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Preparing for Adulthood - Independent Living (Local Offer)

Young man in wheelchair at sink

Preparing for adulthood

For young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), planning for adulthood begins in Year 9 (the school year in which a child has their 14th birthday), and in some cases will continue until their 25th birthday.  We often call this phase in life 'transition' or a 'transition to adulthood'.

This phase of “preparing for adulthood” is when professionals will consult with you and your son or daughter to consider if they may need specialist support during transition and into adulthood. 

Parents have asked for a comprehensive guide to transitions and we have worked with Family Voice to produce the Transition to Adulthood - A Parents Guide.

Information on COVID-19 support can be found on the Local Offer COVID-19 - Information page and the SEN and Inclusion Services COVID-19 Support page. 

Local support groups can be found by using the search term 'COVID-19' in the search box at the top of the page.

Finding somewhere to live

Young woman moving house

You may decide that you would like to continue to live with your family, and your family can support this, or you may decide you would like the chance to try and live independently.

This is not as easy as just finding somewhere to live, there are many things for you and your family to consider.  If you think that you will need support with living
independently, you can ask for a social care assessment by telephoning 01733 747474 and asking for Adult Social Care.

Independent/supported living

Supported living is a term used to describe the range of services that enable people with additional needs to live as independently as possible in their local community. While supported living is often for people with a learning disability, it can also help people with mental health problems or physical disabilities.

Supported Living can be provided in either purpose-built or small-scale ordinary housing situations.

You may have already experienced living away from the family home, possibly to attend a residential school or as part of a residential respite short break or taking part in a programme run at your school, college or day service.  But for many people this will be a new experience, along with the expectation that you will have to be much more involved in doing the sort of things that go hand in hand with living independently, such as:

  • Keeping your home clean and tidy
  • Making a shopping list and then doing the shopping
  • Planning your day
  • Any help you require around personal hygiene
  • Safety awareness
  • Social housing

If you want to rent social housing you must register on the Peterborough Homes Choice Based Lettings Scheme first.  If your application is accepted you will be put into a band with people who have similar needs to you and you will be told what type of housing you are eligible to apply for. 

You will only be able to bid on properties that you are interested in and eligible for.

Adjustments to the home

Once you have had a chance to think about what housing type you prefer, you may need to consider whether the property would need to be changed (adapted) to make it easier for you to live in, if you have a physical disability. 

If you do not own the property, permission will  be required from the property owner before any work is approved and undertaken.

A Disabled Facilities Grant may be available to pay for any big changes. You will need to have an Occupational Therapy assessment first to find out what you need.   All Disabled Facility Grants are managed by the Care and Repair Home Improvement Agency who will assist you through the application process

Transition Planning

Young woman in a wheelchair

Accessing transition support

Young people with a disability aged 14 to 25 and their families can be referred to
Childrens' or Adults Social Care for an assessment of their needs as part of planning their transitions pathway, if they are not already known to the service through social care support as a child.

Eligibility for adult care

The Care Act (2014) recognises that for some young people a timely referral to adult social care for an assessment of needs may be required. The law says that this must happen if it would be of “significant benefit’ to the young person. 


Generally, in order to determine eligibility for a service from adult social care, information would be gathered about the young person from the age of 14.  Where appropriate, if the child is looked after, has complex needs, lives out of area or has a risk of homelessness, transition assessment will be completd at 16 to ensure care and support are available at 18.  (Adult Social Care assessments won't normally be completed until the young person is almost 18 years old).

The Care Act (2014) says that a young person should continue to receive childrens services even after they are 18, until adult social care assessments are completed and care and support plans, if identified, are in place.

The assessment will be undertaken by the social work team if the young person has learning, sensory impairment and/or physical disabilities, including Special Educational Needs (SEN) Or Education Health and Care Plan.

If young people have a dual diagnosis including mental health needs, the social work team will work closely with health to determine which pathway the young person will follow.

For further information, please contact the council on 01733 747474.

What young people and their families in transition can expect

Every young person with a disability and their parents and carers will be offered information and advice about the range of universal support services available in the local area. This will also include guidance on accessing community and voluntary sector support services.

If a young person with disabilities, young carer or an adult caring for a child (a “child’s carer”) is likely to have needs when they, or the child they care for, turns 18, the local authority must assess them if it considers there is “significant benefit” to the individual in doing so.

In order to determine eligibility for a service from adult social care information about the young person may be gathered from about the age of 14, and where appropriate, an assessment of the young person's needs before the age of 18 can be undertaken in line with adult social care eligibility for care and support.

If a young person is eligible for care and support, further work is undertaken to identify their care needs and develop a person-centred transitions pathway with input from all agencies and family carers. This will determine the best way to meet their care outcomes and achieve their aims and ambitions for living an active and independent life.

