Some people feel a little worried about growing up and leaving school.

It is sometimes easier if you start to think about what you want to do after school early on and so you can start to make some plans. You should be involved in this planning for preparing to becoming an adult.

Get advice on preparing for adulthood

Supported internships

Supported internships are a structured programme partly based at an employer. They are unpaid but they can help you to move on to paid employment at the end of the programme by giving you relevant skills and experience in the workplace. You will also have the opportunity to study for qualifications such as English and Maths. In order to access these young people must have an ECHP.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with studying.

As an apprentice you will:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week)

It takes one to four years to complete the apprenticeship.

Information, Advice and Guidance Service (IAG)

IAG supports young people aged 16 to 17 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

They discuss opportunities and make a plan to move forward in their chosen career.

Phone 01634 335 599 or email iag@medway.gov.uk for more information.

Join AIG’s jobs page for the most recent vacancies in Medway.

Job support

Secondary schools and colleges have a careers programme which provides advice and support for each individual student.

You can also get job support from:

  • Employ Medway - who provide employment advice and support to people who are referred by Jobcentre Plus.

  • Nacro - who offer personalised study programmes and vocational courses to provide young people and adults with skills needed to move in to further education, training or employment.

  • Kent Training and Apprenticeships - who offer apprenticeship opportunities and training to gain the skills needed to help you get a job.

  • CXK - who offer a range of services to empower young people across the south-east to build the skills and confidence needed to move into education, employment or training.

  • The Prince’s Trust - who work with young people aged 13 to 25 across Medway to work towards achieving their personal goals.

  • Jobcentre Plus - offer help with finding a job.

  • Specialist Employability Service - offer support and training to help you into work if you're disabled.

Starting your own business

If you have an idea for a new business, find out how you can set up on your own.

Being part of a community, friendships and relationships are really important to a young person’s life.

Sometimes it is difficult to access different clubs and activities but there are services to support you:

If you have a direct payment you may be able to use this to access community clubs and activities or to fund a personal assistant to help you.

Find out more about direct payments and personal assistants.

Social media

Social media is a good way to keep in touch with friends and family, especially if you go off to do different things when you leave school. But it is also important to make sure that you are safe online.

Childline and NSPCC also have lots of really useful information to help protect you from cyberbullying, sexting and inappropriate content.

There is also an easy read guide to staying safe on social media and online from the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities and information about how to protect yourself from online bullying from the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

Staying safe in the community

People with a learning disability may experience hate crime.

Read guidance on disability hate crime, prevention and reporting

It can be a real problem if we do not feel safe and comfortable. This is the same when we are out into the community, we need to feel safe and supported.

You can do simple things to feel safe and supported by:

  • planning where you would like go and how you are going to get there
  • taking a mobile phone if you have one, and the phone number of someone you trust
  • taking some money in case you need to make a phone call from a public phone
  • taking only the money you expect to need, keep some in your wallet or purse and some in your pocket
  • taking a personal attack alarm if you have one
  • making sure your personal belongings, like your phone, wallet or purse kept in a safe place on you, like your bag or pocket
  • telling someone you trust where you are going and when you expect to be back when you can
  • going out with a friend or someone you know if you can

Read Kent Police's guide to safer socialising

SEN travel

You can apply for education travel assistance if you’re over 16 but under 25 living in Medway if you:

  • have learning difficulties or disabilities
  • have a EHCP
  • live more than three miles away from their educational or training provider

More about SEN transport to school or college

Using public transport

You should know about your rights when using buses and trains and the discounts and passes available.

Find out about:

Learning to drive

Find information about learning to drive and driving with a disability.

Parking

A Blue Badge gives additional parking rights to people with severe disabilities, mobility problems or those who have difficulty using public transport.

Supported Living

Supported living can be available for young people with SEND aged 18 and over. This could be an option for young people who are living residential colleges or who are unable to remain living with their family and need support to live within their community.

To get supported living you'll need to complete a needs assessment. For more information call 01634 334 466.

Independent living

Everybody needs a home where they feel safe and secure and a place where they are able to do the things they like to do. Many people with SEND get little choice about where they live or who they live with.

Your home and living circumstances should enable you to have as much independence as you can, while ensuring you have the right support to make this happen.

The No Place Like Home housing and support booklet provides information about the different ways to get a home.

Shared Lives

The Shared Lives scheme gives young people a chance to move in or spend time with an approved Shared Lives carer. Together they share a home, family and community life.

Young people supported through the Shared Lives scheme get to:

  • learn new skills
  • take part in different activities
  • make new friends
  • become independent

Find out more about the Shared Lives scheme.

Other housing options

Find out about other housing options.

Find out how to apply for social and affordable housing in Medway.

The Local Offer for care leavers provides information on services that can help you manage the journey into early adulthood and independent living.

More advice for care leavers

View Medway Children in Care Council's video about the stigmatisation attached to being a child in care.

Once you are 18 you will be able to vote. This means you can have your say on local and national issues and politics.

Anyone who wants to vote must be registered. You can register to vote online or by post.

Advice about voting

Voting in Medway

Preparing for adulthood, also known as transition, begins when young people with SEND are in year 9 at school and carries on until they are 25.

Early transition planning is important for young people with SEND as they may have additional support needs as they get older.

Year 9 annual review

The process starts in year 9 with the annual review meeting of a young person’s EHCP. This helps professionals prepare for the young person’s transition.

To support a young person through their teenage years and prepare for adulthood they will look at:

  • health
  • education
  • housing
  • employment
  • social care

The meeting will be held with:

  • the young person
  • their parents or carers
  • the school
  • other professionals who work with the family

The contributions of all those involved is important to support the young person’s current and future needs.

The young person’s transition plan should be recorded with:

  • clear objectives
  • outcomes
  • roles allocated to specific people

Year 9 onwards

Several planning meetings take place every year with the young person until they leave school in year 11 or year 14.

Throughout the transition to adulthood, young people will have an individual transition assessment and plan to help ensure that their adult needs are identified and relevant services put in place.

These are reviewed annually or when required. It will reflect their changing needs as they grow older.

At 17.5 years old

Their transition assessment and plan is reviewed by the 0 to 25 Disability Team. This is to see if they still need social care services when they reach 18. It is also to see if they are still eligible for support.

This is done alongside their current EHCP. Assessments such as adult continuing healthcare can also be completed at this stage.

A lot of information and advice is given to the young person and their family at this time to help them make informed decisions. Advocacy support can also be provided.

Young people with assessed ongoing needs post 18

Young people carrying on in full-time education will continue to be supported by services provided by the 0 to 25 Disability Team.

Young people without assessed ongoing needs post 18

These young people will be signposted to universal services when they reach 18.