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Developing a transition plan

Engagement and participation

To ensure that young people are able to fully participate in transition planning it is important to start talking about future plans gradually in case work as the young person approaches their 15th birthday.


Revisit the young person’s involvement in case planning processes. If they haven’t been fully involved previously, look at ways to involve them so they are empowered to take the lead in their own planning for now and the future.

We need to facilitate the participation of young people in meetings and processes such as:

  • family group meetings and other case planning and review meetings and discussions
  • placement agreement meetings
  • education support plan meetings
  • child health passport meetings
  • transition to adulthood case planning
  • behaviour support planning
  • cultural support planning.


Preparation for transition planning is similar to case planning in that you need updated information from the young person, their carers and network.


Update the child’s strengths and needs assessment. Gather information from the young person, carers and significant others. In doing so:

  • Avoid generalising or relying on previous assessments
  • Think about the young person’s developmental progress rather than just assessing their needs without context.
  • Consider the young person’s social participation and identity formation ensuring that the young person is developing awareness of their life story, cultural and/or sexual diversity.
  • Ask where they are now and where they need to be going (which is referred to as using a future focus) rather than concentrating on where they have been.
  • Focus on strengths, interests and aspirations rather than just identifying deficits and risks.

Practice prompt

Explore the different aspects of transition to adulthood planning with the young person.

Explore the young person’s hopes and dreams for the future.

The CREATE Foundation Go your own way Information kit is a great resource to use with young people in the transition planning process.


Gather ideas from the young person about what they would like to work on as they prepare for adulthood, and about resources that might help.

Identify some goals and prioritise these. If you start planning early, you don’t need to work on everything at once. Start with what interests the young person and any urgent needs.

Consult with other important people—such as carers, parents and an independent person—for ideas. Having an independent person can help an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander young person to participate in planning.

Get the right people from the young person’s network together for a family group meeting and update the case plan to include transition planning.

The transition plan may be one or more goals within the case plan, especially if the young person is in long-term care and their case plan is primarily about their care needs.

If the young person is eligible for support from Victim Assist Queensland include actions about this in the case plan.

The transition plan may be recorded in a separate document attached to the case plan. This can be completely young person-friendly, creative and developed by them. It might be a fridge plan or one that they can keep in kicbox. Again, the CREATE Foundation’s Go your own way Information Kit can be a great resource.

The young person will have their own copy of the plan and a say in who it is shared with in their network.


Revisit the plan in regular home visits with the young person and check on progress. Record this in a case note.

Make sure you (as the CSO) complete any tasks required in a timely way to support the young person in putting their plan into action.

Check in regularly with carers, parents and other network members about how the actions are progressing.


Regular check-ins and assessments of progress will make a formal review easy.

You need to review the case plan, including the transition plan, at least every six months with the young person and their main support people.

The plan can then be revised to ensure it is still meeting needs, addressing any emerging needs and shifting priorities as the young person makes progress.

Practice prompt

It may take some time to work with the young person to develop a case plan that incorporates transition to adulthood planning. The young person will experience numerous successes, attempts and challenges, and their needs and goals will change over time. Consider this statement:

“A young person doesn’t care about the dates on their plan, they care about the conversations you are having with them. Skipping those meaningful conversations to get a form done meets our needs, not theirs.” (Kate Smith, Transition to adulthood CSO, 2020)

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