Local Authorities have a duty to carry out an assessment of anyone who appears to have care and support needs regardless of their eligibility and state funded care.
"Services at transition should be aimed at moving a person into work/adult life in such a way as to promote their independence and so reduce their long term needs for care and support."
We know that the transition to adulthood is a time when young people and their families are thinking about their aspirations for the future. If people are likely to have care and support needs when they are 18, they need information and advice so that they can make the necessary plans.
The Care Act says that if a child, young carer or an adult caring for a child (a 'child's carer') is likely to have needs when they, or the child they care for, turns 18, the local authority must assess them if it considers there is 'significant benefit' to the individual in doing so. This is regardless of whether the child or individual currently receives any services.
When either a child or a young carer approaches their 18th birthday, they may ask for an assessment. A parent or carer may also ask for an assessment as the child they are caring for approaches 18.
As in all assessments, local authorities will need to consider the needs of the person, what needs they are likely to have when they (or the child they care for) turn 18, and the outcomes they want to achieve in life. They should consider what types of adult care and support might be of benefit at that point, and also consider whether other options beyond formal services might help the individual achieve their desired outcomes. The Act says that when an assessment is carried out, information should be given about whether the young person, child's carer or young carer is likely to have eligible needs for care and support when they turn 18. The person should receive advice and information about what can be done to meet or reduce the needs they are likely to have, as well as what they can do to stay well, and prevent or delay the development of future needs.
A successful transition to adult care and support needs the young person, their families and professionals to work together. This is crucial. The Act gives local authorities a legal responsibility to cooperate, and to ensure that all the correct people work together to get the transition right.
The Children and Families Act creates a new 'birth-to-25 years' Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) for children and young people with special educational needs, and offers families personal budgets so that they have more control over the type of support they get. In some cases, where a person is over 18, the 'Care' part of the EHC plan will be provided for by adult care and support, under the Care Act.
The Children and Families Act also improves cooperation between all the services that support children with special educational needs and their families. This requires local authorities to involve children, young people and parents in reviewing and developing care for those with special educational needs. Information is available on the Local offer webpage outlining support that can be offered locally.