Preparation for Adulthood Strategy 2020-2024

A strategy for council services and partners that have input into work with children/young people and adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or additional needs.

This strategy follows the time line of the Council Plan 2020-2024.


  1. Foreword
  2. Introduction
  3. Current Strategic Context
  4. National Context
  5. Mental Capacity and Care Act (2014)
  6. Priorities
  7. Joint Commissioning
  8. Transition to Adult Social Care
  9. Appendices
  10. Glossary
  11. Annex 1 – Governance Structure of the Trust


1. Foreword

The following document outlines the vision, ambition and strategy for Preparation for Adulthood for Cheshire West and Chester Council (CW&C) from 2020-2024.

Children, young people and adults with additional needs and additional vulnerabilities should be enabled to have happy, healthy and successful lives. All professionals working with families should look to enable children and young people to make choices for themselves from an early age and support them in making friends and staying safe and healthy.

There are also transitional definitions by age accessing adult services at 16 or 18; there are definitions by organisation – transferring from children’s health care to adult health care. There are also definitions by statutory guidance such as school leaving age at 16 as well as participation age and Care Act eligibility at 18.

For the purposes of this strategy, periods of transition are seen as preparing a young person for adulthood. We have decided to approach preparing for adulthood by aligning service areas and pieces of work. This practically means having an overarching strategy and work undertaken from the strategy that joins teams together that are within children’s services, adult services, place based services and health and commissioned services – this forms the basis of the strategy. Underpinning this work is effective person-centred planning; the use of assessments and tools to ensure that the voice of the child, young person (YP) and adult along with their journey is at the core of the work by all organisations.

What is clear in all documentation and analysis is that ‘transition’ in whatever form it takes is recognised as one of increased risk for the children and young people (CYP) and adults.

Councillor Robert Cernik, Executive and Cabinet Member for Children and Families

Pathway to adulthood

2. Introduction

Currently the outcomes for CYP and adults with SEND nationally are lower than the outcomes for CYP without SEND. This strategy aims to overcome these inequalities. Leadership with SEND needs to be forward thinking; to reflect on human rights and equality to act as a compass for guiding the development of services and commissioning.

Our communities:

At January 2019, there were approximately 7,500 under 25’s with an identified SEND in CW&C. This is a rate of 78.8 per 1,000 under 25 population; around 1 in 13 children and young people. This is a slight increase from the previous year. The majority of children with SEND are having their needs met by their school without the need for additional support. Of those with a SEND, 1,857 had a high level of need that required an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP); a rate of 19.6 per 1,000 under 25 population; around 1 in 51 children and young people.

January 2019 saw an increase in pupils with an EHCP to its highest point in nine years. However SEN support has generally decreased over the last nine years.

Primary need Under 25’s with SEND Under 25’s with an EHCP Under 25’s with SEN support
Autistic spectrum condition 13.2% 28.8% 7%
Moderate learning difficulty (cognition and learning) 25.2% 24.5% 25.5%
Hearing impairment 1.8% 1.6% 1.9%
Medical 0.6% 2.3% 0%
Multi-sensory impairment 0.3% 0.4% 0.3%
Physical disability 3.3% 5.4% 2.5%
Profound and multiple learning difficulty 0.4% 1.3% 0%
Severe learning difficulty 2.7% 9% 0.2%
Social, emotional and mental health 18.1% 14.9% 19.3%
Specific learning difficulty 14% 0.3% 19.4%
Speech, language and communication needs 19.7% 10.7% 23.2%
Visual impairment 0.8% 0.9% 0.7%


There are many services that support CYP and adults with additional needs including:

  • Universal community health services
  • Specialist health services
  • Children’s social care
  • Adult social care
  • Early years specialist services
  • SEND support in educational settings
  • The SEN Team
  • Special schools
  • The Autism Service
  • Youth service
  • Early Help and Prevention
  • Post 16 learning providers and
  • The Skills and Employment Team.

It is at the heart of this strategy to ensure that these services work together, and it is an aspiration of ours to ensure we have a joined up pathway for Children and Young People.

