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Preparing for Adulthood (Local Offer)

Girl with packing boxes

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 and is expected to take on decision-making responsibility for themselves.  

These pages help you to think about the different elements of transition that need to be planned for and to provide tips to help the process feel as smooth as possible.   

For young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), planning for adulthood is an on-going process throughout childhood.

If your young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) during Year 9, which is the school year in which they have their 14th birthday, the Preparing for Adulthood outcomes form part of their EHCP.

View the Parents Guide to Special Educational Needs and Disability Transition to Adulthood document

View the Preparing for adult life - A guide for young people document 

Preparing for Adulthood - Employment

Working in a shop

Early planning

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

Man in wheelchair at the sink

Independent Living is all about young people having choice, control and freedom over their lives.  This includes their accommodation and living arrangements, support they 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

Young people sitting on the floor

Get involved

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

Health professional with patient

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.

Peterborough Post-16 Offer

Transitioning to college

Peterborough Post 16 Education Offer 2022-23 - For any young adults who are transitioning to college this academic year and have not decided on a place this may help.

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?

Information for parents on transitions

Transition to Adulthood - A Parents Guide

Parents have also asked for a comprehensive guide to transitions and we have worked with Family Voice to produce the Transition to Adulthood - A Parents Guide, which you can find on this page.

Social Care

Young people with a disability aged 14 to 25 and their families can be referred t 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.

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.

We have also published a document 'frequently asked questions' that has been written to help parents prepare and plan for the move to adult services at 18 years.

You can find out more about health transitions on our Preparing for adulthood - good health (Local Offer) webpage.

The 5 Day Offer

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 

  • work experience 

  • independent travel training 

  • skills for living in semi-supported or independent accommodation 

  • training to develop and maintain friendships 

  • access to local facilities 

  • physiotherapy 

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.

Step One

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.  

Step Two

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.

Step Three

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:

Riding for the Disabled

Peterborough Disabled Angling Academy

English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS)

Peterborough Sailability

Disability Sports Programme - Peterborough Adapted Cycling Scheme

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

Claiming benefits in their own right as a young adult

Many young disabled people have the option of claiming Universal Credit as a young disabled adult. Normally you need to be at least 18 years old to claim Universal Credit, but some 16 and 17-year-olds can also claim. This includes a 16 or 17-year-old who is submitting medical certificates from their GP. 

Most young people who are receiving education cannot get Universal Credit, although certain groups can. For example, those who study part-time or those who remain in full-time non-advanced education beyond the August after their 19th birthday.

If your child gets Universal Credit, you will lose any benefits you get for them as part of your family. Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit, but if your son or daughter claims it, the Department for Work and Pensions will only look at their income and capital and not yours. 

Find lots more advice on the Contact for families with disabled children website

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:​ 

  • Dementia​ 

  • A severe learning disability​ 

  • A brain injury​ 

  • A mental health illness​ 

  • A stroke​ 

  • Unconsciousness caused by an anaesthetic or sudden accident​ 

Find out more about how capacity is assessed and the role of carers in the process 

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​ 

Mental Capacity Act - NHS​ 

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.

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 

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 

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.​ 

You can find out more on the NHS Easy Read guide to the Mental Health Act. 

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

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​ 

Consultation and co-production with young people

Young people sitting round a table

Preparing for Adulthood - Young Persons Consultation Spring 2021

In response to our consultation with young people and a continuation of that dialogue with them, we have produced an online learning resource.

The Preparing for Adulthood - Young Persons Consultation Spring 2021 learning resource may also be useful to parents and staff who need some training in SEND and PfA. The target age group is 13-25. (Please note the voiceovers and videos don't work on the presentation - if you want a copy of the original powerpoint presentation please email Marya Ali ( or Elizabeth Sullivan Ash (

Preparing for Adulthood (Local Offer)

The learning resource has also been replicated in several pages on our Local Offer for Young People website

PfA Outcomes across the age ranges for children and young people with SEND

A supportive tool 

This supportive tool has been designed by the Department for Education (DfE) to promote consideration of the four PfA outcomes as part of EHC planning across the age range. This includes consideration of aspirations, activity and provision that can support progress towards the PfA outcomes and what this might mean at different ages and stages of development. It is not intended to be a definitive list but is a starting point and we encourage feedback from colleagues testing out the tool in practice so that DfE can continue to develop it in the future. Please get in touch at: 

View the PfA Outcomes across the age ranges for children and young people with SEND

Things to remember when using the tool:

  • The outcomes will need to be personalised and focused on the young person’s aspirations, supporting as independent a life as possible
  • Children develop at different rates. For some young people indicators included in early childhood may continue to be outcomes they are progressing toward as they get older. Therefore it is important that each new age/stage continues to develop and build on the previous ones
  • At review meetings the tool can be used to support development of imaginative yet achievable ways to support progress under each outcome
  • This tool should be used as part of a personalised approach and can therefore be used as a starting point to develop EHC plans across a wide range of need. If you are supporting a young person with a life-limiting condition this tool can be used to focus on progress in a sensitive and personalised way
  • Use creative approaches to embed activities in the curriculum and in everyday activities outside of the classroom
  • Raise aspirations and expectations and encourage thinking about what the future might look like for children from an early age
  • Promote a focus on outcomes that are transferable to the real world
  • Local authorities should make sure they focus on the PfA outcomes in EHC plan reviews and make sure related information is covered in the local offer
  • The indicators included in this grid, although specified against a certain age, are applicable across the age ranges depending on cognitive ability i.e. a young person aged 17 may still be learning to feed themselves. Some indicators translate across outcomes - ‘making choices’ and ‘managing change all applicable to all four PfA outcomes.

Preparing For Adult Life - Easy Read guide for young people