MRC Seminar - Transition to Adult Services

Tuesday 28 June 2011, 9.30AM to 11.45am

Speaker(s): Nicola Moran and Linda Cusworth, Research Fellows, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York

For many disabled young people, the process of moving from children’s to adult services is problematic.  Research has shown problems in coordination of services and lack of multi-agency working; lack of information for young people and parents; insufficient attention to the concerns of the young person; and lack of appropriate services onto which young people can transfer. This research aimed to provide evidence of what works well in developing and implementing multi-agency coordinated transition services for disabled young people and those with complex health needs and their families, and on the costs of these services.

Methods: 1) A national survey of all local authorities in England to identify current multi-agency transition services. 2) Qualitative interviews with 130 managers and staff in five case study areas. 3) A quantitative survey of parents and young people receiving (or who have received) the transition service. 4) Qualitative interviews with a small sample of those parents and young people. 5) Analysis of the costs of the services.

Key findings:

  • Key factors associated with better outcomes in satisfaction with the service, parents’ and young people’s met and unmet needs, and effects on parental stress, were having a transition worker who supported the young person and parents; the family having a written transition plan; and the manager of the transition service having strategic level involvement.
  • Other characteristics of services were also associated with more positive outcomes for families: transition workers setting up the adult care package for young people, negotiating funding for it and supporting them until they were settled in adult services; use of person-centred planning; having designated transition workers; having clarity on the role of the transition workers; and having parents on the service’s steering group.
  • High levels of unmet need were found in many areas of young people’s lives, and transition services were unlikely to reduce stress for the majority of parents.
  • Key challenges included staff shortages; lack of resources; competing priorities; limited engagement of partner agencies; and a focus on young people with severe learning disabilities to the exclusion of others.

Nicola Moran and Linda Cusworth are Research Fellows in the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York.  Part of their current work is on transition from child to adult services for young people with disabilities and latterly for those on the autistic spectrum. 

Location: University of York

Admission: see flyer


Telephone: 01904 321237

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