Sheffield Mencap & Gateway


What is ‘Transitions’?

‘Transitions’ is the process whereby a child moves on from children’s services to adult services.

The age at which a young person can leave compulsory education or training is 18 years in England. From this age, a young person is classified as an adult and should, therefore, be accessing adult services. Although, some young people with a learning disability, such as those in England who have an Education, Health, and Care Plan, may access education, or training up to the age of 25 years, free of charge.

Transitions can be a very demanding time for young people with a learning disability and their families so it is important that the transition process is planned well.


It is highly significant to begin planning at the earliest possible age to ease the pressure of the transition process. Young people should be encouraged to discuss their plans for the future and explore their options for adulthood, whether that be further education, day services, independent living, employment etc. Young people should also be supported to set goals for their future that can be accessed regularly as they approach adulthood. Planning should begin no later than 13 or 14 years of age.

If a child is eligible for social care support they will be required to transition to social care support specified for adults.

The local authority will provide an assessment if a person has needs after the age of 18 years. This assessment can be requested by parents/carers at any point and the person does not have to be accessing services at the time of the assessment.

During the transition phase of services, young people should continue to receive the services they received as a child until they are able to move to adult services, meaning that there is no gap in accessing services. If the decision is made that a young person does not need care and support beyond 18 years then all services will cease.

Or you can call:

Children with Disabilities Social Care- Transitions Team – 0114 273 5368
Adult Services Access Team – 0114 273 4908
Community Learning Disabilities Team – 0114 226 2900
Continuing Healthcare Team – 0114 305 1700
Career Advice – Sheffield Futures – 0114 201 2800
Benefits – Contact a Family Helpline – 0808 808 3555
Citizens Advice Bureau – 0844 411 3111
Benefits Enquiry Line – 0800 882 200