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A guide to transition in Westminster for parents and carers of young people with disabilities and special needs

Contents What Is Transition?


Transition Planning – Who’s Involved


Who Can Help You Through Transition?


Planning for Your Son or Daughter’s Transition


The Year 9 Transition Review


What Happens in a Transition Review Meeting?


Things to Think About


Differences Between Children’s and Adults’ Social Care


Services for Children with Disabilities


Services for Adults with Disabilities


Services for Young People looked after by the Council




Useful Contacts


Useful Transition Websites


This document is for parents of young people with disabilities. Its aim is to set out in detail what parents and carers should be thinking about with their children as they approach adulthood, and the different services which may be involved as young people go through the transition from childhood to adulthood.

You can download this document from


1 Getting ready – school years 8-9

What is Transition?

2 Starting the person centred plan

Transition means change. For children and young people with disabilities, when we talk about transition, we mean the change from being a teenager to becoming an adult. During this period, young people experience changes in lots of areas of their lives, from education and thinking about a job or work experience, to benefits, finances and the home environment; from health and medical services and social care provision to personal relationships. It’s a time when people gain new rights and responsibilities. Transition can be an exciting time for young people, full of new opportunities. However, it can also be a worrying time when young people move on from familiar people and places.

3 Planning ahead

4 Leaving school

It is important that you and your son or daughter plan for transition. 14 years old is the age when the transition process should begin.

5 Moving on College Training Employment Leisure

2 Moving On, Moving Forward

Transition Planning – Who’s Involved? If your son or daughter has a disability or long term health condition it is likely that one or more of the following people may be involved in their care or support: n

n n

S chool or college: Head Teacher, Class Teacher, Learning Support Assistant, Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) S pecial Educational Needs Team (SEN) S ocial Worker or case manager

n n


Y oung People’s Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) Workers Health  Professionals: School Nurse, GP, Paediatrician, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist and specialist consultants V oluntary Organisations: Parent Partnership, Family Support Worker

As well as these professionals, there are other important people in young people’s lives, who could be involved in helping them through transition. These could include: Family members, friends, religious or faith leaders or mentors, people you feel know your child really well, befrienders or other advocates.

Depending on your child’s plans, it is essential that you gather information on the range of services available as this will help you make an informed decision.


Who Can Help You Through Transition?

Parent / Carer


Young People’s Specialist Worker


Community Organisations


Young Person

Children’s Services

A number of teams from the council are involved in the transition process. Together, their job is to: n s upport family carers n h elp you plan for when your child leaves school

Adult’s Services

n n n n

h elp you get the right information at the right time m  ake sure that people listen to you c omplete carers assessments o rganise social activities and opportunities for you to meet other family carers.

4 Moving On, Moving Forward

Planning for Your Son or Daughter’s Transition In the time leading up to your child’s transition from childhood to adulthood, there are a number of ways in which you can help prepare them, and plan for the future. n

pend time with your son or daughter, S finding out – however possible – what their hopes and wishes for the future might be.


M  ake sure that hopes and expectations about your son or daughter’s future have been discussed at home and can be shared with others involved in the transition process.


hink about ways in which your son or T daughter can be offered new experiences and skills which will help them as they move towards their new adult role and lifestyle.


T hink about your son or daughter’s independence. What can they do for themselves? What help do they need to learn to be more independent?

The Year 9 Transition Review Your child’s annual review in Year 9 is called a transition review, and it begins to prepare you and your child for the time when they will leave school.

This is an important review, and should involve any organisations which might play a major role in your child’s life after they have left school, as well as someone from the council. This can include: n n n

teachers y oung people LDD workers social workers/case workers

At the review you will work with all of these people, to put together a plan for the future, built around what is important to your child now, and their hopes and dreams for the future. This plan is sometimes called a transition plan or a Person Centred Plan. The plan sets out what needs to be done to help the young person make a successful transition to adulthood, and should include any arrangements for special education provision, employment, housing and leisure. We all think about and plan our lives in different ways. Some people have very clear ideas about what they want and how to achieve it; others take opportunities as they arise. Some people dream and then see how they can match their dreams to reality. Person centred planning is not just about services, or disability, it is something that everyone can use to plan their lives and this can be changed at any time. Person Centred Plans help to show what stage each individual is at, when, and this can help make sure that everything possible is done to help that young person’s wishes come true.


What Happens in a Transition Review Meeting? Below is an example of what happens in transition review meetings at QEII School. This is a best practice example and all schools should aim towards this. Before the review meeting The school sets a date for the meeting and invites the circle of support (family, advocates, social care, health and education professionals). The class teacher compiles an annual report on progress in the different aspects of the curriculum. This is sent out at least two weeks before the meeting along with reports from therapists. Families are invited to help to update their son or daughter’s person centred plan (PCP) ready to share with the circle of support at the meeting. The class will have been gathering evidence for this all year under the headings: ‘what we like and admire about...’, ‘what’s important to...’, ‘what’s important for...’, ‘what works’ and ‘what doesn’t work’. During the year this will have helped to personalise learning in school. It also helps the range of professionals involved in planning your child’s life outside and beyond school to properly understand their needs and aspirations, which they may not be able to tell people about themselves.

At the meeting The young person is supported to attend their review whenever possible so that they can meet the people making important decisions on their behalf and present their PCP. They should stay for as much of the meeting as they want or are able to, so some may joint-chair the meeting having rehearsed, others may find the meeting a stressful variation from their routine and wish to return to their base after the PCP has been shared. The circle of support update each other on their work and recommendations for the young person. The meeting is cheduled to last up to an hour and, so that the best use is made of everyone’s time, a 5 minute cap is put on any one subject of conversation. Where an issue needs longer than this those concerned are encouraged to arrange a separate meeting. This might be appropriate to discuss college options, a specific therapeutic strategy or behavioural approach.



• My P erson C entred • My H Plan ealth A c ti on Plan • The r isk ass essme • My P nt for s ositive upporti H ng me a n d ling Pla • The r n eport fr o m my phy • The r siother eport fr apist o m m y occu • The r pationa eport fr l therap om my • The r speech ist eport fr a n d la o m n g m u age the y class • My p rogress rapist teache r toward • My p s last yea arents r’s goa views o ls • Input n how from so I’m doin c g ia and my l care / • New LDD w transitio goals b orkers n plan ased o n prorit and ad ies ind vice fro icated m the c by the ircle of statem suppor ent of S t EN

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Things to Think About Transition is a time of significant change in a young person’s life. How independent young people are at this stage varies, depending on their special need or disability. You will have the best idea about how independent your own son or daughter is, and it’s important to start thinking at an early age about how you can encourage your child’s independence, whilst making sure that they stay healthy and safe.

On this page are some common questions or concerns of parents and carers with children coming up to transition. It is important that you start thinking about these aspects of your son or daughter’s life. If you find it helpful, take down some notes and share them with people who you think can help in your son or daughter’s transition process.

What do you want for your son or daughter? Do you feel that family wishes are being seen as important?

What worries your child about the future?

Who is the best person to support you? You can invite someone to go along with you to the annual review meeting

Does your child want to go on to college, or carry on at school?

What are your child’s hopes and fears for the future? What sorts of support might your child need as they enter adulthood?

Which professionals will be helping your son or daughter through transition?

Did you know you can have written reports from those who cannot attend the review meeting?

What are the main choices for your child after they leave school or college?

How could your child’s talents help them in the workplace?

What support will you need to help your child over the coming years?

What could you do to help prepare your child for getting a job?

Can you find out about what the best choice of school or college might be?

Have you made sure that your son or daughter is fully involved?


We’ve included a list below of some of the practical things which your child may need to learn, as they progress from childhood to adulthood. This will help you to understand what you can do to help prepare your child for the next stage in their life, and also to answer some of the questions on this page about support that they might need in the future, and about what skills they have which could help them in the workplace later on.

What skills does my son/ daughter have? Cooking

Cleaning at home

Washing clothes

Going to the toilet

Washing him/herself

Dressing/choosing what clothes to wear Understanding and managing money Understanding and managing time such as keeping appointments Using public transport (buses/trains) Crossing the street, road safety Using the telephone

Keeping him/herself healthy e.g knowing when to take medication Keeping safe (does s/he have a sense of danger?)

What can (s)he do without support?

What can’t (s)he do without support/help from someone else?

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Differences between Children’s and Adults’ Social Care When a young person turns 18 there is a change in Government legislation. At 18 the young person becomes an adult and in the eyes of the law they are seen as an individual in their own right. This has an effect on the services the young person will receive, and how these are delivered. At this stage, it is your child’s needs which are assessed, rather than the needs of the whole family. Once your child is 18, services they receive will be arranged by the council’s Adults’ Services department. This assessment is called a Community Care Assessment and there are eligibility criteria, outlined in the next column. The Adults’ Services department arranges services for those who are eligible under the Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) criteria and aged 18 or over, and has difficulty due to old age, long-term illness or disability.

Eligibility Decisions about who should receive social care services are based on an assessment of the risks to both immediate and long term independence. People’s needs are always assessed before arranging and agreeing to funded services. The council wants to make sure that this is done in a fair way. Eligibility criteria are the conditions you have to meet to get help from the council. FACS was developed by the government to help decide who should receive adult community care services from social services departments. All councils have to use the same FACS criteria. This is to make sure that money is spent fairly. The FACS eligibility criteria are divided into four categories: critical, substantial, moderate or low. These categories describe the amount of help you need and how this affects your independence. If your child is assessed and not eligible for council services, the assessor will suggest some other services that might be able to help you. These could include organisations like the Citizens Advice Bureau, and also council services like education or housing.

Westminster City Council provides help and support to people who are assessed as having ‘critical’ needs (people who need a great deal of help) or ‘substantial’ needs (people who need quite a lot of help).


Carer’s Assessments If you provide regular and substantial care to someone who is 18 or over, then you might be entitled to a carer’s assessment. This is not a test of your ability to care, it’s an opportunity to look at your own needs as a carer and how you can be supported in your caring role. Adults Services will assess your needs as a carer of an adult as part of the transition planning process (usually at 17+). The aim is to look at the care you are providing now and the type of help you may need to enable you continue in your role as a carer when your son or daughter reaches 18.

Personal Budgets A personal budget is a sum of money given to people who are assessed as being eligible for social care support. Westminster’s Adults Services will offer a personal budget to everyone eligible for non-residential social care services. At the moment local authorities are not able to offer a personal budget to anyone living in registered residential care. Personal budgets can be paid in two ways: 1 | As a Direct Payment. This means that you / your child would receive the money directly, and would then manage the budget for services as you see fit. 2 | Managed by the council, on your child’s behalf. Personal budgets provide more choice and control over the support that your child receives. With a personal budget, your child can choose to: n c hange the services they already receive n c hange who provides the support n c hoose how and when the support is provided. You can find more information on personal budgets at

Charging Policy Once your son or daughter is classified as an adult, they may be charged for the services they receive from the council. Ability to pay: all adults are asked to contribute towards the cost of their social care based on their ability to pay. Reasonableness: no‐one is asked to pay more than they can afford or more than is reasonable. Depending on their ability to pay, many people will not have to pay anything.

10 Moving On, Moving Forward

Services for Children with Disabilities Children with Disabilities Team (CWD Team) 020 7266 7112 The Children with Disabilities Team is a multi-disciplinary team which includes: n S ocial Workers n T ransition Social Worker n O  ccupational Therapists n W  elfare Benefits Worker n H ealth Development Worker n Y oung People Specialist Worker

The role of the team, in transition, is to: n i dentify all those young people it works with who are starting the transition process n

m  eet regularly with Adults Services, Health, Education and Youth colleagues to ensure the needs of the young people coming through the service are highlighted


start to work with the young person, their family, school and circle of support to support planning for their future


a ttend the Year 9 Transition reviews to offer support and advice if the young person is already known to the team and if it is requested for a social worker to attend. Please note: there may be other people you or your son or daughter may want to invite, so you should ask the head teacher to invite them


support families in understanding the roles of the new professionals starting to become involved in their lives and help guide them through the transition process.


Services for Adults with Disabilities Westminster Learning Disability Partnership (WLDP) 020 7641 7411 Westminster Learning Disability Partnership is a joint team of health and social care staff, providing services for adults with learning disabilities and their family carers. The team works to identify where support is needed and how this can be provided alongside each individual’s Person Centred Plan (PCP). WLDP wants people with a learning disability to have the same choice and control in their lives as everyone else in Westminster. If eligible for community based services, they will help make arrangements for support services, using a personal budget.

Physical Disability Service 020 7641 1175 The first point of contact for the Physical Disability Service is the Access Team. The Access Team offers you and your child information and advice on how to get help to keep independent, safe and well. If your child needs help to recover from an illness,

or recuperate after a fall, the service may also refer you to the Reablement Service, which helps people rehabilitate by setting and achieving goals for independence during an intensive six week programme. After that time, if help is still needed, the Physical Disability Care Management Team will assess your needs under Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) criteria. If eligible, they will help make arrangements for support services, using a personal budget.

Adult Mental Health Services Adult Mental Health services are provided by the Central & North West London Mental Health Trust. The service includes community services, inpatient services and specialist teams. The community services based in two hubs covering north and south of the borough include: n

A ssessment & Brief Treatment Team, working with people on a short-term basis and working closely with your GP and local medical services.


R ecovery Teams, working with people with serious and enduring mental health illnesses over a longer period.

There are also several specialist services including the Early Intervention in Psychosis service which takes cases involving people between the ages of 14 – 35 experiencing their first episode of psychotic illness.

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Services for Young People looked after by the council 020 7641 4142 | 4143 Support is available to young people leaving care via the Westminster Looked After Children and Leaving Care Service. We help and advise young people aged 15 to 18-years-old who are looked after by Westminster City Council, and

18 to 21-year-olds who have left the council. If you are aged under 25 and have been looked after by Westminster you may be entitled to support from the Leaving Care Service. The team work under statutory guidance set out by the Leaving Care Act 2000. The Leaving Care Service works with other teams, such as the Children with Disabilities Team and WLDP to ensure that they are kept informed about the planned groups/activities and participation programme for looked after young people and care leavers, this means that disabled care leavers are kept informed of the opportunities open to them.


Glossary Transition Plan

Care Programme Approach

The aim of the transition plan is to set out what the young person wants from their future once they become an adult (18yrs+). The plan should identify who will support the young person to achieve this.

The Care Programme Approach (CPA) is a way of identifying the care needs of people with a mental illness. It provides an organised way of assessing all a persons’ needs if they have a mental illness, and developing a single care plan which will ensure those needs are met.

A transition plan can be developed in a variety of formats using the written word, images, video etc. The plan should involve family and other appropriate key people in the person’s life. Person Centred Plan A person centred plan is an ongoing personal plan for an individual’s life and wellbeing. A person centred plan can be developed in a variety of formats using the written word, images, video etc. The plan should involve family and other appropriate key people in the person’s life. N.B. A person centred plan may cover transition as well as continuing on into adulthood.

Health Action Plan A Health Action Plan is about you making choices about your health. A Health Action Plan tells you: what to do to stay healthy, what to do to make your health better, who will help you to stay healthy.

Circle of Support A circle of support is a group of people who meet together to give support to a person. The people in the circle should know about the person’s needs. Fair Access to Care (FACS) Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) is a system to help to decide how much support people with social care needs can expect, to help them cope and keep them fit and well. It applies to all the local authorities in England. Its aim is to help social care workers make fair and consistent decisions about the level of support needed, and whether the council should pay for this. You can download more information about FACS from: guides/guide33/files/facs-leaflet.pdf Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) and Support Plan The Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) is used to identify and evaluate your needs. This helps us to plan an allocation of help and support which will meet their needs. It forms part of the community care assessment.

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Useful Contacts Children with Disabilities Social Work Team Woodfield Road Medical Centre, Woodfield Road, London, W9 3XZ T: 020 7266 7112

Carers Network Westminster Office 8, Beethoven Centre, Third Avenue, London, W10 4JL T: 020 8960 3033

Westminster Community Mental Health Assessment & Brief Treatment Team (North) 7a Woodfield Road, London W9 2NW T: 020 7266 9500

Westminster Carers Service Sixth Floor, 25-27 Oxford Street, London, W1D 2DW T: 020 7434 0670

Westminster Community Mental Health Assessment & Brief Treatment Team (South) 3rd Floor, Soho Centre for Health & Care 1 Frith Street, London W1S 3HZ T: 020 7534 6685

LDN Living Transition Services Westminster Society for People with Learning Disabilities 16a Croxley Road, London, W9 3HL T: 020 8968 2684

The Youth Hub @ Stowe 258 Harrow Road, London, W2 5ES T: 020 7641 7747

Family Services Team Westminster Society for People with Learning Disabilities Rainbow Family Centre 11 Bravington Road, London, W9 3AB T: 020 8968 2690

Westminster Family Information Service 215 Lisson Grove, London, NW8 8LW T: 020 7641 7929 Parent Partnership Service 215 Lisson Grove, London, NW8 8LW T: 020 7641 7929 Westminster Parent Participation Group – Make it Happen City Living, Harrow Road, London, W10 4LD W: E: T: 07411 235 968 Westminster Learning Disability Partnership 215 Lisson Grove, London, NW8 8LW T: 020 7641 7411

Westminster Special Schools College Park T: 020 7641 4460 QEII Jubilee School T: 020 7641 5825 Caxton Youth Organisation Tintern House, Abbots Manor Estate London, SW1V 4JF T: 020 7834 1883


Useful Transition Websites w A website by the Transition Information Network. This is a good general website for young people, parents and carers as well as professionals giving information and resource advice about transition. There are a variety of fact sheets around disability issues on this website including information on transitions. Contact a Family have a booklet entitled “Preparing for adult life and Transition� this can be downloaded from the website or a copy obtained by telephoning 0808 808 3555. This website contains details of specialist independent colleges that provide training and education to meet the needs of students with learning and/or physical disabilities.

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Notes You may find it useful to make some notes about things that you need or want to do to help prepare your son or daughter for transition.

Thanks to the following teams and people who have helped produce and commented on this document: Transition Information Group n Transition Steering Group n n Westminster Parents and Carers n n Westminster Special Schools Westminster Parent Partnership Service n n n W  estminster Physical Disabilities Team n n

Westminster Children with Disabilities Team Westminster Learning Disability Partnership Commissioners  working in children and adults services Health partners

If you would like an interpreter to help you understand the issues around transition for you and your child, please contact

Cover, pages 12 and 17: Thank you to YP of QEII school for image use.

Profile for Westminster City Council

Moving on, moving forwards  

A guide to services for young people with disabilities

Moving on, moving forwards  

A guide to services for young people with disabilities

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