  • CYP and adults with SEN (D) should have outcomes that are locally similar to those CYP and adults without SEN (D).
  • There is ease of access to employment, training, work experience and volunteering opportunities.
  • All services work together to improve processes.
  • There is the development of a strategy group encompassing people and places.
  • Locally effective ways of working are recognised and developed.
  • Education Health and Care Plans include a strong employment component which builds through secondary school, college or post 16 providers and into employment.
  • Local data indicates preparation for adulthood outcomes.
 Achieving the vision:
  • At the beginning of the strategy an audit of current services will take place. Transitional plans will begin at the earliest opportunity and children and adult teams will work together to aid a smooth, safe transition of services.
  • Children, adult, place, health and commisioning services will work in collaboration on pieces of work that impact directly on practice.
  • The pathway to adulthood offer is understood and available to all on Live Well Cheshire West.
  • Challenge to providers on meeting need e.g. sufficiency of post 16 provision.
  • Working in a trauma responsive way.
  • Professionals communicate with other partners working with different family members to sequence and coordinate those efforts for the best outcomes of the whole family.
  • Professionals working for the strategy group will provide robust and quality driven data.
  • Professionals can demonstrate impact and outcomes for CYP and adults.
Our Way of Working in CW&C – a way of responding to trauma as a whole workforce approach

Underpinning how we work as a partnership to improve outcomes and make a difference for children and young people within our borough is Our Way of Working. This is the golden thread that runs through all services and agencies in supporting a common and consistent approach in working with children and young people, to develop a ‘One Workforce’ for children and families. It provides a fundamental platform to support transition and preparation for adult life, through considering the impact of trauma and childhood adversity on long term social, emotional and health outcomes, and provides strategies and tools to respond in order to build resilience and prepare a strong foundation for adult life. Our Way of Working further draws upon the evidence base of motivational interviewing to strengthen how we work with young people and their families to sustain lasting change.

The model is underpinned by Think Family, which is critical to supporting successful outcomes to adult life. The model enables the multi-agency workforce to develop a shared understanding of need, risk and vulnerability through driving forward a shared language across the partnership that is trauma informed. This way of working draws on two frameworks to enable shared understanding and assessment of need, risk and vulnerability through Multi Agency Group Supervision and a framework to support problem solving review and reflection through Learning Conversations. These frameworks can be drawn on across the continuum of need and to support transition to adulthood to prevent ‘cliff edge’ periods and strengthen how, as a joint workforce, we can meet and respond to emerging needs into adulthood.

To find out more about Our Way of Working:

Covid-19 Trauma Recovery Programme

COVID-19 represents an unprecedented challenge for public services who have had to respond swiftly to changes in government guidance and the nature of this crisis locally as they have evolved during 2020, working closely with key partners and the community at every stage. The aim of the Recovery Programme is to :

  • Ensure that the needs of all children and families across the continuum of need are met and supported through the integration and transition into a ‘usual way of life’ post ‘stay at home’ government directive.
  • To develop a ‘Think Family,’ multi-agency, coordinated, phased recovery plan that builds on the foundations of New Ways of Working of a ‘One workforce’ approach. Drawing on Trauma Informed Practice and Motivational interviewing to inform and develop the multi-agency response.
  • Implement a Psychosocial Model of recovery drawing on wider research and expertise from the multi-agency partnership to prevent need, risk and vulnerabilities increasing for children and families that strengthens and prevents an increase in demand across services.

3. Current Strategic Context

The West Cheshire Children’s Trust structure comprises of the following:

Children’s Trust Executive – The Executive is the decision-making body of the Trust. The Trust is responsible for managing the business processes of the Children’s Trust and delivery of services in line with the agreed priorities.

Children’s Trust Subgroups – The sub-groups of the Children’s Trust are accountable to the Children’s Trust Executive. They are responsible for the development of integrated operational delivery, ensuring that services are delivered in line with the priorities and local needs identified within the Children and Young People’s Plan.  The SEND Strategy Group is a subgroup of the Children’s Trust.

