The transition from children’s services to adult services is often very challenging for young people with a learning disability and their families: it combines a change of services and professionals at the very time when they are also negotiating wider changes to their life, for example in their educational circumstances.
The Transition Team work across both North East and Mid West Essex. They are able to support people with learning disabilities aged from 17.5 years and their families / carers with any transition related needs. Many aspects of life can affect a person's health, including education, housing and social or community networks. Whilst the Transition Team are not directly responsible for addressing these problems, they will act as a coordinator and consider how these affect the person in their care planning. It has been recognised for many years that this period of change is not always well coordinated by services, and that planning is often poor, or does not start soon enough. The Transition Team are available to help this time of change run more smoothly.
Transition includes a number of things including leaving school, transferring from children and family services to adult social care services, and/or transferring from paediatric services to adult health services.
In terms of support, the Transition Team:
- Offer planned support. This includes being a consistent point of contact for the young person and their family.
- Support transition – We try to be proactive and seek to identify young people who may need support as they move into adult services. We do this by ensuring other professionals and agencies are aware of our role and what we do.
- Provide health support – We gather information and complete a comprehensive health needs assessment. This is used to identify a young person’s health needs and allows us to start to get to know the young person. This information is then available to the health professionals in the Learning Disability Community Teams should support or intervention be required post 18 for health needs.
- Facilitate – We spend time developing contacts and networks with individuals and services that could support young people through transitions. We try and ensure that young people and their families have the right people involved to support transition and their wider health needs as they move into adult services.