Skip to content

Preparing for Adulthood

Preparing for Adulthood is a term used to describe the process when you move from childhood into adulthood.

It takes place when you move from Children's Services to Adult Services, or when you start to think about what you want to do as an adult. This usually happens between the ages of 14 and 25.

Preparing for and finding employment

Planning to help young people with SEND (special educational needs or disabilities) to prepare for post -16 education, employment or training, is known as transition planning. This should start at your annual review meeting when you are 14 years old and in Year 9 at school.   

As a young person with an EHC Plan, or if you have SEND you will have access to careers advice in school.

In Southend, the Connexions Careers Service gives this advice.

You will be asked what you would like to do in the future and what will need to be put in place to help you achieve your goals. You and your family will be at the centre of these talks to ensure your wishes are included and that any support meets your needs.

You must stay in some type of education or training until you are 18. There are many options available when you turn 16. You should think about what option is best for you and your situation, your strengths, and interests.

You can read more about post 16 opportunities on our education page.

Friends, relationships and community

Friendships, relationships and being part of the community are really important to everyone’s quality of life. 

During the transition planning, thought is given to what needs to be done to support you to have opportunities to spend time with your friends outside of school and college, to support you to develop and keep friendships and relationships, and to ensure that you can access your local community and feel safe and confident to do so.

These are the outcomes that you will be supported to work towards, with a focus on what needs to be done to support you to be as independent as is possible.  It is important that the outcomes are discussed with you and your family during the Year 9 annual review so that they can be worked on at school and at home.  


Within the Year 9 annual review, discussions should include:

  • making and keeping friends and having supportive relationships
  • contributing to, and being part of, the local community
  • having a ‘voice’
  • volunteering
  • independent travel
  • staying safe

If you receive a direct payment from the council as part of your care package, you could use it to help you get involved with your local community.

Independent Living

Where we live and who we live with is really important. Young people including those with learning difficulties and or other disability should be able to choose:

  • where they live, and
  • who they live with

As part of preparing for adulthood, young people with a disability and their families should be encouraged to think about where they might live in the future as part of their transition planning from year 9 at school.

When they are older, some young people may want to live alone (with support if needed) with friends, or with a partner.

It is important to begin to develop the different skills you will need to live independently.

If you have a social worker, they may also be able to offer you and your family support.

Southend Councils website has information about housing.

Good health

Having good health is really important.

If you are a young person aged 14-25 with a learning disability, you or your parent carer will be are encouraged to make an appointment for your free annual health check. This usually happens at your GP (doctors) surgery.

This is to check on any ongoing health issues and talk about any physical or mental wellbeing concerns you may have.

An annual health check helps you stay well by:

  • talking about your health
  • finding any problems early
  • getting you the right care


You do not have to be ill to have a health check.  In fact, most people have their annual health check when they are feeling well.

If you are worried about seeing a doctor, let them know. Tell them if they can do anything to make your visit better. They will help make sure it goes well for you.

If needed, you can be referred to other organisations to give you help and support.

Southend's Local Offer provides more information and support available to young people with SEND (special educational needs or disabilities).