UK – A factsheet about the passage to adulthood

To read on Mencap website:

Note: In the UK, the term of ‘Learning disability’ is used instead of ‘Intellectual disability’.

How do my family member’s rights change as they become an adult?


This factsheet will provide you with information about some of the main changes that will occur when your  son/daughter moves from childhood to adulthood. Words in green are explained in more detail in the glossary at the end of the factsheet. The transition period from childhood to adulthood can be a complicated time and cause anxiety for the person and their family. Changes occur in support and care packages; there are differences in which agencies are involved in supporting your family member; and the welfare benefits that can be claimed are different. Understanding what’s involved can help to ensure a smooth transition for your family member.

What happens when my family member leaves school and what are the options? Leaving school can be a  challenging time for all young people, and can be particularly difficult for young adults with a learning disability and their families. There are important new laws that will affect the lives of young people with learning disabilities and their families. The two pieces of legislation that will have the greatest influence on support for disabled young people as they reach adulthood are:

  1. The Children and Families Act 2014, which focuses on Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND); and
  2. The Care Act 2014, which focuses on the care and support of adults with care and support needs (implemented April 2015).

The Children and Families Act introduces a system of support, which extends from birth to 25 for some people. The Care Act deals with adult social care for anyone over the age of 18.


Read complete factsheet.


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