The Preparing for Adulthood programme provides expertise and support to local authorities and their partners to embed preparing for adulthood from the earliest years.
The Preparing for Adulthood outcomes are based on what disabled young people say is important to them. Ultimately, young people want to have full lives with choices about their future and control of their support.
The Preparing for Adulthood programme has three key strands of work:
- Development and implementation of good practice through the PfA Demonstration Sites
- Best practice and information sharing
- Regional support in relation to all PfA outcomes and partnership working through events and networks
We work with the Department for Education and its partners to ensure that young people with SEND achieve paid employment, independent living and housing options, good health, friendships, relationships and community inclusion as they move into adulthood.
We continue to:
- Build on the learning from previous years of the programme
- Build on the learning from past initiatives
- Promote peer-to-peer learning at a local and regional level and support to develop and maintain regional PfA networks
- Share knowledge of what works, the challenges and solutions with Government, local agencies, families and young people
- Support engagement across wider government initiatives
As of September 2014, when the Children and Families Act 2014 was introduced, new duties were put in place to ensure that Preparing for Adulthood outcomes focus on person-centred reviews from year 9 onwards.
Through the reforms, we have developed a clearer understanding of what the evidence is that supports young people into employment. Vocational profiles are a useful and successful way of finding out what kind of job a young person may be interested in. This can inform the range of work experience that a young person does. A job coach is a professional who supports someone to get a job and learn how to do the job, and continues to provide just enough support until the young person no longer needs it, or until natural support can be provided within the work environment. There should be clear, evidence-based employment pathways with opportunities for volunteering, supported internships, traineeships and apprenticeships and good careers advice and guidance to help young people with their decision-making.
Young people are supported to manage their own health as they move into adulthood. Young people with learning disabilities are registered with GPs from age 14, and annual health checks and plans are offered. Health professionals use person-centred approaches and work in partnership with education and social care colleagues as part of the EHC planning process.
Schools, colleges and other post-16 providers include a particular focus on housing options and provide young people and their families the tools and resources they need to fully understand what is available. This could include mock applications for housing register and housing benefit as well as support to research the housing options in their own area. Young people are encouraged to think about who they would like to live with. This is particularly important for young people who are in out-of-area provision, should they wish to return to their local area.
Friends, relationships and community inclusion
Young people have opportunities to spend time with their peers outside of school and college. They are supported to develop and maintain friendships and relationships. They can access their community and feel safe and confident.