Moving from child to adult social care

The process of moving from children’s services to adult services is known as transition.

Transition planning from age 14 (year 9)

Planning for transition should normally start when you are 14, or at the start of Year 9 in school.

If you have an Education, Health and Care plan your Year 9 annual review meeting will be the point where everyone involved will start to think about the support you may need in the four areas of:

  • Getting and staying healthy
  • Gaining independence
  • Training to develop new skills or to find employment
  • Being active and included in the community.

Your social worker will notify the adult social care teams if it is likely that you will need ongoing support when you reach the age of 18. 

At this stage young people or their parents/carers can also self-refer for an assessment of their needs if they feel they may need support into adulthood that has not been identified earlier or through other channels.

Transition planning from age 16 (year 11)

If your child has an EHC plan, the annual review of the plan is where their transition plans are reviewed and options for your child’s future are considered and planning continues.

Staff from children and adult services review the transition planning for young people who are likely to need care and support as an adult and consider if earlier involvement is needed from adult social care, which also supports forward planning of future services required for young people needing support as an adult.

Legal changes at 16

At the age of 16 young people become legally entitled to make certain decisions about their education, health and care needs. They can be responsible for giving consent and have the right to confidentiality over their health matters.

While many young people will be able to make informed decisions, some young people with learning disabilities or special educational needs may need support to do so and may need the help of an advocate. This could be a parent, carer, trusted family member or good friend.

Mental Capacity Act 2005

Legally people of 16 and over have the right to make their own decisions and are protected by the Mental Capacity Act. The act also outlines how the young person can be supported to make important decisions for themselves and sets out how they can get ongoing support when they are unable to make specific decisions about their welfare or finances.

Benefits and Money

On turning 16 your child:

  • can claim benefits in their own right; however, if they stay in full-time nonadvanced education (e.g. GCSEs, A-levels, BTECs, NVQ levels 1-3) or some types of training, parents can choose to carry on claiming for them as part of their family. You will need to weigh up which option is likely to leave your family better off. You can get help from the benefit advisors at Contact for Disabled Children on 0808 808 3555, find out more on the Contact website or contact the Bromley Well Advice Service
  • can receive direct payments for Social Care support in their own right.
  • will be reassessed for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if they have been getting DLA (Disability Living Allowance) as a child. For more information, visit 
  • can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if they are in full time education and get DLA/PIP. 

Appointees and deputies

Where a young person is unable to manage money or a budget independently, they can appoint someone else to receive and manage their benefits on their behalf.

Deputyship covers all financial assets and savings, deputies are usually close relatives or friends of the person who needs help making decisions.


This person is known as an appointee and can help the young person to use their benefits to pay expenses such as household bills, food, personal items and residential accommodation charges.

You can find out more about becoming an appointee on the GOV.UK website. 

You can also speak to a benefits advisor to see how your family income could be affected or call the benefit enquiry line on 0800 88 22 00.

Where no one else is able or suitable to do so, such as a relative, friend or solicitor, Bromley Council can apply to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to be appointed to act on behalf of the benefit claimant in order to deal with their benefits.

Find out more about Bromley’s appointee and deputyship service


You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they lack mental capacity. This means they cannot make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. They may still be able to make decisions for themselves at certain times.

You can find out more about becoming an deputy on the GOV.UK website.

Where someone may have an ongoing need for decisions to be made on their behalf as they lack the capacity to make such decisions on their own, and have no-one else who is able or suitable to do so Bromley Council can apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a deputy to manage the person’s financial affairs.

Find out more about Bromley’s appointee and deputyship service 

Transition from age 18

All young people who receive services from the children’s disability service will be discussed with the adult social care teams and a decision will be made on the most appropriate adult team to assess in relation to their future care and support needs. The majority will be reassessed by 17 ½ years of age and, if they are still eligible for care and support from social care they will be transitioned to the appropriate adult services team. This team will then continue to provide the help and support needed as young people enter adulthood.

The Care Act does not say that the child has to be a certain age to be able to ask for an assessment. It says that local authorities must consider, in all cases, whether there would be a ‘significant benefit’ to the individual in doing an assessment. Guidance also suggests that assessments should take place when it is easier to understand what the needs of your child will be beyond the age of 18.

Children's services must continue to be provided until adult provision has started, or a decision is made that the young person's needs do not meet the eligibility criteria for adult care and support following a Care Act assessment.

Where social care provision is specified in an Education, Health and Care Plan, existing duties on social care services to assess and provide for the needs of disabled young people continue to apply. Where the young person is over 18, the care element of the Education, Health and Care Plan will usually be provided by adult services. 

If you are a young person with a social worker, you or your parents or carer can contact your social worker to discuss your child’s transition planning.

Children's disability service


Tel: 020 8313 4511

Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH

Children's referral and assessment team


Tel: 020 8461 7373 / 7309

Fax: 020 8313 4400

Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH