We hope that, by the time they are 15, most young people in care will be fully participating in case planning and review meetings.
To ensure young people can fully participate in the added dimension of transition to adulthood planning, we need to start talking about it gradually in case work as they approach their 15th birthday.
As children and young people get older, it is important to revisit their role and capacity in case planning. This may be a gradual process of providing their views in writing, pictures or through others, through to attending family group meetings for all or part of the meetings.
CSOs need to consider the following to ensure a complete plan:
- identity and culture
- relationships and support networks
- health and wellbeing (including physical, emotional, mental, sexual and dental health)
- housing/a place to live
- education and employment
- life skills
- financial security.
The practical process of planning can be flexible and informal, as the young person is not required to plan in a procedural way or adhere to timeframes. The young person may make limited reference to the plan as a document, but will remember and refer to the process and relationships. Creating a clear and comprehensive document is important, however of equal importance is ensuring that the young person has participated and felt empowered by the planning process.
We can raise different aspects of the plan in conversations with the young person. We can also use engagement and planning tools such as The Future House, Circles of Safety and Support Tool and The Three Houses Tool.
The planning process is a partnership that can lead to the formal recording of a transition to adulthood plan as part of the case plan. It should also lead to ongoing open communication between the CSO and young person about putting the plan into action.
Every young person must know that they have a transition to adulthood plan and what is in the plan.
Be aware that most transition to adulthood planning can be completed through routine conversations with young people. They will tell you what they want; you just have to listen and believe in them.
Actively pursue the feelings and opinions of the young person when it comes to transition to adulthood planning.
One of the aims of effective transition to adulthood planning is to ensure a sense of predictability and stability for the young person as part of their care experience and beyond. Each young person will have individual needs in relation to what stability feels like for them, and this should be explored through the planning process.
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