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Preparing for adulthood

Post 16 and preparing for adulthood (PfA)

Preparing for adulthood is a process that all young people go through when they move on from being a teenager and become an adult.

It is an exciting time, but we know that this can be a difficult time for some young people and their families, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) complex physical or mental health needs, those with care needs, their parents/carers and young carers.

For these young people and their parents or carers, the preparing for adulthood process can need more thought and careful preparation than for other young people of a similar age, due to changes in the services and support they have known throughout childhood. 

The post 16 process will be personalised to your needs and individual situation. Planning and preparing early will help make it a more positive experience. It will also help maintain your well-being, build confidence and independence for moving into adulthood.

See the latest news posts for post 16

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Are you a young person with Special Educational Needs?

Do you have any questions about post 16 education, training & employment or do you want to know more about preparing for adulthood?

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Or text- 07595 122306

Visit the national PfA site and Council for Disabled Children sites.

Preparing for adulthood

Council for Disabled Children – preparing for adulthood

Decision Making Toolkit (

This is designed to be used in partnership with young people to support them to make their own decisions and participate in decisions made on their behalf. 

Support and advice

In this section you can find out about the support, information and advice about the post 16 process.

Preparing for Adulthood is a key element of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) reforms that aims to improve young people’s achievement of the four key life outcomes (PDF) :

  • Employment and further education
  • Living independently
  • The best health possible
  • Having friends and relationships and being able to participate in the local community

The post 16 process includes the preparation and planning needed to support young people to move from school to further education choices such as sixth form or college and university. Depending on the needs of the young person, it may include the move from children’s social care and paediatric health services to adult social care and health services.

The SEND Code of Practice Chapter 8 highlights the need for this preparation to start early and centre on the young person’s own aspirations, interests and needs. The Department for Education Outcomes tool shows the preparing for adulthood outcomes across the age ranges for children and young people with SEND.

‘Must Dos’: SEND Code of Practice (

Read the PfA Minimum Standards, a tool to support productive conversations to enable young people with SEND to achieve good PfA and life outcomes. PfA Minimum Standards (

When does the process start?

The process starts in Year 9 (age 13 – 14) and can carry on until age 25, if necessary. Young people that have an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan must have Preparing for Adulthood Reviews and receive information, advice and support about their options and choices. All young people with an EHC Plan have an allocated Education, Health and Care Plan Co-ordinator.

North East Lincolnshire Multi-Agency Preparing for Adulthood (Transition) Protocol and Practice Guidance (2022-2024)

The Local Authority and the Clinical Commissioning Group have worked with and listened to parents, carers and young people and key partners across education, health and social care, employment and housing to develop a transition pathway that will support the achievement of key life outcomes.

This is our multi-agency transition planning process to support preparation for adulthood for young people with special Educational Needs and/or disabilities (SEND), complex physical or mental health needs, those with care needs, their parents/carers and young carers.

North East Lincolnshire Multi-Agency Preparing for Adulthood (Transition) Protocol and Practice Guidance (2022-2024) (1 MB, PDF)

Diagram shows age related stages of Preparing for adulthood found on Page 10 of PDF link above: North East Lincolnshire Multi-Agency Preparing for Adulthood (Transition) Protocol and Practice Guidance 2022-2024

The pathway above is an overview to show how co-production, a strength based, outcomes focussed approach and timely key actions prepare young people for work and life as an independent adult.

Additional information and support

To find more information and resources about what young people and their parents or carers can expect to happen as they go through this process have a look at the links below. 

This information may also be of interest and use to parents and carers and young people that do not have do not have EHC Plans. They may have SEN Support Plans as they receive SEN support in school or college.

Young people age 16 years or above or their parents/carers can contact SENDIASS for independent information, support and advice at any point in the SEND process.

Transition to college

William studies at Franklin College. Read his parents perspective of the support he received while he was there and his experience at the school. Read ‘The parents perspective. Learning Support at Franklin College’ on NELC SEND Local Offer | Celebrating SEND- local stories (

Adult social care

Support from adult social care can be discussed from Year 9 onwards. A referral will be made around the time a young person turns 16 years old to establish if they are likely to be eligible for support at age 18.

At age 18 responsibility for social care support will pass from children’s social care services to focus adult social care. When young people move into adult social care there may be a charge for some services. Further information on this will be provided at the assessment you can also ask to see the charging policy.

This Preparing for adulthood factsheet provides information on the overlaps between the Children and Families Act and the Care Act.

Contact the Focus adult social care single point of access for more information about their services.

Website: Focus (adult social work)

Telephone: 01472 256256

Annual Health Checks

Did you know if you are If you’re over 14, with a learning disability, on the learning disability register you should receive an annual health check.

NELC SEND Local Offer | Annual Health Check (

Adult health services

Good health is one of the four preparing for adulthood outcomes. As young people prepare for adulthood there are many changes for them to negotiate, including how their health care is managed. Some of the services that young people access may stop at age 16 or 18, therefore it is important to plan how health needs will be met, and by whom, in the future.

Care Plus Group provides adult health and social care services across North East Lincolnshire.

The Community Learning Disability Team provides a range of specialist professionals and services to support adults over 18 years old with a learning disability.


NAViGO is your local mental health provider for adults. They offer a full range of services for adults with autism.

Adult Autism Service :: NAViGO (

Employability services

Care Plus Group – Employability services

Employability Services help with employability and supported employment.

Employability Services supports the skills and worklessness agenda of North East Lincolnshire and promotes social inclusion within communities by opening up a career pathway to sustainable employment and further and higher education for unemployed people aged 16 plus.

This is achieved via a multi award winning Employability ‘Pathway Model’ of initiatives, including:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Internships
  • Young People’s Study Programme
  • Intermediate Labour Market opportunities
  • Structured Voluntary Placements
  • Supported Internships
  • Work trials/taster days

The service works in partnership with other multi agencies who support the skills and worklessness agenda including Jobcentre PlusWork Programme providers, NELC, YPSS, Training Providers, Schools, Adult Social Care and Shaw Trust.

Supported Internships

A Supported Internship is a study programme that includes extensive on-the-job training and works well for people with learning disabilities.

There are many benefits on top of develop work skills for young people including building confidence and soft skills like team working, there are opportunities to form relationships at work, interact with members of the public and contribute to the community. This has a positive impact on wellbeing.

The Supported Internships are for youngsters in full time education that have an Education, Health and Care Plan.

The internships will help young people achieve their aspirations and offer them a pathway to paid employment.

Our current Supported Internship programme, DFN Project Search, is offered developed in partnership with the Local Authority, Care Plus Group’s Employability Services and Linkage College.

Read guidance from the Department for Education.

Providing supported internships for young people with an EHC plan – GOV.UK (

Read guidance from Preparing for Adulthood.

Supported internships guidance for learners 8th April 2014 (

Supported_internships_and_benefits_-_advice_from_dfe_-_nov_2014_-final.pdf (

DFN Project Search

DFN Project Search is a great programme for local young people with SEND to experience life as an independent working individual with the additional support and understanding of friendly group of professionals to make sure they have a positive experience.

We currently have a cohort of five interns. They praise the programme and have aspirations to go onto paid employment and independent living. See what they had to say.


“I’ve loved the programme. I want to keep working at Grimsby Hospital, go onto paid employment, and live independently.


“I loved my catering course at Linkage. The team supported me to go straight into catering at the hospital.”

Project Search: Rewriting the future of young people with learning disabilities – Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (

What’s it all about? Watch the video.

If you have any questions please email:

Supported employment

Care Plus Group – Supported employment aims to promote social inclusion, increase confidence and overall independence for people aged 16 plus with health conditions, learning and physical disabilities. Supported Employment provides specialist support for people with barriers to finding and remaining in work through training, assessment and individual development.

It enables people to make their own choices in finding employment, engaging in training and independent living/housing. This improves the quality of life for people with long term conditions and ensures people have a positive experience.

Also, supported employment can help people to remain in work and offer support with adaptations in the workplace.

“Ryan’s hard work has resulted in him securing a permanent position in his dream job.” Read about Ryan’s success in supported employment. NELC SEND Local Offer | Celebrating SEND- local stories (

Other education and training links

Further education and training

Lincs 2 – Jobs

Volunteering opportunities

Information on our website for local housing options can be found on our Housing advice and assistance page. For further information about housing and care please visit the Services4me – Care homes and housing options.

Care homes and housing options Focus, adult social care.

Christina now lives in her own flat. You can read Christina’s housing story below.

Preparing for adulthood – Christina’s Story

“I liked living with Mum and Dad but they live in a village there was not many buses or trains so I always had to ask them to take me in the car to see my friends. I really wanted to live in Grimsby or Cleethorpes so that I could see my friends more often. I was very pleased when I was given my own flat in Cleethorpes through the Housing Project and was excited when I chose and bought a red leather suite to put in my sitting room.”

“Now I am independent and like the peace and quiet of my own flat. I make my own choices each day and have support to cook my own meals, do the housework and shopping.”

“I still like going to stay with Dad but always look forward to going back to my own flat.  I have had a person centred plan and I also have a paid job. I pay Hayley from my Personal Budget; she supports me in my job and meets me off the bus to help me cross the very busy road.”

“I have a busy life, travel independently and go to activities that I enjoy like the Gym, the Rock Foundation and Foresight where I see a lot of my friends and to Linkage’s Moving on Partnership to develop my life skills.”

“I enjoy singing and dancing with my friends at the Stamford Club, O’Neill’s or Zebedee. I go to my church – Side Door Church and once a month I help run a church group with my dad for adults with learning difficulties.”

“I am very happy with my life.”

Autism Mentoring | The Faraway CIC | England

We provide support for those with unique minds, to ensure that they are offered all they need to truly feel welcome within the community.

Join social groups, arts and crafts, woodworking, debating and more.

Foresight North East Lincolnshire – Adults Day Services (

Foresight North East Lincolnshire offers a variety of courses for the disabled community of Grimsby and surrounding areas. Foresight provides many different classes to suit everybody’s needs. 

Nationally and locally Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) is the most common type of special educational need for children and young people with an Education Health and Care Plan.

Check out the Ambitious about Autism Toolkit to help young people find employment. Toolkits | Ambitious about Autism.

Information for adults living with autism can be found on the NHS Direct website.

Further information can be found at the National Autistic Society website.

Joining up the process

In this video you can learn about the post 16, preparing for adulthood process. It’s important that your choices across education, health and social care, and opportunities for fun and enrichment, are joined together. You will also hear from Linkage College and Focus, adult social care.

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