Swindon Transitions Programme
The Transitions Programme was set up by Swindon Borough Council in September 2016, with the clear aim to improve the experience of young people who transition to adulthood, through improved multi agency working and clearer processes to support that work.
Some young people who have physical or learning disabilities and who are supported by Children’s Social Care or Mental Health services in childhood will require continued support services into adulthood, so after they reach the age of 18. Adult Social Care and Adult Mental Health services have different eligibility criteria to Children’s Social Care and CAMHS (Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Services), and not all young people who have received a service from Children’s Services will go on to receive a service from Adult Services.
It is important for everyone working with a young person with more complex needs, and their family or carer, to make sure that that those young people who will require support into adulthood are identified early, and helped to plan their transition to adulthood, considering their ambitions, skills and support needs so that their independence can be maximised. A young person in transition should be able to look forward to being active in their community, to being employed in a sustainable role, to having a fulfilling friendship network, to living a healthy life, and to accessing universally available services to meet their support needs.
The Transitions Protocol was updated in July 2016, following extensive consultation and review, and this is the reference point for the Transitions Programme. The Transitions Protocol for young people with additional needs provides guidance for the workforce across Education, Health and Social Care as they support young people and their families to plan for the transition from childhood to adult life. It also acts as a step by step guide for young people and parents about the things that they can do for themselves during this time, and what they should expect in terms of guidance, advice and support. The information in the Protocol applies to young people with additional needs including (but not exclusive to) special education needs, health needs and/or disabilities, looked after children, children in need, young offenders and young carers. This includes young people placed out of borough. It is published on the Local Offer at http://children.mycaremysupport.co.uk/media/980126/final-preparing-for-adulthood-transitions-protocol-july-2016.pdf
Education is the common setting for all young people. This is where the conversation about transition should start. The process for preparing for adulthood will be different for every young person depending on their support needs, personal circumstances and aspirations. Therefore the Protocol should be used flexibly as a basis for developing the right approach in each case, using the elements that are relevant to the individual in question. Good person centred practice, sound professional judgement and a commitment to partnership working are crucial in making the Protocol work.
The Transitions Programme Board is co-chaired by Director of Adult Social Services and Director of Children’s Services. A Programme Plan has been developed, with detailed plans for each of the 5 workstreams.
The Transitions Programme sets out to ensure that:
- Clear communication, information and processes and good quality support provision are in place so that young people transition confidently, in a planned way. The Programme is focused on bringing the Transitions Protocol to life, to ensure that the processes and systems enable all agencies working with the young person to work together consistently, communicate effectively, and enable and empower the young person to prepare for adulthood with all the information that they need to make informed choices;
- Clear roles and responsibilities are in place for staff across the Transitions Protocol, including Health, Education, Adult Services and Children’s Social Care, Children’s and Adult Mental Health Services, so that all professionals know how and when they can best support young people and their families and carers.
- There is early engagement with the Adult Services Transitions Team (from Year 9 or age 14). A transition works well when professionals know the young person, and understand their plans and aspirations, and have time to plan their transition with them, planning in a step change, targeted way.
- Professionals focus on understanding how the young person can be as independent as possible in adulthood, and building a realistic but ambitious picture, with them on what their adult life could be like.
For further information about the Transitions Programme, contact Victoria Guillaume at firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the Date – Preparing for Adulthood Transition Information Event
When: Thursday 9th March 2017, 10am- 8pm, Drop In
Where: Sanford House
Who for: Parents and Professionals
More information to follow in early 2017.