Preparing for Adulthood – Reports to the SEND Strategy Group.

Useful links
 The main areas that the four year preparation for adulthood strategy group will focus on
  1. Improving the outcomes for our young people,
  2. Improving the transition of young people from school to further education.
  3. Improving the post 19 provision within borough.
  4. Increasing employment opportunities for CYP & A with additional needs and vulnerabilities within Cheshire West and Chester as an employer.
Areas of strength
  • Cheshire West and Chester currently have 3.1 per cent of children and young people with a statutory plan. This is in line with national figures and below the North West who have 3.2 percent.
  • Timeliness of completion of new assessments is very good. In 2018, CWAC’s 20 week compliance was 81.6 per cent (include exceptions to timescales) which was 23.6pp above the national average. In the North West this was 60.8 per cent in 2018. In 2018, the national average was 58 per cent of new EHC plans issued within 20 weeks (including exceptions). Provisional figures show that in CW&C during 2019 the performance has improved to 87.9 per cent of new plans issued within 20 weeks. National data will not be available until May 2020. The improved performance in 2019 has also seen an increase in new plans issued for the first time from 217 in 2018 to 314 in 2019.
  • A High Needs Review has been carried out to identify areas for development now and in the future due to rising forecast of numbers and complexity of pupils. One of these projects is around Preparation for Adulthood and we have developed a project plan to focus on this area.

4. National Context

CW&C comparable to national data.

The JSNA has the following data: Level two qualifications equates to achievement of five or more GCSEs at grades A*- C or a Level two vocational qualification of equivalent size. In 2018, all cohorts of 19 year olds qualified to level two decreased from 2017 in CW&C and nationally. In CW&C those with an EHCP saw the biggest decrease. In 2018, 9.4 per cent of 19 year olds who had an EHCP were qualified to level two, which is considerably lower the national average of 14.8 per cent, and a decrease from 2017 when 14.3 per cent of 19 year olds in CW&C were qualified to level two. It is the lowest it has been since 2014, five years ago. For those who had accessed SEND support, 36.1 per cent were qualified to level two, which is slightly better than the England average of 35.6 per cent and a slight decrease from 2017 of 0.8 per cent. Level three qualifications equates to A level or vocational qualification of equivalent size. In 2018, 14.1 per cent of 19 year olds who had an EHCP were qualified to level three. This is better than the England average (13.2 per cent), and an increase from 2017 when 10.2 per cent were qualified to level three. 19 year olds who had accessed SEND support saw a decrease in the percentage qualified to level three from 24.4 per cent in 2017 to 28.9 per cent in 2018. This is lower than the England average of 30.8 per cent and the lowest it has been it the last six years. (Source JSNA)

CW&C number of special schools – we have ten special schools in this LA who cater for a variety of needs such as Autism, Complex Leaning Difficulties, Social Emotional and Mental Health needs. All of our special schools have a good or outstanding ‘Ofsted’ rating. Post 16 education – where we are nationally – CW&C reliant on Cheshire East and other colleges.

Young people 16-18 in CW&C we are seeing a rising trend to 2019 in attendees at FE.

19-24 young people with a EHCP are more likely to attend specialist provision, this could be due to the need to spend more time in education to achieve their potential. Therefore the numbers of 19-24 years at FE is low. There is a need to look at specific areas such as complex needs and SEMH further to ensure there is a more comprehensive offer for this age group.

