Managing the transition for young adults with learning difficulties

Now that Spring has arrived, we are looking forward positively to the year ahead. This is often a time when young adults with learning difficulties are preparing to move from school or college to a new environment. Below we outline how we can help to enable a smooth transition and assist service users in settling in to their new environment.

Supporting young adults with learning difficulties
Moving to a new environment can be daunting for both the individual and their family so we try to make the transition as stress-free as possible. Members of our Admissions and Referral Team often take part in transitions events organised by local schools and county councils, where they explain what life is like in our care homes for young adults who have learning difficulties.

Even if a placement is not needed in the near future, it is advisable to plan for a few years ahead. This extra time can reduce the pressure and stress on families and enable them to find out about the different funding arrangements for adults.   We appreciate that the transition from children’s to adults’ services means a significant change in funding. Our Admissions and Referrals team is experienced in providing information and evidence to support funding applications.

Familiarisation visits
We get to know service users and their families and facilitate visits to our homes. These may be initial visits to have a look around, then perhaps a day visit where they meet the other service users. We also arrange overnight or weekend stays. The transition can take many months, or longer, so that the service users gradually become accustomed to their new home.  In other cases, it is better for the service user to just move in, it depends on the individual.

Pre-admission assessment
Each service user has a formal, detailed assessment when they are admitted to one of our residential care homes and we develop a personalised care plan on which their care and treatment is based. Where appropriate, family members and existing social networks are consulted and involved in the assessment process.

During the pre-admission assessment, we monitor the person in different environments, such as at school and at home, so that we can continue any therapies that are seen to be working well. We also take note of situations that cause difficulties and see how these can be managed better.  If service users continue to attend school, then we liaise closely with the school, often using communication books, so that we can monitor and manage any changes in behaviour.

The individual care plan ensures that the service user’s needs are fully met. This includes their daily care support, medical needs, psychology and psychiatry support, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy as appropriate. We also continue to support their education with learning programmes and college placements.

For more information call our Admissions and Referrals Team on 01604 791266 or take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions

Sian Richardson

Sian Richardson, a member of the Admissions and Referrals Team

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