Preparing for Adulthood

Preparing for adulthood is a series of stages that all young people go through when they move on from being a teenager to becoming an adult. It can be an exciting time of new opportunities, choices and increased independence. But it can also be a difficult and uncertain time for some young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who may need more careful help and planning through each stage. We often call this “transition planning”

We want all young people with SEND to reach their potential by achieving the best possible outcomes in adult life. This is why it is especially important that young people and families are fully involved when making plans and decisions for this next stage in life.

This section of our Local Offer has information and advice about five key areas, which young people with SEND have said are important. We have expanded our categories to separate out Employment and Education.

The Department for Education (DfE) fund the Preparing for Adulthood programme (PfA) and their mission is that young people with SEN and Disabilities have equal life chances as they transition into adulthood. For example; paid employment, housing, independent living, choice and control, friends and relationships.

You can find out more about this programme at

The Preparing for Adulthood Team’s role is to support young people and their families, to build sustainable long-term solutions to their support and care needs, focusing on enablement and independence. Our work is person centred and is led by the young person and their families in developing their support plan, enabling them to achieve their aspirations and be part of their community.

Our role includes carrying out Care Act Assessments, Mental Capacity Assessments, Community Treatment reviews, Adult Safeguarding, working with Care Leavers, supporting colleagues in SEND Education to develop Education Health Care Plans, working with Carers and Court of Protection work. We work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and work closely with our partners in the Disabled Children’s Team, SEND Education Team, Leaving Care Team, and Adults Learning Disabilities Team, as well as partners in health.


Employment is at the heart of Post 16 education and training and alongside vocational courses, Newham providers offer a range of exciting employer based supported internship programmes which are designed to lead to paid employment. Apprenticeships are also available in a number of vocational areas.

For young people who have a need to develop employability skills and self-confidence before working directly with employers, there are good opportunities at different entry levels to join a pre-internship or employability skills programme.

When a young person with SEND feels confident and is work ready, further support is available from Newham Workplace’s award-winning SEND specialist support Team. See Newham’s Local Offer for details about Workplace.

Independent Living

Developing independence is an aim for everyone with SEND. Whether this includes learning to master and self-manage some everyday tasks such as practical living skills,  learning to be an independent  traveller, shopping, learning to be safe  or preparing to progress to sheltered, supported or independent living, Newham’s educational and social care providers offer a range of training opportunities, which include fully equipped training flats and kitchens.

Friends, Relationships and Community

Whilst young people have opportunities to spend time with their peers both inside and outside of College or other place of study. Newham educational providers together with Newham Social Services can help to support young people to develop and maintain friendships and to be able to feel safe and confident to access their community to enjoy leisure facilities and activities.

Good Health

Support is available to young people to manage their own health as they move into adulthood in partnership with Health and Social Care.  

Related Information


Last updated: 02/12/2022

Skip back to top of page