Data source: Transparency Data – NEET and Participation: Local Authority Figures. Number and proportion 16-17 year olds recorded as NEET or not known with SEND (EHCP or statement) without SEND (no EHCP or statement, no SEN support) Total
March 18 March 19 March 20 March 18 March 19 March 20 March 18 March 19 March 20
Number of 16-17 year olds CWAC 290 270 280 6340 6030 6220 6640 6310 6500
CWAC % 5.6% 8.7% 10.2% 2.1% 2.4% 2.5% 2.3% 2.7% 2.8%
Warrington % 11.2% 11.1% 10.8% 3.3% 2.7% 3.3% 3.7% 3.1% 3.7%
Warwickshire % 8.4% 5.9% 8.5% 3.6% 3.6% 3.1% 3.8% 3.7% 3.4%
Regional % 11.7% 11.8% 10.7% 6.3% 5.9% 4.9% 6.5% 6.3% 5.4%
National % 9.6% 9.2% 9.4% 5.9% 5.2% 5% 6% 5.5% 5.5%


In March 2020 the number of our young people who have a EHCP who are NEET has increased from the previous three year period.

EHCP Plan’s Since September 2019: 321 EHCP’s Issued in CW&C of which 247 were High Needs – placed in Further Education, Sixth Form, Special Sixth Form and ISP’s. Eight young people were placed in ISP’s out of borough.

Adults – Health Checks

NHS England and NHS Improvement have set a target for GPs and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to improve access to healthcare for people with learning disability so that by 2020, 75 per cent of people on a GP Learning Disability register in England will be receiving an annual health check. The annual health check offers an opportunity for protected time for a comprehensive “head to toe” health check with a person’s GP and practice nurse. GPs and practice nurses are true generalists and our whole-patient oriented view of disease is likely to be more useful than a disease oriented specialist view for people with learning disabilities.

People with learning disabilities have increased prevalence of multimorbidity, complexity, polypharmacy and greater likelihood of adverse events from incompatible interventions. A person-focused approach is essential to help patients and their families navigate our increasingly complex health care system, particularly the potential barriers from multi agency working and the increasing use of direct technology interfaces with patients. As of march 2020 in the CWaC footprint for 14-25 year olds we were achieving 52.9 per cent.

5. Mental Capacity and Care Act (2014)

The Care Act 2014 places a duty on local authorities to conduct transition assessments for children, children’s carers and young carers where there is a likely need for care and support after the young person turns 18 and a transition assessment would be of ‘significant benefit’.

The guidance states that in order to fully meet these duties, local authorities should consider how they can identify young people and carers who are not receiving children’s services but are nevertheless likely to have care and support needs as adults. They should consider how to establish mechanisms to identify young people as early as possible in order to plan for or prevent the development of care and support needs and thereby fulfil their duty relating to ‘significant benefit’ and the timing of assessments.

The Care Act 2014 sets out local authorities’ duties in relation to assessing people’s needs and their eligibility for publicly funded care and support.

Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities must:
  • Carry out an assessment of anyone who appears to require care and support, regardless of their likely eligibility for state-funded care.
  • Focus the assessment on the person’s needs and how they impact on their wellbeing, and the outcomes they want to achieve.
  • Involve the person in the assessment and, where appropriate, their carer or someone else they nominate.
  • Provide access to an independent advocate to support the person’s involvement in the assessment if required.
  • Consider other things besides care services that can contribute to the desired outcomes (e.g. preventive services, community support).
  • Use the new national minimum threshold to judge eligibility for publicly funded care and support.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides the legal framework for acting and making decisions on behalf of any adult (defined in the act as over 16 years of age) who lacks the mental capacity to make the decision themselves.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) is the statutory framework for acting and making decisions on behalf of individuals over 16 years old who lack the capacity to make particular decisions for themselves or who have the capacity and want to make preparations for a time when they may lack capacity in the future.

Mental Capacity is the ability to make a specific decision at the time the decision needs to be made. Ability to make a decision is informed by, for example, a person’s ability to understand the decision and why it needs to be made.

In safeguarding those children aged between 16–18 and adults 18 and over,  we will always consider the best interests of the individual at risk in line with The Mental Capacity Act (MCA, 2005) and corresponding Code of Practice.