Staying safe in the community

Young girl having her bag stolen

Ensuring young people with a disability remain safe

The government defines safeguarding as:

“The process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing impairment of their health and development, and ensuring they are growing up in circumstance consistent with the provision of safe and effective care that enables children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.”

The 0 to 25 Disability Service works closely with Children's Safeguarding to ensure that young people under the age of 18 remain safe, and for those over 18 the service works within the safeguarding processes under adult legislation. 

Staying safe and supported in the community

For many of us, it can be a real problem if we do not feel safe and comfortable when we are trying to do something.  This is the same when we are trying to get out into the community, we need to feel safe and supported, and this could include simple things like:

  • Plan where you would like go and how you are going to get there
  • Take a mobile phone if you have one, and the phone number of someone you trust
  • Take some money in case you need to make a phone call from a public phone
  • Take only the money you expect to need, keep some in your wallet or purse and some in your pocket
  • If you have one, take a personal attack alarm
  • Are your personal belongings, like your phone, wallet or purse kept in a safe place on you, like your bag or pocket?
  • If possible, have you told someone you trust where you are going and when you expect to be back?
  • If you can, go out with a friend or someone you know

Social Media

Computers, mobile phones and tablets are a great way to keep in touch with your friends, finding and making new friends and to share things at the touch of a button. You can also use them to find information and to help with homework.  But they can also make it easier for bullies and other people who might want to hurt you to get close to you.  So it is really important that you know how to stay safe on your computer, phone and websites.

The ChildLine and NSPCC websites both have lots of really useful information to help protect yourself from cyberbullying, sexting, inappropriate content and protect your online reputation.  There is also an easy read guide to Staying Safe on Social Media and Online from the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.

YouTube Kids

A world of learning and fun, made just for kids

You Tube Kids has been created to make it safer and simpler for children to explore the world through online video – from their favourite shows and music to learning how to build a model volcano (or make slime), and everything in between. There's also a whole suite of parental controls, so you can tailor the experience to your family's needs.


Kiddle is a Safe visual search engine for kids

Safe Place Scheme

The scheme aims to attract Peterborough businesses to agree to place a Safe Place sticker in their window. This identifies it as a place where an adult with a learning disability can, in the case of an emergency, receive help to make a call to the police, other emergency service or to a parent, carer or support worker in their moment of crisis.

The Safe Place Scheme aims to stop the bullying and abuse of adults with learning disabilities across Peterborough.

This scheme is run jointly with the Safer Peterborough Partnership to ensure people with a learning disability remain safe in Peterborough. People with a learning disability have the right to feel safe when out and about in their community. It is a collective responsibility of the community to support vulnerable people.  For people with a learning disability this can be achieved by identifying business premises as a ‘Safe Place’.

In Peterborough over 60 businesses from Bretton Centre, Rivergate and City Centre have signed up to provide a Safe Place to vulnerable people in the city of Peterborough.

A shopkeeper/business was identified through the Peterborough City Council Officer and/or PCSO (Police Community Support Officers) and if they are happy to help, are given a safe place sticker to put into their shop window. An individual with a learning disability / vulnerable person will carry a card displaying their name and personal contact telephone number in order that the manager or member of staff in the shop/business knows whom to contact.

Adults with a learning disabilities (aged 18 to 65 years) who wish to become members of the scheme will need to fill in the application form.

A personalised 'I need help' card is sent out which identifies the person the scheme member would like contacting in an emergency and lists a contact telephone number. They will also be sent a list of all participating businesses in the scheme and a 'Keeping Yourself Safe' leaflet.

The scheme aims to attract Peterborough businesses to agree to place a Safe Place sticker in their window. This identifies it as a place where an adult with a learning disability can, in the case of an emergency, receive help to make a call to the police, other emergency service or to a parent, carer or support worker in their moment of crisis.

By agreeing to be part of this free scheme businesses will be providing reassurance to both users of this service and their carers/friends/loved ones, enabling individuals to be more independent within Peterborough.

All participating retail outlets will be given an information sheet with guidance on how to assist an individual if in distress.

Participating businesses are not expected to have to make many calls, but to provide a temporary safe haven for this very vulnerable group within our community until help and support arrives in the form of the Carer, Police or Support Worker.

To register to be a member of this scheme, either as a business or a person with a learning disability, please contact 01733 452511.  A short film can be viewed here.

Making Decisions and Capacity

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is designed to protect and empower people who may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment. It is a law that applies to people aged 16 and over.

Examples of people who may lack capacity include those with: 

  • dementia
  • a learning disability
  • a brain injury
  • a mental health condition
  • a stroke
  • unconsciousness caused by an anaesthetic or sudden accident

However, just because a person has one of these conditions does not necessarily mean they lack the capacity to make a specific decision. 

