This post features SCIE’s Ewan King blogs for the Department of Health on how mental and physical health conditions are not ‘magically resolved’ on a young person’s eighteenth birthday.
Key messages for practice – we need to:
- Improve our work with young people and families early on, making sure there are good plans in place to help them through periods of transition. We shouldn’t wait until someone is 17 and about to leave children’s services.
- Create and embed a culture and practice of strong joint working – or co-production – between young people, parents and practitioners. Brighton and Hove Council has been highly commended for this approach, with young people and parents closely involved in planning how support will be accessed and provided once adulthood; supported by good local advocacy and parents’ organisations.
- Develop a strength-based approach which focuses on what is positive and possible for the young person, rather than on a pre-determined set of transition options. Through conversations with young people and their parents, we need to get to know what really makes that person tick and what they want to achieve when they get older. This approach can help open practitioners’ minds to what other possibilities might exist for a young person locally.
- Coordination is key. Provide a named worker: young people who receive support from social care and health should be allocated a single practitioner – who should act as a ‘named worker’ – to coordinate their transition care and support. We’re already seeing examples of this approach with the trialling of named social workers – with a particular remit for mental health, learning disabilities and autism – in six English councils.
- Collaborative working: Hampshire County Council identifies and works with young people from the age of 14. They help them identify how they will access good housing, employment, training and leisure opportunities from the age of 18, working with commissioners from both adults’ and children’s services.
‘We need to instill a culture and practice of strong joint working between young people, parents and practitioners.’
Read the full piece at source: Avoiding the cliff edge: making transitions work
For more information see: NICE guidelines
Helpful references and links to accompany this piece: