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Transition to adulthood planning

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This page was updated on 05 January 2023. To view changes, please see page updates

Transition to adulthood plans are integrated with case plans from the age of 15 and start to encourage the young person in aspirational consideration of their future hopes and ambitions. They need to be reviewed at least every six months.

Alongside the practitioner, the young person takes the lead in planning, supported by their safety and support network.

The process of developing a transition to adulthood plan includes identifying the young person's goals, aspirations, wants and needs. The plan will structure their preparation for transition and include the kinds of support and assistance they receive.

Australian and international research suggests that young people have better transitions when this planning is thorough, timely and properly resourced.

Young people need to be empowered to meaningfully participate in the planning of their transition. Each planning process will be targeted to an individual young person, so it will need to be dynamic and continuous as young people develop future aspirations.

Key facts

  • Transition to adulthood planning starts at 15 years of age and may continue to 25 years of age with after-care support services. 
  • Transition to adulthood planning refers to the process of assessment, planning, implementation and review to identify and meet the individual needs of young people as they move into adulthood. 
  • Transition to adulthood planning continues throughout the phases of preparation, transition and after care.
  • When a young person is in care, transition to adulthood planning is coordinated by the allocated CSO, in partnership with other members of the safety and support network, or at the preference of the young person. 
  • When a young person has left care, a support service case may be opened by Child Safety for a defined period to ensure that all case plan goals have been implemented, if agreed to by the young person. This can be done in partnership with Child Safety staff, the young person and an after-care service, for examle, Next Step Plus, to continue planning and implementation.

Key features of transition to adulthood planning

Key features of transition to adulthood planning include the following:

  • The young person is central to planning processes and activities, and is empowered to be an active, informed participant.
  • The young person is encouraged and supported to exercise increased responsibility for decision making and choices about their life.
  • Planning is focused on the developmental and legal aspects of transitioning from being in care to independence and adulthood, underpinned by the resources and practical assistance needed to support the process.
  • The planning and delivery of services to the young person are coordinated and individualised.
  • While in care, the young person has a CSO who facilitates their participation in the planning process and who coordinates the delivery of services.
  • After care, the planning and delivery of services may be coordinated by Next Step Plus after-care service.
  • The young person has access to a safety and support network—comprised of family members, carers, Child Safety and non-government staff, other agencies and significant others—to support them in planning and implementation.
  • The young person has one flexible transition to adulthood plan that addresses all of their needs and involves all stakeholders involved in providing the required support, resources and services to meet their needs.
  • The plan is based on an assessment of the young person's strengths, the areas in which they require development, their ongoing needs and their input.
  • The plan is subject to regular review.
  • The plan moves with the young person. If they move from one geographical area to another or from one service to another, their plan goes with them.

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