6. Priorities

Life Skills and independence
  • Young Peoples Service provide Information Advice and Guidance to all young people with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) from Year 9
  • All schools provide universal Careers Education
  • Statutory Guidance: “Careers guidance and access for education and training providers” October 2018

The Government’s career strategy sets out a long term plan, with clear requirements and guidance. The aim is to ensure young people in schools and colleges receive a programme of advice and guidance that is stable, structured and delivered by individuals with the right skills and experience. Contained within the strategy are the Gatsby benchmarks. The eight benchmarks provide a framework that supports schools/colleges in developing a programme that fulfils their legal duties, meets the needs of their young people and prepares them for the world of work.

Gatsby Benchmarks
  1. A Stable Careers Programme
  2. Learning from Career and Labour Market Information
  3. Addressing the Needs of Each Pupil
  4. Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers
  5. Encounters with Employers and Employees
  6. Every pupil should have first-hand experience
  7. Encounters with Further and Higher Education
  8. Personal Guidance

As careers education is not a statutory requirement for primary schools, the Raising Aspirations programme is designed to plug the gap. Broadly, Raising Aspirations seeks to embed an inspirational inclusive careers education programme within every primary school, challenge stereotypes and raise awareness of opportunities and pathways both locally and nationally for all.

What we will do/continue to do
  • The ‘Careers Education Group’ will continue to drive career leads in mainstream and special schools and colleges.
  • The group will continue to meet half termly to share good practice and information thus raising the profile of careers education.
  • A roll out of the Raising Aspirations programme is in place to enable all primary schools to have access to resources produced and staff training.
What success will look like
  • Every school/College has a stable, structured careers programme developed in line with Gatsby benchmarks and addresses the needs of all their students
  • Nine secondary schools have achieved the National Quality standard in Careers Education and a further four schools are currently in the process of completing the award.
  • Schools have access to support from Careers Enterprise coordinators (CEC) and pledge coordinators (Local Enterprise Partnership) and other exernal providers.
  • Young people are fully informed of the range of career opportunities and pathways available and have the skills and confidence to enable them to make informed decisions at different stages of their life.

All children/young people with disabilities should have the support they need to fulfil their potential and lead as independent life as possible. Support should place the child/young person and their family at the heart of decision making regarding the type of care, how and where it is delivered.

What will we do/continue to do
  • We are working with providers to develop appropriate services such as independent living in a ‘transition house’.
  • We will ensure that individual person centred plans build on independence skills.
  • Our short break offer has independence at the heart and we ensure a co-ordinated plan for shared outcomes.
  • We are involving young people in the setting up of new services.
  • More young people want to have their ‘own’ front door. We are working with services to develop this.
What does success look like
  • More young people will be living independently.
  • More young people will live on their own.
  • More young people will be in paid employment.


  • All Paediatric health services will have developed a transition policy in line with the NICE guidelines “Transition from children’s to adults’ services for young people using health or social care services”. This will ensure that transition starts from year 9 and the review process at year 9 will be a priority review for health clinicians.
  • Children and young people who are eligible for an annual health check at their GP surgery will be identified by:
    1. The DCO when a YP has their year 9 review
    2. Within the GP surgery from coding notifications
    3. BY the commissioned provider who will quality assure the registers.
  • GP annual health check registers will contain all eligible young people.
  • We will work with services to ensure young people have continuity of care and are fully informed about next steps and accessing adult services when transferring from children’s to adult services.
What will we do/continue to do:
  • Data on take up of annual health checks will be monitored and GP registers will be audited against information from the SEN team.
  • All children and young people who are eligible for CC and /or CHC will be offered their care through a personal health budget.
  • Systems currently in place will be embedded to ensure GP registers contain all young people who meet the criteria.
  • Young people and their parent/carers will have annual health checks explained to them during the annual review process.
  • Some young people will be eligible for a service from adult mental health or learning disability services, but thresholds are not the same as for the children’s equivalent, so we will work together to ensure that young people are clear about who might help them with their health needs in adulthood.
  • There is recognition that eligibility criteria for adult services maybe different from children’s services. In the case of Childrens Continuing Care (CC) and adult continuing healthcare (CHC), there are national standards. We have a locally agreed transition policy from CC to CHC. This ensures that young people and their parent/carers are communicated with early and the process and national standards will be explained. We will ensure that the transition policy is shared with practitioners within children and adult services and onward referrals are made during Year 11.
What success will look like
  • Annual health checks will be at least in line with national standards.
  • CYP and their parent/careers will know about annual health checks when surveyed at annual reviews in year nine.
  • We will increase the number of personal health budgets so we are at least in line with standard set by NHSE
  • Tripartite funding agreements will be agreed before a young person starts the academic year in which they turn 18 so ensuring completion of that years course.
  • CYP will be referred to adult CHC services from age 14 to increase visibility of need and enable market management for appropriate provision at 18.
  • CYP will have a consideration of eligibility for adult CHC at age 17.

