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Preparing for adulthood

Planning for the future, experiencing life changes and getting skills and knowledge for independence is an important time in any young person’s life. If you also have additional support needs and receive support from social care, education and health services, it becomes a time of planning, exploration and agreeing a future direction. This can start from the age of 14.

If you have any questions about making a referral to the Preparing for Adulthood team, the services we provide, or wider questions about Adult Social Care please call 01392 381291 or email for an informal chat.

preparing for adulthood signpost showing youth and adulthood

Complete the referral form to request services from the Preparing for Adulthood Team.

Note: This form had an issue submitting on the 11th June. If you did submit a request on that day and did not hear back, please could you resubmit your request.

This form includes a privacy notice, explaining the information we record and how we will use it.

Scroll down for information about education, training and employment; independent living; health and wellbeing and help for parents and carers.

  • The Preparing for Adulthood team engages with young people, families, carers and the supporting agencies, to empower young people to capitalise on the opportunities of adulthood, becoming as independent, self-reliant and confident as possible.

    The aim of the Preparing for Adulthood tea​m is to implement Devon’s Preparing for Adulthood Strategy, supporting young people who are likely to have needs for care and support into adulthood.

    The Preparing for Adulthood team does not commission services or hold case responsibility for young people, under the Children and Families Act 2014 this remains with children’s agencies until the age of 18.

    How do I get support from the Preparing for Adulthood Team?

    You don’t automatically get support from the Preparing for Adulthood Team.

    So if you are a young person between the age of 12 and 18, their parent/carer or a professional seeking support from the Preparing for Adulthood team, please complete our web referral form.  If you have already given consent and are known to our service, there is no need to fill out a form.  If you aren’t sure, please complete the form.

    You can complete the online referral form here.

    • The local authority and its partners have a responsibility in regard to young people who are likely to continue to have care and support needs into their adult lives. Devon County Council’s SEND Strategy aims to identify those young people likely to be included, and how the council and its partners intend to meet the requirements set out in The Children and Families Act 2014 and The Care Act 2014.

      These requirements are:

        1. Education, training and employment – this might include getting help from employment agencies, apprenticeships and voluntary work programmes, self-employment or further education.
        2. Independent living – this means having choice and control over where you wish to live and your living arrangements.
        3. Participating in society – this includes having friends, family and supportive relationships, and contributing to life in the local community.
        4. Health and wellbeing – we want you to be as healthy as possible in adult life. This includes your physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing.


      • The Preparing for Adulthood team works with young people, families, carers and the supporting agencies. The team helps young people to become as independent, self-reliant and confident as possible.

        Working with professionals in Education, Health and Social Care, the team has launched self-help documents called ‘toolkits’. These can help a young person and their family think about the future.

        The Independence Toolkit can help you think about what you need to do to prepare for adulthood. It will hopefully help you to complete any transitions between services. This could be moving from school to college, or between social care or health services, or finding your own place to live. It cannot cover all eventualities but should help you on your journey to adulthood. It helps you to record independence and self-reliance skills.

        As with all things in life, some people will find some activities difficult to achieve. Others will be able to complete the same activity easily. However, everyone needs to practise the things they find challenging. It is Important to review this toolkit so you can see where you have made progress. It will also help you see where you may need to try harder to achieve what you want. Not all the issues detailed below will apply to your situation. If you find a question like this feel free to ignore it.

        You can use the toolkit online. You can also download and print the ten different sections of the toolkit. If you have any feedback about the toolkit, please contact us.

        Independence Toolkit – print version

        • There are lots of documents and tools that can help you prepare for adulthood. These tools are for you and people working with you.


          Downloads What is it?
          Preparing for Adulthood Core Handout A summary of things you need to consider as you prepare to move into adulthood. Preparing for Adulthood Social Workers give this document to you at Review meetings.
          Ready Steady Go A tool to help young people through the process of preparing, planning and moving from children’s to adult services. The Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation NHS Trust (RD&E) and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (Torbay Hospital) both use this tool.
          Care and Support Self-Help Tool A self-help tool for adults over 18 living in Devon. It can help you to assess your need for support and give you more information about services that could help you.
          Decision-making Toolkit This document, produced by the Council for Disabled Children, supports young people’s decision-making with practical tools and a best-interest decision-making tool. 
          Preparing for Adulthood Toolkit- worker record This document will help your support workers make and review plans with you.
          Post-16 Transport This leaflet gives you information about transport after the age of 16.
          Devon Partnership Trust Intensive Assessment and Treatment Team (DPT IAAT) The Intensive Assessment and Treatment Team can provide specialist health support for people with learning disabilities and their families.
          Developing Independence Checklist This leaflet uses widget symbols to explain the skills young people need to develop as they prepare for adulthood.


          Websites What is it for?
          Devon Young Carers Devon Carers has a specialist team who work with young carers, addressing the needs of young people providing care and support to other family members, primarily a parent or a sibling.
          Preparing for Adulthood This organisation works to ensure that young people with SEND achieve paid employment, independent living, housing options, good health, friendships, relationships and community inclusion.
          CSW Group CSW Group can help you find out about the post-16 education options in your area and how you can make the right choice.

          • Joint Autism Strategy This document explains how Devon wants to improve outcomes for people who are autistic, their families, and carers.
          • Eligibility Policy for Adult Social Care This document explains Devon’s duty to provide Adult Social Care under the Care Act 2014.


        updated 17/07/2019

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Health and wellbeing

Information about the transition between children’s and adults’ health services.

Education, training and employment

Your options for employment, education and training post-16

Independent living

Mental capacity, housing, your rights and the law

Help for parents and carers

Information about the support you can get as a parent or parent carer