What does preparing for adulthood mean?
Your child growing into a young adult can be a very worrying time for parents and carers. Your child will be moving from familiar children’s services to new adult services. They will take on decision-making responsibility for themselves.
These pages help you to think about the different elements of transition. They can help you to plan and to provide tips to help the process feel as smooth as possible.
For young people with SEND, planning for adulthood happens throughout their childhood.
Does your young person have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)? If so, during Year 9, Preparing for Adulthood will be part of their EHCP. This is the year in which they have their 14th birthday.
View the Preparing for adult life - A guide for young people document
View the Peterborough Guide to Independent Living 2023/24 (this guide is adult focussed but has some very useful info for families thinking about transitions).
'Preparing for Adulthood' means the work carried out by professionals, alongside families. The professionals are from education, health and social care. It supports children and young people to achieve their goals and aspirations. We have a helpline every month that might help with any questions you may have
Telephone - 07920160256 Email - email@example.com. (First Wednesday of each month from 1-3pm)
Top Tips for Families and Carers
Here are your top tips
(Download and print a pdf copy of our Preparing for Adulthood - Top Tips for Families and Carers leaflet)
make sure you know the dates of the young person's reviews, meetings, information evenings, annual health checks, opportunities fairs.
is the young person receiving all the benefits they are entitled to? Visit our Money and Benefits section of the Peterborough Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Information Hub. This used to be called the Local Offer. This is updated regularly. We also have a benefits calculator
Make sure providers know a young persons preferred way of communication. Are they using their communication passport?
Make sure young people know what to do when they are feeling unwell. As they get older practice how to make a doctor's appointment and how to describe what is wrong with them. Check if they are eligible for an annual health check when they are 14 years old.
Information advice and guidance
Visit the Peterborough SEND information hub (Local Offer). Check out the Preparing for Adulthood pages, social care and health pages. Impartial information Advice and Support (SENDIASS). There are also Easy Read pages. There is a Preparation for Adulthood Helpline on the first Wednesday of every month 1-3 pm. Telephone: 07920160256 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Life after education – 18-25 options
Did you know 85% of young people have a positive outcome after leaving college? If you need to explore further options, look at Day Opportunities in Peterborough and their employment hub.
Life Skills and Independence
Get young people involved with cooking, laying the table, laundry, tidying their room and other household chores such as gardening. Our young people told us they would like more support with learning how to cook healthy meals. Can you help them to cook? Our young people have said ‘63% would like help with learning how to cook healthy meals’! They knew all about choosing health foods!
Encourage the young persons to pay for items when out shopping.
Post 16 options, Did you know there are just under 100 courses available in Peterborough at our schools and colleges outside of the mainstream courses? We review and update this yearly. Supported internship programmes can lead to paid employment at the end and is successful
Planning change in routine
practice what to do in emergencies and have information about who to contact, addresses, telephone number, sudden changes due to bad weather etc
Support young people to stay safe in the home, when they are out and about and when they are using online technology. Consider a visit to the Peterborough Smart Flat to see how technology can support and reassure you as young people start to increase their independence and confidence. There are lots of useful links and support on our PfA Independent Living page.
Encourage young people to get out and make friends, relationships and have a presence in their community. For more information go to our PfA Friends, Relationships and Community page on our SEND information hub (Local Offer).
Talk and listen
Include the young person in decision making. Talk to young people about where they would like to live in the future, what clubs and activities they would like to go to follow their interests or make new friends or meet up with friends, what they would like to do in the future, how they are feeling.
If you would like to know what young people have told us look at How we have worked with young people on our Peterborough Send Information Hub. Did you know 76% of our young people said no one had talked to them about where they wanted to live in the future! Help can be found here
Support young people to travel independently as much as possible depending on ability and ask their school or college if they could be considered for travel training. There are some useful technology aids to support with this such as location trackers. Practice routes, booking tickets, looking up timetables, what to do when a bus/train/taxi does not arrive on time.
Contact the Council's Preparing for Adulthood Helpline
Preparing for Adulthood (PFA) helpline
Young people have to learn to cope with big changes when they leave school.
For some people with learning disabilities, their physical or emotional needs can make moving into adulthood more challenging.
There is information on the Peterborough Local Offer Preparation for Adulthood pages to help young adults achieve employment, independent living, good health, be part of their community and be supported in making friends.
Contact the PFA helpline
The PFA helpline is available on the first Wednesday of each month from 1pm to 3pm. Please contact contact Elizabeth Sullivan Ash on:
Telephone - 07920160256
Packages of support across five days a week
Who is the 5 day offer for?
