the responsibility for planning for the next review will be allocated as above. The Lead Professional will ensure that all other key players are contacted and brought in, if need be to accelerate the process of effective planning.

We have recently developed a DVD explaining the transition process, which is available for parents/carers and young people to loan. If you are interested in getting a copy, please contact

The Bridge Centre
01744 673900

Further Information

For more information contact the Transition Social Worker at The Bridge Centre on 01744 673900 or alternatively, you can speak with the Deputy Head Teacher at your child's school.

The following publications provide guidance on Transition: