Preparing for independence
Thinking about and preparing for growing up and adulthood is something that happens throughout children and young people’s lives.
If the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) Preparing for Adulthood outcomes must be part of their EHCP from Year 9 onwards, the school year in which a child has their 14th birthday.
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 Transition to Adulthood - A Parents Guide.
Children and young people gradually learn about and become more independent as they grow up in a way that’s right for them and their age. As young people approach adulthood and start thinking about being more independent in the family home, or living elsewhere, they will need have to be much more involved in doing the sort of things that go hand in hand with living independently.
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.
Decision Making Toolkit
The Decision Making Toolkit produced by the Council For Disabled Children is a practical guide o support a young person who lacks the capacity to go through a best interests decision making process. This is based on the best interests checklist in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 code of practice.
Staying with your family
Many young people continue to live with their family when they are an adult until it’s the right time for them to move. Your family can support this and young people can still become more independent adults whilst living with their family.
You may decide you would like to live independently. There are a number of ways you can do this.
Social Housing (this means properties owned by housing associations)
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 told what type of housing you can apply for and how to do it.
Finding a home that suits you
You will need to consider what a property needs to be like to suit you. It isn’t always possible to find a home that suits you exactly but there may be small things that can be changed to make it work for you.
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. If you do not own the property, permission will be required from the property owner before any work is approved and undertaken.
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.
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
- simple apps on your phone to remind you what you need to do each day
- reminders in your phone or a table on how to do things that you have to do every day
- apps that can help you calm down if you are feeling anxious
- door reminders – these play a message that you have recorded when you open your front door. It might be ‘don’t forget your keys!’
- Journey planners that help you learn and follow routes
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 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.
This includes smoke or flood detectors to raise alerts remotely when activated. Other solutions include panic buttons, smart doorbells.
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 and find more details by visiting the Telling the TEC Story website
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: email@example.com giving your name, address and phone details.
Staying safe 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
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.
Safe Place Scheme
The Safe Place Scheme is a national scheme to provide safe places for people with disabilities to go if they do not feel safe. Businesses which are part of the scheme will display the Safe Place sticker on their window.
To become part of the scheme young people with a learning disability need to complete an application form. You can also download the app.
You can find out more about the scheme on the national website. Here is a list of businesses which are part of the scheme locally.
You can also watch a video about the scheme at the bottom of this page.
Young people aged 18 and over with learning or physical disabilities, or with sight or hearing loss, may be supported with their housing and daily living through Adult Social Care.
Young people who are supported by Adult Social Care should ask their social worker for information about housing and daily living options.
Young people who are not receiving support from Adult Social Care can request a social care assessment by telephoning 01733 747474 and asking for Adult Social Care.
Find out more on our 0-25 Disability Social Care page.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or
Elizabeth Sullivan-Ash email@example.com
The learning resource has also been replicated in several pages on our Local Offer for Young People website
The keyworker function
The keyworker function sits under Children’s homes not hospitals care.
NHS England and Improvement have made the commitment that all children and young people who are in mental health setting or who are at risk of admission, will be allocated a keyworker to co-ordinate the system.
This is to prevent unnecessary admission or to ensure swift discharge and resettlement back into the community.
How do we work?
We work within person centred approaches and children, young people and their families are the centre of everything we do.
Who do we work with?
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group are working with two Third Sector organsations, Eddies (Edmund Trust) in Cambridgeshire, and Circles Network in Peterborough.
- Challenge and influence.
- Offer problem solving for individuals and the system.
- Build strong relationships.
- Offer knowledge.
- Enable direct support.
- Progress Care Education and Treatment Review recommendations.
- Identify the Child/Young Person at risk and support the Dynamic Support Register.
- Admission avoidance (through above)
- Work with Child/Young Person in inpatient settings.
- Support transitions back to the community setting.
- To model effective person-centred practice to the workforce.
How to refer
Your social worker or mental health care coordinator can refer if they think your child might be at risk of admission or is already in a mental health setting.
If you have none of the above, and you are concerned your child might be a risk of inpatient admission, you can chat to the children’s commissioner or the Key Work Network lead.
Phone 03 300 571 023 Ext 8004