It is recognised that transition can be a difficult and worrying time for parents/carers who are anxious about what will happen to their young person when they leave school.
It is important that you talk about the future with your young person and you understand which meetings will take place with you, your young person, teachers, (and other people involved with their care).
As they approach adulthood it is important that they have felt involved in the decisions that affect them, and also to prepare them for the change in their lives.
Resulting from the Education (Additional Support for Learning) Act (Scotland) Act 2004, and in accordance with the Code of Practice (Supporting Children’s Learning), it is imperative that the views of the young person (and the views of the parents) are noted and recorded.
Everyone needs to belong, to love and be loved and to feel needed. They need to be creative and learn things, to have fun and to stay healthy and safe and to have control over their lives. If they are involved in the decisions for their future, allowed to have their say, what their dreams and fears are, then they recognise that they have become “adults” and people hear what they say and respect them.
Use the buttons on the right to open sections with the relevant information about Transition and the services that can support you and the young person you care for.
Transition pages :
Needs assessment & Social Work services
As part of the young person’s transition planning; parents and carers may want to consider arranging a needs assessment from their local council. The link below will provide further information on how to contact the ASCET Team (West Lothian Adult Social Care Enquiry Team). If your child already has contact with the Child Disability Service (CDS). There may already be professionals involved for example Education staff or Health staff that can make a referral for a needs assessment.
After the assessment, the local council will decide whether you need help, and the results of the assessment will be provided to the individual and/or their parents/ carers. If the outcome of the assessment is that the young person needs support, a care plan will be completed identifying support needs. A budget will be agreed based on the assessment of needs and the individual parents/ carers will be advised about their choices in relation to Self-Directed Support.
Social work can assess your own needs as a carer, such as for respite or short breaks from caring, as well as your young person’s needs. Ask for a formal carer’s assessment.
Self-Directed Support Scotland represents organisations run by and for disabled people, its members support thousands of people across Scotland with their social care choices. Together they work to ensure that SDS is implemented successfully so that people have full choice and control over their lives.
SDS Scotland also has a link to the Personal Assistant Network, which supports the people you might directly employ as assistants using SDS payments from social work.
West Lothian Health and Social Care partnership provides information about Self Directed Support on their website, including guides to the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013, Easy Read version, BSL video and Self-Directed Support – users guide in large print.
Lothian Centre for Independent Living can support you to employ assistants if you decide to do so.
Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living
The main aims of the Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living are:
- Provide a range of services to support Independent Living, developed and managed by and for disabled people.
- Support the right for disabled people to live independently and take control of their own lives.
- Provide the opportunity for disabled people to further their own personal and professional development, including through peer support.
- Challenge the attitudes, and the physical and social barriers that create disability
LCIL also attend and present information to West Lothian parents and carers at the Transition Event facilitated by Carers of West Lothian.
Benefit advice and funding – West Lothian Advice shop
Benefits for young people approaching adulthood can be complicated, so always get advice. The Advice Shop is a free, impartial and confidential service to help the people of West Lothian with a focus to alleviate poverty and to promote inclusion and equality through advice, assistance and advocacy.
Independent Living Fund
The purpose of the ILF Scotland Transition Fund is to help young disabled people, between the ages of 16 and 25, with the transition after leaving school or children’s services to be:
- more independent,
- more active and engaged in their community,
- and to build and maintain relationships with other people.
Requests for funding can be for many different things, so contact them for a chat or lok at their website.
If your young person does not have capacity to make their own decisions about their health, you will have to apply for Guardianship (see ‘Legal Matters’ below) to allow you to make decisions for them.
You may also want to look at our Wellbeing page for further information on dentistry and learning disability nurse support during hospital stays. Carers of West Lothian may also be able to advise you. Remember it is important to look after your own health as a carer as well, and take some breaks from caring. Social work can assess your own needs as a carer as well as your young person’s needs.
Skill Development and Further Education:
Developing Skills for Independent Living
West Lothian Council developed a helpful guide called Developing Skills for Independent Living which we have included here.
This booklet provides a simple framework (and prompt) for parents and their young people to use as a spur towards developing Skills for Independent Living. Despite the list format it is not intended as a ‘check list’ and does not have age related ‘norms’. The booklet is aimed at providing a shared frame of reference for parents to work in partnership with staff from other agencies and organisations (eg Health, Social Work and Education) who may encourage certain skills within their own ‘Personal Social and Health’ activities. See Developing Skills for Independent Living PDF below –
Skills Development Scotland
Works with Schools across West Lothian providing support, advice, guidance and training to prepare young adults with additional support needs to think about what lies ahead through: 1:1 coaching / Groupwork / Transition reviews / Role with parents/carers – info/advice for future planning / Other agency links (Autism Outreach, Social Policy, MCMC Key Workers, Health, External Hub)
Skills Development Scotland, Cairngorm House, Almondvale Boulevard, Livingston EH54 6QN
West Lothian College
West Lothian College have assisted programme courses to support students with additional support needs to reach their goals; whether this is preparation for volunteering, employment or further study. For school leavers, assisted programme courses can provide the next step from school to becoming more independent, through a less formal environment.
The assisted programmes courses are developed on an individual basis, with heavy focus on allowing you to develop key life skills such as, managing social situations, eating healthy, managing money and living independently. Students will work with their own group and have the opportunity to engage across college with other students both socially and on specific projects.
This college is specifically for ASN students who can’t cope in mainstream college, is the first one in Scotland. It is a 2-year pilot, begun in 2022, and has a very low intake of students each year. Contact the college for more details.
Every University will have Disability Advisors – young people, parents & carers can contact the University to speak with a disability advisor to ask specific questions in relation to that particular university. It will often be important to visit several universities to look around and get a sense of whether the young person would be happy there, whether halls accommodation can be offered for more than the first year, transport links, access to shops, etc.
The potential student should also have a chat with staff from the faculty they’re hoping to join to see whether they are welcoming and willing to make adjustments to their teaching if required (e.g. handouts before lectures or extra time for essays).
You can find some helpful information to support students with disability on UCAS website which provides information about Identifying a disability, advice on applying to university and college, advice about the support you can find on campus and student finance and funding.
Employment advice and support into Employment:
Supported Employment Service
West Lothian Council provide a supported employment service to people who have a health condition, disability or additional support needs with:
- support you towards a future in work
- provide in-work support and aftercare to help you sustain your employment
- In work – support you and your employer to allow you to retain your employment or support you to move on to another role
The Access2Employment Team of professional employment advisers offer tailored support to help its clients secure new or better employment, training or educational opportunities.
The service works with its clients to better understand their employment aspirations and options, to develop skills to successfully identify and apply for vacancies and to perform well in interview. We work in partnership with services within West Lothian Council and the local area, ensuring our clients are aware of and have access to the range of support available.
The Positive Destinations website offers a wide variety of employability support and advice signposting the many different pathways to employment and the support available to get you there. This website is for anyone either looking for their first job, considering training, college or university, returning to the job market or looking for a career change.
Positive Destinations Wellbeing Specialists support West Lothian’s young people who experience Anxiety & Depression, or have a Disability, Mental Health issues, Autism or long-term health condition
- Are you aged between 16-24?
- Do you need support to find a job?
- Do you have or need the skills employers are looking for?
- Unsure where to start your employment journey?
West Lothian Project SEARCH is a business-led programme which means the young people learn relevant, marketable skills while immersed in the business environment.
The young people take part in three internships with the host employer over 40 weeks, resulting in improved employment skills and confidence, with 800 hours of work practice.
A tutor and job coaches are based on site at all times, working closely with the business to provide training, internships and on-going support.
- Autism and/or a Learning Disability
- You must be between 16 and 29 years old
- Want to secure a full time job (16+ hours)
- Live within West Lothian
- Be able to commit full time for 1 year
The Larder Is a social enterprise based in West Lothian who aim to empower the most disadvantaged children, young people, adults and communities to improve their life chances, through access to learning and good food. This is achieved through their Training Academy, Food Enterprises and Social and Social food projects. For more information see their website.
The Ability Centre is based within Livingston North Partnership Centre in Carmondean West Lothian and it offers a variety of occupational, educational and therapeutic opportunities for physically disabled adults. Activities are available daily within the Ability Centre and each Outreach Group determines their own programme. Pre-employment skills, preparation and support is offered through the Supported Employment Service.
If an adult has incapacity and is unable to make decisions, you might need legal authority to do certain things for them. If there’s nothing legal already in place – like a power of attorney – giving you or someone else power to do those things, an application for a guardianship order can be a way to help with making decisions.
Guardianship is likely to be more suitable when decisions need to be taken over a longer period of time for an adult with incapacity.
An adult is someone who is aged over 16 years. However, if necessary, a guardianship application can be made 3 months before a child reaches the age of 16, so that the order is in place on the child’s 16th birthday.
A guardianship order can be granted to handle property and financial matters, personal welfare, or a combination of these. mygov.scot/guardianship.
Examples of ongoing decisions on behalf of an adult with incapacity, include:
- paying bills
- dealing with bank accounts
- making decisions about care and personal welfare matters, such as dental or medical treatment, or contraception
The Parent Carers Legal Service can help you understand how legal matters like Guardianship and wills and trusts apply to your young person’s situation. They say “Our ethos is to listen to what parent carers want to know as well as advising them of what we think they need to know. We provide clear, concise and accurate information relating to the Guardianship process for a child.” You can also call them on 0800 151 2866.
Lawyers Caesar and Howie have worked in partnership with local services in West Lothian supporting parents, carers and families with preparation for their young person’s transition to adulthood. Further information about the support they can provide can be found on their website.
Solicitors for Older People Scotland in partnership with Age Scotland have created a Handy Guide for: Parent Carers on Guardianships and related matters.
Equal Futures – thera.co.uk/about/companies/equal-futures – is a Scottish family-led organisation who help families create a good life for their adult children or relative with a learning disability. They can also support you to make a future plan, thinking through what will happen to your child if you are no longer there to look after them (there may be a charge for this).
Getting Started – Transition Information and Support
Carers of West Lothian
Facilitate parent transition events throughout the year, the course will explore what transitions will look like for young people with additional support needs. The course will put you in touch with experts, as well as learn how others have faced the same situation.
Salveson Mindroom Centre
Mindroom works directly with families, providing information, advice and one-to-one support. Support and advocacy for neurodivergent children and young people under the age of 25. They help plan for transitions for secondary school pupils. They have created a transition planning guide which can be downloaded free from their site mindroom.org