Preparing for Adult Life - Parent or Carer Information


What is Preparing for Adulthood?

Preparing for adulthood is about a child's or young person's  journey into adult life. 

Many children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities want to move into paid employment and/or university, they want to be healthy and have relationships, and belong in their local community. 

Preparing for Adulthood is:

  1. Employment and training (continuing education, training or getting a job).
  2. Independent Living– this is about our young people having choice and control over their lives , including accommodation, such as living arrangements.  Working towards independence also helps with getting a job and making choices about your future
  3. Community inclusion (having friends and participating in the local community)
  4. Being as healthy as possible in adult life – this includes having access to sport and social activities, having an annual health check, moving into adult health services

Think about Preparing for Adulthood like a pathway!

We have worked with Pinpoint and others to produce a Parent and Carers guide to Preparing for Adulthood

Top tips for parent/carers

These top tip have been produced to help you and your young person prepare for adult life. 

Top tips for young people from young people

These top tips have been produced to help you and your young person prepare for adult life. 

Support for parents and carers

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) offers impartial and confidential information, advice and support to parents and carers who have a child or young person with special educational needs (SEN) or a disability or have concerns that their child has special educational needs. They also offer impartial and confidential information, advice and support to young people and children with special educational needs (SEN) or a disability or who have concerns they may have special educational needs.

Contact a Family have information about how the Special Educational Needs and Disability reforms require us all to support young people as they prepare for and enter adulthood.

Pinpoint; Cambridgeshire's parent carer forum, run a Preparing for Adulthood Support Group. They also run sessions for parents and carers to support young people as they become adults. Find more details and the dates of future sessions on pinpoint's website.

Caring Together (previously known as Carers Trust) provides:

  • information, advice and support for carers in Cambridgeshire
  • Family Carers Prescriptions
  • and the What If? planning for an emergency service.

We worked together with Pinpoint and Caring Together to pull together information and support for parent carers, including those caring for young people over 18, to support them in their role as carers.  This includes local support and advice for carers, looking after your own health and well-being, national carer organisations and money matters for carers.  Find out more on our  Support, advice and information for parent carers and carers page.

Our new useful parent's guide contains information aimed at helping you and your young person think about some of the different aspects of preparing for and moving into adult life.

Preparing for Adulthood Annual Reviews : Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP)

The Annual Review is an opportunity to review the plan and make sure it is supporting your child to achieve what they would like to be able to do as they get older.

The Preparing for Adulthood - Parent Checklist can help you with useful signposting and helpful questions to ask during your childs Annual Review meeting. 

At the bottom of this page there is also a short animated film that explain the Annual Review process produced by the Council by Disabled children. 

Preparing for Adulthood - a parent's guide

Thinking about and preparing for the future can be full of possibilities and new things for young people and their families.

Our new parent's guide aims to share information about and help you think about some of the different aspects of preparing for and moving into adult life.

Advocacy for young adults

Voiceability run an independent advocacy service. This is for adults who receive care or support, or who may need to. More information is available on Voiceability's website. You can also talk to your social worker or care manager about this.

Guide to Education Transitions'

The term ‘education transition’ can be used to describe any changes for your child with special education needs and disability as they are moving into, within, between and out of educational settings.

You can find lots of useful information on Transitions on our Education Transitions page.

Post 16 - which is the right choice?

There are a range of options:

  • Paid work/volunteering
  • Apprenticeships and Suppprted Apprenticeships
  • Supported Internships
  • Further Education and Sixth Form/Sixth Form Colleges
  • Higher Education

These are all explored in more detail in the Moving On: Options for School Leavers with Additional Needs booklet and The Moving On: Further and Higher Education Booklet. 

For further information on post-16 options and where your young person can get a job visit the  Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Your Futures site.

Post-18: Support and opportunities

We have produced an 18-25 booklet designed to support students with preparing for adulthood opportunites. 

Health advice for young people with a learning disability

You can find out lots of useful tips on our Preparing for Adult Life - Good Health page.

To see if your child or young person is eligible for an Annual health Check read more information the Learning disability annual health check information the the Good Health page.

Information about the Mental Capacity Act and supporting young adults

The Mental Capacity Act's role is to make a real difference to the lives of people who lack mental capacity. It empowers people to make decisions for themselves where possible. It provides a flexible framework. It puts people at the heart of the decision-making process.

Find out more about the Mental Capacity Act, and how we meet the requirements in Cambridgeshire.

The Making finance decisions for young people: parent and carer toolkit is a useful guide for parents and carers to make finanical decisions for young people who lack mental capacity. 

Here is a very helpful linked from Mencap: What is The Mental Capacity Act? | Mencap and a helpful Mencap’s Mental Capacity Resource pack:  mental capacity act resource pack_1.pdf (

Benefits advice and information

Is your young person recieving all the benefits they are entitled to? 

Visit our Benefits and finance page and the Disability Rights UK Benefit Calculator to find out more. 

Our Welfare Benefits Advice Team can answer any questions you have about benefits. They can also assist with filling in benefit application forms. They offer this advice and support to:

  • adults
  • those supporting adults
  • to parents and carers of children.

Contact Welfare Benefits Advice Team on 01353 612926.

Are you a Young Carer?

Young carers need proper support around them to make sure they’re able to care for their loved ones while taking care of their own physical and mental health and working towards a bright and healthy future.

The Young Carers Support app enables young and young adult carers in the UK to find information and advice, self-help resources, wellbeing tips and activities, plus a catalogue of support services – all in one place:

Download on iOS

Download on Android

PFA event information and event feedback

Below is some useful nformation from our Preparing for Adulthood events. This includes any slides from events that have taken place, as well as any ‘you said/ we did’ feedback from parents/carers.

All that stallholders that attended the event are listed below:


VoiceAbility - Support us to speak out
Annual Reviews

Related Pages

  1. Good Health
  2. Education transitions
  3. Further and higher education
  4. SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)


  1. Preparing for Adulthood - Parent Checklist
  2. A transition guide preparing young people with vision impairment for post‑16 transitions
  3. Preparing for Adulthood and Annual Review checklist
  4. Moving On - Information for School Leavers with Additional Needs in Cambridgeshire
  5. Preparing for Adulthood – a parent's guide
  6. Easy Read: Parent/Carer top tips
  7. Helpful tips from young people with SEND
  8. PFA 18-25 Guide
  9. March PFA Event Stallholder Directory

Related Services

  1. Pinpoint: Cambridgeshire Parent Carer Forum
  2. Introduction to the Mental Capacity Act for Parent Carers
  3. Caring Together

External Links

  1. MENCAP Fact Sheet about Learning Disability and Employment
  2. Planning my future life (NDTI)
  3. Career magazine to help parents and carers
  4. Apprenticeship Resource Pack for parents
  5. Search results from Careers and Enterprise Company
  6. Talking Futures - Parents toolkit
  7. Relationship map
  8. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Your Futures
  9. Like and Admire person centred thinking tool
  10. Report abuse of an adult at risk
  11. Supporting Planning & Writing Good PfA Outcomes
  12. Making finance decisions for young people: parent and carer toolkit


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