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Transitions from children to adult social care

Our aim for supporting young people and their family/carers to prepare for adulthood

Our aim at Milton Keynes City Council is to provide a positive experience of preparing for adulthood (sometimes referred to as transition into adulthood) for all young people with special educational needs and disabilities, through a ‘person centred’ approach that prepares young people effectively for adult life.

  • Services provided for young people (under 17) with long-term health conditions are administered by child health and social care services.
  • After this (18+), they're usually provided by adult services.

From the age of 16 up to 18, there will begin a "transition" to adult services, which can happen at different times for individuals.

Asking for an assessment

Not everyone is eligible for adult social care but anyone (a young person or their parent, guardian and/or carer) can request an Adult Social Care needs assessment.

If the young person is already receiving support from Children's Services a referral should be made on their behalf by their allocated worker, if this is considered necessary. Any existing support will continue until agreed adult care and support is in place but it is important that the referral is made to Adult Social Care as soon as possible to avoid delays in agreeing how best to meet support needs for a young person BEFORE they reach their 18th Birthday. It is really important to establish whether a young person is likely to be eligible for adult social care, then alternative arrangements and or signposting to universally available support can happen in a timely way.

Anyone can make a referral to the “Preparing for Adulthood” Team, ideally it would be the professional who is already working with the young person but the young person themselves, their family/carers can make a referral online - Adult Social Care | Milton Keynes City Council (

Or contact the Adult Social Care ACCESS Team via


Transition from children to adults social care

A child who is being supported by the children with disabilities team may transition to adults social care around the post 16 age. If a child is being supported by the children with disabilities team it is likely they have an education, health and care plan (EHCP), has a significant learning disability and is going to be dependant on services and support for life.

A young person or their parent, guardian and/or carer can request an Adult Social Care needs assessment.

The children with disabilities team meet regularly with adults social care to discuss young people that are due to transition. This usually begins when the young person turns 16 and will be to let the adults social care team know that this young person is likely to be eligible for a service, they will also share what the current care package the young person has.

If your child is not being supported by the children with disabilities team, but you would like support from the adults social care team, you can self refer as the young person reaches the age of 18. If you do not meet the criteria then you can speak to your SEN Case worker  and discuss what options are available to you.

If you need help to understand what your needs are and how to arrange the support you need you can contact our ACCESS Team or complete a Request for care and support

When a child might transition to adults

Children usually move to the adults social care team during one of three stages:

1. On their 18th Birthday when they are no longer in education.

2. At the end of the term of their 19th Birthday.

3. At any point in between, or if there is an agreement between the children's with disabilities team and adults social care team that the young person could go early. This is usually so that there are not too many changes in their lives in a short period of time.

The most beneficial time for the young person to move to adult services will vary for separate individuals.

Who will be involved in the transition

From the age of 16 up to 18, the transition to adults social care will start. 

This should include all the services that assist, including areas such as: 

• health and social care

• working age adults

• education

• financial benefits for the young person and their family work housing.

The transition process should be an ongoing endeavour rather than one action, and it should also strive to specifically suit the child’s/young person’s needs.

What if i can't get an assessment?

If a local authority refuses a request to complete an assessment, it must explain clearly in writing how and why it has reached that decision.

The local authority must also provide information and advice about what you or the person you care for can do to prevent or delay the development of care and support needs.

Meeting a new team of professionals

Transition from child services to adult services will mean your child may start seeing different staff and professionals who will be supporting them. This is likely to be both within social care services and health services, for example at the hospital. There should be an exchange of information between the children's to adults teams to support with the transition.

This can be a confusing time for young people as the teams they are comfortable with have now changed. Resources to support with transitions can be found in here.

It is important that all family members, staff and professionals involved understand the process, and feels supported and prepared to try to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

Your child/ young person shouldn't be discharged from children's health services until their care has been moved over to adult health services.

Education and care

At the age of 16, and beyond, young people will often become increasingly independent and may want to take more control over the support they receive for their special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Education, your local authority and others who provide services for young people, when they're over compulsory school age, are expected to communicate directly with the young person.

From the September after your child's 16th birthday, you'll only be able to get payments for them as a dependant if they're in full-time education or on an approved training course.


Disability Living Allowance (DLA))

If you're a parent or carer of a child with a disability, you can claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for your child until they turn 16.

Once a disabled person is officially 16 or older and wants to claim a disability benefit, they'll need to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

PIP has replaced DLA for working-age adults (aged 16 to 64) with a disability.

Supported housing

If a young person is thinking of moving away from home, they might want to consider supported housing.

Supported housing is available for people who are vulnerable or have a disability. It allows people to live independently and still receive the care they need.

The care offered in supported housing can range from on-site support to occasional visits. It can be a few hours a week or up to 24 hours a day, depending on the person's needs. Speak to the adult social care team for more information.

Adult Services - Adult Social Care ACCESS Team

Adult Social Care ACCESS Team contact information

Monday to Friday 8:30am - 5:15pm, Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ

Adult Services - Adult Social Care Out of Hours and Bank Holidays

Adult Social Care Out of Hours and Bank Holidays contact information

  • 01908 725005

5:00pm -9:00am Monday-Friday Weekends & Bank holidays 24 hrs,

Children with Disabilities Team

Children with Disabilities Team contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ

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