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Preparing for adult life


As you prepare for adulthood, you may feel like you face a number of challenges. For one, leaving education and moving into employment can seem like a daunting experience but with the right preparation moving into adulthood can go smoothly. Leaving your childhood behind can perhaps feel a little difficult but it should also feel exciting as you move into a world of new experiences and opportunities. Ideally you should be preparing for adulthood from year 9 at school, thinking about what you would like to do, where you would like to live and how you will get the support you need.

This section of the website allows you to search for information, support and services which have been tagged as appropriate for young people preparing for adult life with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families as well as practitioners who may work with them. It includes details about education, employment and training, housing, financial support, social care, things to do and travel.

We are working on making sure we have all the information you will need as you prepare for adult life available on the Local Offer so let us know using the feedback at the bottom of the page if you think we have missed something that is important to you.


When you leave school you may want to remain in education and continue to study for the job you wish to have. If you are 16 there are lots of options for continuing your studies either at college or sixth form. Our Education Providers section lists all the colleges and sixth forms within the Wakefield District who may offer the right kind of support and learning you need.

Your school will provide information, advice and guidance on which option is right for you, and these opportunities will start to be discussed during your annual reviews from Year 9 onwards, along with any support needs that you need to move on successfully. If you have an Education, Health and Care Plan the Council will help you get the support you need to study. This will be shared with the school or college you will be attending.  You can download a document for more information about supporting young people in Wakefield with SEND into adult life here.


One of the most important things you need to consider, and possibly one of the biggest challenges, is getting a job. If you want to move straight into employment after education you should be looking and applying for jobs at least 3 months before leaving. In our Employment section you will find information about different types of work and routes into employment available such as employment focused courses, supported internships, apprenticeships, work experience, and supported employment. You will also be able to filter the search results by the type of Special Educational Need, Age and Post Code.


As you move into adulthood you may need to find somewhere to live and leaving home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Before you leave home you need to be sure that you are ready for independent living. Ideally you should stay with your family until you can move out in a planned way so nothing is rushed and everything runs smoothly. The best time to move out is when you feel ready, have support to move out and have already made a plan.

It can be very difficult to find somewhere to live and it can be hard to pay your bills. You could find yourself in difficulty or even homeless so it’s important you consider all options available and pick the best option for you. As with employment, good places to look for accommodation can be in your local newspaper, on noticeboards in supermarkets and on the internet. Our Housing section will give you information about different housing options available in the local area. You will also be able to filter the search results by the type of Special Educational Need, Age and Post Code.

Financial Support

Financial support and/or benefits may be available to help you with additional costs that may arise. Our Money Matters section will give you information about benefits, grants and discounts available. You will also be able to filter the search results by the type of Special Educational Need, Age and Post Code.

Social Care

Support is available for disabled adults through Adults Services and Social Care Direct. This could include support on finding appropriate accommodation, work and leisure opportunities. A small team of specialist nurses is also available to support people with complex health care needs. To find information about services, information and support available for adults aged 18 years and upwards across the Wakefield district please visit Connect to Support.

If you are eligible for social care services you can choose to have support through direct payments. These can also be combined with managed services to create an individual support package.

Adult Services also work with providers to offer Individual Service Funds. A provider will manage an individual's allocated funding and help them arrange appropriate support. This gives people greater choice and control without the need to manage a direct payment. See our Personal Budget section for details.

You should contact Social Care Direct first if you want to access Adult Social Care Services in Wakefield. Social Care Direct will make an assessment by asking questions over the phone. This gives the customer service advisor all relevant information to consider the help you might need. If appropriate, your details will be passed to a community social work team to look at your social care needs. This will include a visit to your home by a social worker. If we don't think you need a social care assessment, we will give you advice and information about what other agencies and support groups can offer. You can contact Social Care Direct by telephone: 0345 8 503 503. You can find out more by visiting

Short breaks are another type of support available to young people up to 18 years old. They range from residential and nursing provision to outreach and leisure opportunities, depending on individual needs and personal choice. Many younger people decide to take these as direct payment to give greater choice and flexibility. You can find out more at our Short Breaks section.

Please visit the Social Care Providers section for to find details of the approved providers, care agencies and council run provisions available in the local area. You will also be able to filter the search results by the type of provider e.g. approved provider, Special Educational Need, Age and Post Code.

Things to Do

As you live move independently you may also want to explore new hobbies, keep fit, meet new people and have fun. Our Things to Do section will give you information about all the targeted and specialist activities, groups and places you can go for families with young people with SEND. You will also be able to filter the search results by the type of activity e.g. clubs and groups, Special Educational Need, Age, Post Code, When/Day and Frequency.


Transport can become an essential part of everyday life as you may need to get to work, college or perhaps to a new sports club you’ve joined. In the Travel section you can find out about travel passes and travel training as well as support available when you are out and about and travel tips. You will also be able to filter the search results by the type of information e.g. passes, Special Educational Need, Age and Post Code.

This guide will give you some handy tips and make you aware of the things you need to consider.

Useful Websites

Other websites available for you are the Transitions Information Network from the Council for Disabled Children and Preparing for Adulthood created in partnership by Mott McDonald, Council for Disabled Children and National Development Team for Inclusion and is funded by Department for Education.

The Transition Information Network website was set up to provide targeted information and resources about transition through online resources, publications and events. They also publish a magazine called My Future Choices which is for disabled young people, families and professionals. It includes articles written by disabled young people about their experiences of transition, information about transition projects, the latest policy and charity news and resources.

The Preparing for Adulthood website has lots of resources available about becoming an adult and uses expertise and experience they have of working with young people and families, at a local and national level and across government to create new resources all the time.

Last reviewed: 06/11/2018