10. Moving into adulthood
Preparing for adulthood starts at the age of 14, in Year 9 at school, and continues up to the age of 25. Some young people will be eligible to receive support from South Gloucestershire adult services from the age of 18. Where a young person has significant and continuing needs, a lead professional will work with the family to co-ordinate assessment from other professionals involved. These assessments will be used to see whether the young person is eligible for adult care services. The EHC plan may continue beyond age 18, but any social care component will be governed by the Care Act 2014 and any relevant adult care processes.
The Care Act 2014 mandates, for the first time in law, a personal budget as part of the care and support plan for people over 18 with eligible care and support needs, or where the local authority decides to meet needs. The Act also clarifies people’s right to request a direct payment to meet some or all of their care and support needs and covers people with and without capacity to request a direct payment.
If the young person has eligible care and support needs, a personal budget will be offered. If the parents are already in receipt of a direct payment, control and management of the direct payment would transfer to the young person, unless they had been assessed as unable to make a decision regarding direct payments under the Mental Capacity Act. If this is the case, the authorised person process under the Care Act 2014 would be followed to enable another person to manage the direct payment on behalf of the young person, if this was clearly in the young person’s best interests. For young people who have capacity to make a decision about continuing with direct payments, family members may assist the young person to manage the direct payment. Decisions and discussions about the suitability of direct payments post 18 and the support required by the young person to effectively manage a direct payment will take place prior to the young person becoming 18. Part of this process will include a financial assessment of the young person’s ability to contribute financially to their support.
 Care and Support Statutory Guidance, issued under the Care Act 2014, para 12.16