17th September 2018

Coping with transition

Coping with transition Cover Photo

Hesley Group schools recognise that moving between different stages of education and life are transformative events...

Transition is an essential part of our lives and our experiences during different transitions are formative in our approach to future transitional experiences.

When we transition from school to adulthood, this is a time of excitement and celebration but also one of challenge and change. We may be fortunate to have good family and friendships to support us during this navigation into adulthood. This time can though be difficult for all of us and impacts both positively and negatively on our future life choices and experiences.

As a young person in a “Looked After” care situation those transitions are highly significant to their life experience, self-worth and esteem.

When you consider that many young people moving into Adult Provisions are at high risk of exclusion, feeling marginalised and having poorer outcomes, their transitional life experiences have surely impacted on this. Transition can be a time of risk, poor transition can raise anxiety and result in difficulties for the young and already vulnerable young person. What works for one young person may not work for another because of their developmental maturity and needs.

Every young person that enters a care experience in their life also experiences a significant number of varied transitions.

Transitions come in varied forms for the young person, new peers, new schools, new adults as well as different living arrangements whether short or long term. The anxiety young people may feel during that initial transition into a care situation will be variable but for each young person this is a significant life experience and as care providers one we must work to get right.

Each transition stage can bring further feelings of confusion and dislocation from their prior experiences – when you consider many young people have multiple transitions in their life in a care setting, it is imperative that we have a child centred approach and review the young person’s experience so they are enabled and supported, with the right skills, to make positive transitions through those usually tricky next stages of their life, through puberty, teenage years and into adulthood.

When considering the transitional experience we need to see the whole journey. A young person entering a care setting should have an initial plan and outcomes for leaving care identified at the transition into care and not just wait until the formal transitional planning commences, or is recommended, in NHS guidance, to commence, at ages 14-16. This sounds far simpler than it is in reality, but if we are all truly committed to enabling young people’s development and to support them to fulfil their potential, this step and starting point is intrinsic to the outcome success for each young person.

Education, Support and Care providers must understand and be committed to a positive experience for all children, young people and adults. This starts, for providers, at the point of receiving a referral. A positive provider approach will consider transitional support as significant to ensure the success for the person/child. Assessment, of the care/education and support needed, will inform the transitional support and enable a clear, child/person centred approach to the transition pathway. Positive providers will avoid “too quick” referral to admission turnarounds. Transitions need a period of time to build some level of familiarity and trust and this may include visits and some stay overs to build some connection with the setting. However there are those times when “quick” is in the best interest of the person or child due to urgency or safeguarding concerns.

When an urgent and swift transition is needed, an assessment is still required, providers can’t easily make decision from “on the scene crisis calls” and pick up young people there and then. However with robust information sharing from the social work or health team involved, Providers can, if they have the resources available at the time, make fairly swift decisions that would enable a safer environment for a child or young/person. The providers can then undertake more robust assessments and still undertake a varied transitional pathway in situ of the new care setting.

Within Hesley we support transitions throughout peoples changing lives, whether that be moving into our Childrens Homes, accessing our schools or moving on at various ages to new providers settings or going home to their families or moving into their new home as an adult.

We are committed to ensuring each transition is positive for all involved and feedback and involvement from families, friends and other stakeholders is valuable during this time and whilst we support and care for the young person.

We identify from initial assessment, the indicative outcomes for the young person to leave our establishments and we plan how we can support that young person to achieve that and then work together to develop those skills and confidence.

We can measure success in different areas with different outcomes.

  • Young people leaving to attend main stream school with SEN support.
  • Young adults leaving our school to live in one of our flats and attend college or vocational programmes.
  • Young adults feeling excited about meeting the adult services social worker and starting to really form their future plans.
  • Young adults and young people coming to the service and having support from 2 staff 24/7 and after a year this support reducing to 1:1 support.
  • Young people accessing work placements and experience during school to equip them with vital life skills.

Transitional pathways are as unique as the young person planning and experiencing them.

Our role, at Hesley, as a provider, is to ensure young people are not dependent on us, we really don’t want to be their home for life, we want more than anything to equip them and where applicable, their loved ones with the skills to have more independent lifestyles – however that may look for them personally.

If you would like to find out more about the services offered by Hesley Group please visit www.hesleygroup.co.uk or call 0800 055 6789.

For more information on Hesley Group schools, see the dedicated group page on this website.