Education Employment and Training


Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years 2015 – page 28.

All professionals working with families should look to enable children and young people to make choices for themselves from an early age and support them in making friends and staying safe and healthy. As children grow older, and from Year 9 in school at the latest, preparing for adult life should be an explicit element of conversations with children and their families as the young person moves into and through post-16 education. For children and young people in or beyond year nine with EHC plans, local authorities have a legal duty to include provision to assist in preparing for adulthood in the EHC plan review.

Chapter 8 (SEN Code of Practice entitled Preparation for Adulthood) provides further guidance on how to support children and young people in preparing for adult life. Provision required for preparation for adulthood should inform joint commissioning of services, the Local Offer, EHC needs assessments and plans, and education and training provision for all children and young people with SEN.

What will we do/continue to do:
  • We meet with colleges and providers to support and challenge their delivery to ensure the widest range of curriculum/training options.
  • We continue to see an increase in the number of young people attending and achieving at Further Education.
  • We continue to see Further Education providers develop curriculum for complex SEND and SEMH young people.
  • We analyse our cohorts and understand the needs for service/programme delivery into the future.
  • We meet young people from year nine onwards and ensure they have a person-centred aspirational plan for their future choices with the agreed stepping stones to achieve their aspirations.
  • We communicate effectively with parents and carers.
  • We communicate effectively with all professionals who work with families.
  • We develop our own programmes of work to develop the effectiveness of transition to adulthood.
  • We apply for both internal and external funding to support our aspirations.
What success will look like
  • Young people feel well prepared and ready to engage with education, employment and training opportunities.
  • We have a wide range of education and apprenticeship opportunities – schools, colleges and learning providers collaborate in an open way to deliver a learning and skills offer that is responsive and flexible to the changing needs of learners, employers and the economy.
  • A positive emphasis on employment as the desired destination within Education & Health Care Plans.
  •  The development and expansion of Supported Internships, Supported Employment, Supported Apprenticeships for CYP & adults with SEN Support, Education Health & Care Plan or an additional vulnerability within CW&C and influencing our external partners to do the same.
  • The development of increased availability of a range of Post 16 Pathways for young people.
  • All FE providers track and monitor their EHCP cohorts after leaving for success into education, employment and training.
  • Positive engagement with a wide range of Disability Confident employers across the borough supported to create supportive workplaces for a diverse workforce.
  • Improved employment opportunities and increased transition into sustained paid work for YPs with SEN support or EHCP.

7. Joint Commissioning

“Commissioning is at the very heart of providing effective social care for both children and adults. It is the process by which local authorities decide how to spend their money to get the best possible services for local people. It is about getting ahead of the game and anticipating future needs and expectations rather than just reacting to present demand.”

Locally, we interpret this as ensuring that there is a sufficient supply and mix of services to meet future anticipated demand; informed by detailed insight and intelligence, national and local policy, and national best practice. It should provide choice, flexibility, quality, sustainability and affordability. Commissioning is concerned with delivering outcomes for specific population groups, in this instance for people with learning disabilities and autism.

The cycle has four phases: Analysis; Planning; Doing; Review. All future commissioning and recommissioning activity will be driven by this approach, and will be underpinned by the commissioning cycle.

