Preparing for independence
Thinking about and preparing for growing up and adulthood is something that happens throughout children and young people’s lives.
Independent living is a part of preparing for adulthood and includes things like:
- somewhere to live
- skills for looking after yourself and your home
- managing money
- making decisions and having support if that’s needed
Parents have asked for a comprehensive guide to transitions and we have worked with Family Voice to produce the Preparing for Adulthood - A Parents Guide
Things you need to learn to be independent
As you grow up and start thinking about being more independent there are things you need to think about.
These might include:
- Looking after yourself
- Planning your day
- Safety awareness
- Keeping your home clean
- Managing money
- Making a shopping list and then doing the shopping
- Finding out about options for where you might live
- Thinking about the support that you might need
You can find out more and watch some useful videos on the Easy Read pages.
Finding somewhere to live
Where you live is an important part of life for everyone as they become adults. You may continue to live with your family until it’s the right time for you to move. Your family can support you with this and you can still become more independent whilst living with your family.
Even though you it may seem a long way off it’s a good idea to start thinking about where you might want to live when you are an adult, the skills you need to have and how much it might cost. If you have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) housing and where you might want to live in the future will be part of every EHCP review after you are 14.
Schools, colleges, families and carers can support you to learn and practice independent living skills like cookery skills, shopping, looking after your home, washing and managing your money. Its never too early to start!
If you are or were living in care, you can find out more information about living independently on the Local Offer for Care Leavers.
If you need support to live independently
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.
Money and benefits information
Money and Benefits
As you get older, become an adult and leave education you will have to start paying for things with your own money. This might not happen all at once and parents and family will often continue to pay for things for you.
You might have to pay for things like food, clothes, somewhere to live, gas and electricity bills, your phone and doing things you enjoy.
The money you have could be money you earn from work, savings you have or from benefits. Benefits is the word used for money that some people get from the government to help them pay for things.
When you are an adult the money you have is yours and you will be expected to look after it yourself and make decisions about it. You can still have help to look after your money if you need it.
Benefits to help you live independently
You may be able to claim benefits to help you live independently.
Some of the benefits you may be able to claim depend on how much money you have already and if you have a job. Income Related Benefits - Disability Peterborough
Some benefits you may be able to claim are for people with a disability or long term illness. Disability Benefits - Disability Peterborough
Some benefits are for help with the cost of housing. Housing Benefits - Disability Peterborough
You can find lots of useful information on our Send Information Hub (Local Offer) Money and Benefits web page.
You may have the option of claiming Universal Credit as a young disabled adult. Normally you need to be over18 years old. Some 16 and 17-year-olds can claim if you have a medical certificate from your GP.
Most young people who are still at school or college cannot get Universal Credit. You might be able to claim it if you study part-time or stay in full-time non-advanced education beyond the August after your 19th birthday.
Note for parents and carers about Universal Credit. If your young person 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 young person claims it, the Department for Work and Pensions will only look at their income and capital and not yours. Find out more on the Contact for families with disabled children website
Support and advice about benefits
It’s always a good idea to get advice and support about benefits.
Disability Peterborough have information on their webs page Support And Advice - Disability Peterborough or you can phone or visit them. They can help with checking what benefits you can claim, help to fill in forms and answer questions.
Telephone 01733 265551,
As you get older and become 18 some of your benefits may change.
As you get older and become 18 some of these benefits change. You can find out more on the Adults Welfare Benefits page.
Get support and advice from Disability Peterborough
Trained Disability Peterborough staff are available to advise and guide you on all things related to physical disabilities. If you cannot find the information you are looking for on their website, please contact them.
Telephone 01733 265551
You can read lots of relevant information on their website page Your guide to Disability Benefits.
It is a good idea to get independent financial advice and you can find organisations by searching on the Peterborough Information Network. There are also some organisations that work specifically with people with learning disabilities, like DOSH. They will charge you for their services.
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 which covers what they need to do if you need support from someone to manage your money.
Technology and gadgets to help you
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
- increased safety at home and out and about
- supporting and reassuring family carers
Some examples of technology enabled care equipment are:
- Planning your day and reminders - such as simple apps on your phone to remind you what you need to do each day
- technology to remind you to take your medication
- alarms and home safety such as flood detectors and smart doorbells
If you think you need some TEC
You can contact Adult Social Care and ask for a conversation about your needs. Contact details are:
Complete our online form
Tel: Adult Social Care: 01733 747474
Peterborough City Council
Sand Martin House
Assistive Technology Smart Flat - Peterborough
If you want to go and look at technology, there is a flat, set up with different Assistive Technology, at Kingfisher Court in Peterborough.
You can see how the equipment works. 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: email@example.com giving your name, address and phone details.
Apps & Gadgets that can help and support your independence
We have created a list of apps that staff in the TEC team have used with young people and might be particularly useful for developing and supporting independence. There is no one size fits all so these are a range that may suit different people and ages.
(Peterborough City Council is not responsible for the contents or reliability of any websites to which this site is linked, and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time and we have no control over the availability of the linked pages.)
Visual Schedules & Social Stories APP
Let me Talk App
Meal Prep Pro App
Housy: House Cleaning Schedule App
Simple Mind App
The GenieConnect company are tackling the social care crisis and combating loneliness, enabling adults with learning disabilities in our communities to live independently, feel more connected and with better mental health and wellbeing.
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
City College Peterborough Day Opportunities
Day Opportunities is Peterborough’s largest local day support specialist provider and experienced social care provider, supporting young people and adults with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs to live the fullest life possible.
Local colleges run courses for young people on developing independence and these can include travel training.
Mobility vehicles - Your young person may be eligible for a mobility vehicle.
The Access Champions at City College Peterborough support young adults to gain more confidence by encouraging peer to peer support. Through their travel training they support young adults to gain confidence in using public transport independently.
Contact the Access Champions via email to find out how you can get travel training: AChampion@citycollegepeterborough.ac.uk.
Travel Training Manual
We have produced a travel training manual in collaboration with young people, colleges and Family Voice. This is for schools and colleges and young people, parents and carers.
Travel training is a programme that provides practical support for learners to travel by public transport. It is tailored to their individual needs. Its aim is to promote equality of opportunity through developing independence, confidence and the practical skills needed for learners to access public transport for education, work, or leisure. Travelling independently is an important part of a young person’s development. Feedback from young people who have completed a travel training programme has shown that they:
- Feel more confident and independent.
- Can go out a lot more with their friends.
- Do not have to rely on specialist transport – or their parents/carers.
- Have access to a greater range of college courses.
- Have a better chance of finding and maintaining employment.
- Feel safer in the community.
For parents and carers – a trainee’s ability to travel independently may see reduced reliance and dependence on parents and carers
- Preparing for Adulthood (Local Offer)
- Preparing for Adulthood - Employment (Local Offer)
- Preparing for Adulthood - Good Health (Local Offer)
- Preparing for Adulthood - Friends, Relationships & Community (Local Offer)
- Adult Social Care for young people aged 18 plus (Local Offer)
- Social Care (Local Offer)
- Getting out and about (Local Offer)
- Equality and Diversity (Local Offer)
- Compliments and Complaints (Local Offer)
- Learning Disabilities and Autism Programme (Local Offer)
- Targeted Support (Local Offer)
- Welfare Benefits (Adults)
- City College Peterborough Day Opportunities (Adults)
- Mental capacity and planning for the future (Adults)
- Adult Social Care Assessment and Care and Support Planning (Adults)