Someone can lack capacity to make some decisions (for example, to decide on complex financial issues) but still have the capacity to make other decisions (for example, to decide what items to buy at the local shop).

The MCA says:

  • Everyone has the right to make his or her own decisions. Health and care professionals should always assume someone has the capacity to make a decision themselves, unless it is proved otherwise through a capacity assessment.
  • People must be given help to make a decision themselves. This might include, for example, providing the person with information in a format that is easier for them to understand.
  • Just because someone makes what those caring for them consider to be an "unwise" decision, they should not be treated as lacking the capacity to make that decision. Everyone has the right to make their own life choices, where they have the capacity to do so.
  • Where someone is judged not to have the capacity to make a specific decision (following a capacity assessment), that decision can be taken for them, but it must be in their best interests.
  • Treatment and care provided to someone who lacks capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms possible, while still providing the required treatment and care.

The MCA also allows people to express their preferences for care and treatment in case they lack capacity to make these decisions. It also allows them to appoint a trusted person to make a decision on their behalf should they lack capacity in the future.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards aim to protect people in care homes, hospitals and supported living from being inappropriately deprived of their liberty.

More information on DoLS is available on our Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards page 

Who can help with transitions?

There are a wide range of professionals who can help with transitions.  These include:

  • Your family/carer
  • Your friends
  • Your teachers and staff at school or college
  • The Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Officers (SAMS) at the council
  • Social care professionals
  • Health professionals
  • Advocates

You can find out about the different people who can help you on the brochure on the left of this page.

Guide to Independent Living in Peterborough

Guide to Independent Living in Peterborough 

You can find lots of useful informaton about how to stay independent, safe and well and live a fulfilled life in our new Guide to Independent Living.  Formerly the Peterborough Care and Support Directory, the Guide produced for us by Care Choices, includes information on:

  • Getting out and about
  • Keeping healthy and well
  • Staying independent at home
  • Coming home from hospital
  • Looking after someone
  • Housing
  • Paying for your care
  • Choosing care and support

To obtain a hard copy of the Guide to Independent Living in Peterborough, please contact the Adult Early Help Team at Peterborough City Council on 01733 747474.

The Peterborough Smart Flat and Technology Enabled Care (TEC)

TEC Stories - How Technology Enabled Care has transformed people's Lives

TEC Stories - How Technology Enabled Care has transformed people's Lives is a document that contains stories about real people. 3 Particularly inspiring stories are about Colin, Paul and Rachel.

Colin has a double-star distinction in IT, he is an avid fan of technology, and loves his iPhone X and gaming consoles. He also loves to prove to the world that his complex disabilities do not stop him from enjoying everything that technology has to offer.

A self-confessed metalhead and lover of fast cars, Paul, 31, wants to be connected to the world. He wants the access to information and entertainment that many take for granted.

Person-centred planning has been life changing for Rachel and her sons, Shaun, 28, and Greg, 30, who have learning disabilities and autism. A dynamic approach to how their funding is spent and a creative attitude towards assistive technology have resulted in significant cost savings and increased independence.

You can read Colin, Paul and Rachel's stories in more detail by clicking on this link that will take you to a pdf of the document.

Assistive Technology Smart Flat - Peterborough

A new Assistive Technology flat, designed to showcase how the latest technology can support independent living, is now open at Kingfisher Court, Peterborough.

The equipment is fully operational from voice activated bed sensors, to property exit sensors and medication reminders. The Lifeline personal alarm system is also live so you can see how the control centre responds to calls.

You are welcome to come along and visit the SMART flat by appointment. To book a time slot please call Peterborough City Council on 01733 747474 ((option Adult Social Care) or email: giving your name, address and phone details. 

What is technology enabled care (TEC)?

Technology enabled care is equipment and technology to help adults stay independent.

Some of the benefits of technology enabled care are:

  • increasing independence and confidence
  • managing or minimising risk
  • supporting and reassuring family carers

Some examples of technology enabled care equipment are:

Medication Prompts

There are different ways to remind people to take their medicine. It is best to use existing systems before trying new ones. This could mean:

  • using the calendar on a mobile phone
  • using an existing smart home assistant
  • downloading an app which prompts you to take medication
  • using a multi alarm wrist watch or clock

Door Alarms

If you have a cognitive impairment, door alarms can help to ensure your safety by notifying someone else if you go through a door. Alarms can be applied to internal or external doors and can provide reassurance for family members.

Home activity sensors

These can assess how you are managing at home by looking at your activity levels around the property over a period of time. With this information we can support you and your carers to make informed decisions about support options to maximise independence where possible.

Just Checking uses small motion detectors to check on the movements and activity of a person. Find out more about Just Checking.

Home safety

This includes smoke or flood detectors to raise alerts remotely when activated. Other solutions include panic buttons, smart doorbells.