The “Five Day Offer” is a supportive framework which focuses on young people aged 16+ (with a learning disability) who are leaving full time education. It helps them to develop links around further learning, independent living skills, volunteering, paid work and leisure in their local community.
You will typically have had an Education, Health and Care plan
- Be aged 16-25
- Will have a recognised learning disability
What is the 5 day offer?
The purpose of the 5 day offer in Peterborough is to help prepare you to make a successful transition to adulthood.
Through primary and into secondary school you have been used to doing something every day, Monday to Friday. As you move on to college and 6th form you might find that most further education and post 16 courses are offered over 3 days.
The 5 day offer is a package of provision and support across education, health and care that can be put together to meet your needs to cover up to 5 days a week. The 5 days do not have to be at one provider and can include time in different settings and with different providers and include a range of activities to compliment the education outlined within your education health and care plan EHCP.
There is no requirement to have a 5 day offer and some young people are able to structure their week to build in their existing hobbies, interests, part-time work or volunteering or are able to undertake coursework and homework independently or with other students outside of lessons, as well as socialising with their college or 6th form peers with the education environment.
The package, which does not need to include study towards formal qualifications, can include activities such as:
volunteering or community participation
independent travel training
skills for living in semi-supported or independent accommodation
training to develop and maintain friendships
access to local facilities
These activities can tie in with vocational studies, for example, volunteering in a work area you are studying or be different and linked to your hobbies or interests.
What can it cover?
The 5 day offer in Peterborough can be built around your existing post 16 education; for example courses delivered at our 3 colleges
- City College Peterborough
- Peterborough College
- Stamford College
How to put a 5 day offer together
From year 9 onwards at the annual review of your EHCP the four preparing for adulthood themes will be discussed and focus on the outcomes you want to achieve under each heading:
- Employment and education
- Friends, Relationships and Community
- Independent Living
- Good Health
Once you have had an offer of a place or started at college or 6th form; you will have an idea of your typical week at college and what days you will do which lessons and any work experience or placements. There will be things in your EHCP that you would like to do/achieve.
First have a discussion with tutor/EHCP coordinator and build up a typical week taking your college time table as starting point, then think about what else you would like to do. Write out a timetable for the week and add activities you are doing for each day.
Identify opportunities from a range of sources – this can be existing websites, or through a discussion with your family or others who know you well. You can then add these to your typical week.
You don’t have to do activities across all 5 days and can put together a timetable for 4 days, as the 5 day offer can be up to 5 days. It is also okay to plan in some time with your friends or family or individual study.
You might find that something you really want to do (for example swimming or sailing) is only available on a day you are timetabled to be at college. Sometimes college can swap days so talk to your tutor about swapping college sessions if there is only 1 day when an activity is on offer.
Where to find opportunities
There are lots of places to find out about opportunities to include in your 5 day offer.
Get Yourself Active is a national programme which aims to find ways for disabled people to get active in their local area. It is run nationally and supported by Inspire Peterborough and Disability Peterborough. Click on the blue links below to go to the websites to find lots of information about local sporting activities.
You can also put disability peterborough into the keyword search box on the top of any of the Local Offer pages, to find a list of things to do. Here are a few examples:
Access to Work grant scheme
Access to Work is a government grant scheme which supports disabled people in work. Access to Work might pay for:
- a British Sign Language interpreter
- specialist equipment
- extra transport costs, such as a taxi where no public transport is available
Access to Work can also pay for assessments to see what you need at work. You can apply for Access to Work up to 6 weeks before you start work.
Find lots more information on the SCOPE website
Money and claiming benefits as a young adult
Young people may be able to claim benefits as they become adults. For some benefits this might be when young people are 16 or 17 and for others it may be at age 18. You can find out more about universal credit, other benefits and where to get advice and support in the money section on our Preparing for Adulthood - Independent Living (Local Offer) | Peterborough Information Network page and on the Adults Welfare Benefits page.
Peterborough Post-16 Offer
Transitioning to college
This may help any young adults who are transitioning to college this academic year and have not decided on a place.
A guide to further courses and pathways for learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities over 16 years old in Peterborough and surrounding areas.
City College Peterborough Post 16 Offer
Watch this video
Find out about their post 16 offer open evenings
City College Peterborough will ensure any learners with SEN have access to individualised learning and support programmes that ensure accessibility across our diverse curriculum. This includes ensuring any existing exam arrangements are in place and that EHCP provision is followed.
You can go to one of their Weekday open evenings from 3-6 pm
- 19th of July 2023
Find out more about the college's post 16 offer on their website
Mencap’s Traineeship Programme
Mencap’s Traineeship Programme supports young people with a learning disability or autism, aged 19 – 24, to develop the skills and experience needed to find a job. This could be paid work or an apprenticeship.
View their leaflet Mencap’s Traineeship Programme:trainee’s guide which is published on their website.
You need to:
- be aged 19 to 24 (but you don’t need to have an Education, Health and Care Plan)
- have no qualifications above level 3
- have a learning disability, learning difficulty or autism
- want to find a job or move onto an apprenticeship.
view more details on their website page What is a traineeship?
Peterborough Post 16 SEND Strategy (Phase 1, 2023/2024)
In this document you will find Peterborough City Council’s approach to the post-16 offer, underpinned by the voice of our young people.
This document entails the intentions, current progress and aspirations to improve the quality of the offer for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) over the age of 16.
The strategy guides users through Peterborough City Council's (PCC) priorities for young people with SEND and incorporates all four areas of our Preparing for Adulthood structure.
Through coproduction and integrated partnership working PCC are aspiring to holistic offers in all the four pathways to independence; independent living, community & friendships, employment & health alongside post 16 educational choices.
This Post-16 strategy describes the current sufficiency and market position within Peterborough and the main challenges faced in meeting the need and demand for specialist educational provision for young people.
Peterborough City Council (PCC) is committed to creating a foundation, including a wider range of options, to support its young people to be able to access their desired educational goals alongside their transition into adulthood.
Consultation and co-production with young people
Preparing for Adulthood - Young Persons Consultation
We regularly meet with young people. The feedback you give helps us to know what you need.
You asked for help with:
How to use the SEND Information Hub (Local Offer) website
Learning about the importance of your annual health check
How travel training can help you to get out and about in your community
How technology can help you live more independently
- How a supported internship can help you get a job
Find out more on the
Preparing for Adulthood - employment and getting a job
It's often hard for a young person to think about what they may want to achieve from their adulthood when they are in their early teens. But early planning is the key to success and so it's really helpful if parents and carers can work with their young people to start thinking about this.
All young people should be helped to develop the skills and experience, and achieve the qualifications they need to succeed.
To find out more, take a look at our 'Preparing for Adulthood - Employment' page
Preparing for Adulthood - Independent Living
Independent Living is all about young people having choice, control and freedom over their lives. This includes where you live, your money, support you might need and developing independence skills.
You can find out more on our page Preparing for Adulthood - Independent Living.
Preparing for Adulthood - Friends, Relationships and Community
Friendships, relationships and being a part of the community, are important to a young person's quality of life. There are many ways to get involved other than being in education or employment.
To find out more take a look at our 'Preparing for Adulthood - Friends Relationships & Community' webpage
Preparing for Adulthood - Good Health
Looking after yourself
Growing up and becoming more independent it is important to be aware of your health needs and how to look after yourself.
There are a range of health services available for young people with special educational needs and disabilities such as: GPs, hospitals, dentists, pharmacists, and opticians. In some cases, you may need to access specialised services which may be different depending on your need.
To find out more, take a look at our 'Preparing for Adulthood - Good Health' webpage.
Transition to Adulthood - A Parents Guide
Transition to Adulthood - A Parents Guide
Making financial decisions for young people aged 14 to 25
The government have produced a guide on making financial decisions for young people aged 14 – 25 for parents and carers.
Support from Adult Social Care
When you are over 18 years old any social care support you might need is organised by adult social care.
If you have been getting care and support from children's social care services, you may be eligible for support from adult social care.
If you have not been receiving support, but think that you might need it, this page explains what you need to do.
Find out more on our 0-25 Disability Social Care page and on the
Making decisions for someone who lacks capacity
Mental Capacity Act
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 applies to people aged 16 and over.
It covers decisions about day-to-day things like what to wear or what to buy for the weekly shop, or serious life-changing decisions like whether to move into a care home or have major surgery. Examples of people who may lack capacity include those with:
A severe learning disability
A brain injury
A mental health illness
Unconsciousness caused by an anaesthetic or sudden accident
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 Mental Capacity Act says:
assume a person has the capacity to make a decision themselves, unless it's proved otherwise
wherever possible, help people to make their own decisions
don't treat a person as lacking the capacity to make a decision just because they make an unwise decision
if you make a decision for someone who doesn't have capacity, 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
You can find out more about the Mental Capacity Act, how we meet the requirements in Peterborough and local support on the Adults pages of the PIN.