What we will do/continue to do

We adopt a progression model, this model breaks down care and support requirements into one of four categories reflecting the varying levels of complexity of our service users: Support for people who are self managing, low level community support, Specialist community support, accommodation based support
This model will form the basis of all commissioning activity and facilitate the outcomes for individuals. This is a person centred developmental approach that seeks to understand individuals aspirations in respect of independence and to support people to realise their potential.

What we will do/continue to do
  • The development of good quality care and support services.
  • Engage with service users, their families and carers to inform the development of commissioned services.
  • The development of improved systems and processes around strategic data. That enables planning and delivery to be appropriate to meet need.
  • Increase the availability of service provision
  • Planned approach of more apartment style complexes and shared support in order to better meet needs.
  • Building capacity in the area for supported employment opportunities.
  • Building capacity in the area for the individuals with such a complexity of needs that the skill base within current providers cannot meet.
What does success look like
  • Performance framework in place for all commissioned services.
  • Person centred services which support peoples long term aims and goals, shaped by the views of service users, their families and carers.
  • A full range of strategic data is available to inform the full range of strategic commissioning intentions.
  • A buoyant and resilient market operating in the rural areas.
  • A good range of suitable accommodation.
  • Young people and adults have a greater opportunity to select their accommodation providers.
  • A sustainable and diverse market available that can deliver across the spectrum.

8. Transition to Adult Social Care

CW&C children’s and adults services have developed a joint approach to assessing needs and providing care for young people moving between children’s and adult services. The 2018 Transition protocol covers young people with the following needs:

  • Physical disabilities and long term health conditions.
  • Learning disabilities and/or significant learning difficulties.
  • Mental health conditions.
  • Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASCs).
  • Significant emotional and behavioural difficulties.
  • Vulnerable young people and young adults with significant needs.
  • Looked After Children (LAC)/Care Leavers with disabilities or additional needs and vulnerabilities likely to need significant additional support after leaving care.

Senior Managers in CW&C work together to deliver services under the Care Act, Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act. CW&C looks to apply an asset-based approach to people over 18 years old. CW&C ASC ensures that social workers have access to decision-support mechanisms like legal gateway meetings, high risk panels and the services to support considerations of best interests, deprivations of liberty and work with the NHS to fund and commission services appropriately. The CW&C transition team makes individual commissioning and funding arrangements through a Community Care Board to ensure consistent decision making about packages of care.

In 2019 CW&C established a new social work post to assess and support the needs of young people with additional risks and needs-some of whom are likely to be care leavers-and to offer a degree of flexibility in supporting the move to adulthood that is not solely focussed on Care Act eligibility and which fulfils the duties of the Corporate Parent. This post also supports young people with a mental health diagnosis into ASC. Social workers and managers work with commissioning colleagues on engaging with the parents, young people and the provider market to try and arrange bespoke packages of care to keep young people within the borough or as close to family and protective networks as possible.

What success will look like
  • All young people will have a Care Act Assessment completed prior to their 18th birthday.
  • Care Leavers with additional vulnerabilities will have a clear Pathway Plan to Independence.
  • Young people will have a clear individual person centred care plan detailing their support needs and their desired outcomes.

Additional Risks and Needs Panel will identify children in care who are likely to have additional vulnerabilities when they reach 18 years old but may not be Care Act Eligible. Panel will agree the most appropriate pathway for these young people and maintain oversight.

9. Appendices

  1. Preparing for – The Preparing for Adulthood Review. A Good Practice Toolkit. How person-centred practices and reviews can help transfer Statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments to Education Health and Care Plans
  2. SEND JSNA 2019
  3. Careers guidance and access for education and training providers
  4. Careers strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents
  5. Learning Disability Commissioning Strategy
  6. Care Act 2014
  7. From the Pond to the Sea – Children’s Transition to Adult Health Services
  8. Live Well Cheshire West
Data sources:

10. Glossary

  • SEND – Special Educational Needs and Disability
  • SEN Support – Special Educational needs support at school level

11. Annex 1 – Governance Structure of the Trust

The governance structure for West Cheshire Children’s Trust