You can also view more details on the Mencap web page - The Mental Capacity Act
Becoming an appointee for someone receiving benefits
If someone who is over 16 lacks capacity to manage their finances, you can apply for the right to deal with their benefits for them. This is called appointeeship.
Only one appointee can act on behalf of someone who is entitled to benefits (the claimant) from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). An appointee can be:
individual appointees, such as a friend or relative
corporate appointees, such as a solicitor or local council
You can find out more on www.gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits
Power of attorney
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that lets your young person appoint people to make decisions on their behalf if they became unable to make their own decisions. It can be about finances or about health and social care.
Your young person must be 18 or over and have the ability to make their own decisions when they make the lasting power of attorney. If they do not have mental capacity you may need a court-appointed deputy.
A deputy is someone appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions for someone who is unable to do so alone. They are responsible for doing so until the person they are acting for dies or is able to make decisions on their own again.
You can find out more at www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney
Guides for lasting power of attorney
Mencap have useful information explaining why a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attourney is so important. View more details on their Guides for lasting power of attorney web page
Mental Health Act (MHA)
The Mental Health Act is a law that can be used to provide support and treatment to people with a diagnosed mental illness.
Being detained (also known as sectioned) under the Mental Health Act is a legal process that starts when an approved mental health practitioner has assessed that someone is not safe to be at home and needs to be kept safe while they are being assessed/treated. This law protects people’s rights.
Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity
You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity’. This means they cannot make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. They may still be able to make decisions for themselves at certain times.
People may lack mental capacity because, for example:
- they’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
- they have dementia
- they have severe learning disabilities
As a deputy, you’ll be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.
There are two types of deputy.
- Property and financial affairs deputy - You’ll do things like pay the person’s bills or organise their pension.
- Personal welfare deputy - You’ll make decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after.
Find out more about becoming a deputy at www.gov.uk.
Wills and Trusts
our will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. If you make a will you can also make sure your beneficiaries don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than you need to.
You can write your will yourself, but you should get advice if your will isn’t straightforward.
You need to get your will formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid. If you want to update your will, you need to make an official alteration (called a ‘codicil’) or make a new will.
It is always best to seek independent advice as the best course of action for you and your family will vary depending on your circumstances.
If you die without a will, the law says who gets what.
You can find out more at www.gov.uk/make-will
Preparing for Adulthood resources
The National Development Team for Inclusion has produced some resources for Preparing for Adulthood.
Preparing For Adult Life - Easy Read guide for young people
View the Preparing for adult life - A guide for young people document
Including young people in decision-making
From the age of 16 a young person is responsible for making decisions. It should not be assumed that parents will make decisions on behalf of young people over 19 with an EHC plan, even if there are questions over the young person’s mental capacity.
The Children and Families Act 2014 states that we must:
- understand the importance of young people participating ‘as fully as possible’ in decision-making
- provide information and support to assist their participation in decision-making
It also identifies specific decision-making rights about 19- to 25-year-olds’ rights relating to EHC plans. For example, they have the right to:
- request an assessment (any time up to their 25th birthday)
- make comments about or request changes to the content of the plan
- request that a particular institution is named in their plan
- request a Personal Budget for elements of their plan
- appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) about decisions
The Council for Disabled Children has developed a toolkit to help young people make their own decisions. Find out more about the Mental Capacity Act in the code of practice and ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ factsheet
To help you understand this a group of young people from Peterborough Colleges have produced a short video to support you.
View the EHCP your options at 16 video
The Mental Capacity Act
The ‘Mental Capacity Act’ is an important law for people with a learning disability .
It helps make sure that people who may lack capacity to make decisions on their own get the support they need to make those decisions.
Where they are not able to make their own decision, the Mental Capacity Act says a decision must be made that is in their ‘best interests’.
View more details on the Mencap web page - The Mental Capacity Act
Providers, Organisations and Services
- Preparing for Adulthood - Good Health (Local Offer)
- Preparing for Adulthood - Employment (Local Offer)
- Preparing for Adulthood - Independent Living (Local Offer)
- Preparing for Adulthood - Friends, Relationships & Community (Local Offer)
- Are you hoping to go to college (Local Offer)
- Compliments and Complaints (Local Offer)
- How we have worked with young people (Local offer)
- Peterborough Post 16 Education Offer 2023
- The Peterborough Post-16 Education Offer, Academic Year 2024-2025
- PfA Outcomes across the age ranges for children and young people with SEND
- Co-production and consultation with young people
- Preparing for adulthood - A parents guide
- Preparing for Adulthood - Top Tips for Families and Carers
- Peterborough Post 16 SEND Strategy (Phase 1, 2023/24)