The Transition Team in Edinburgh is a specialist, dedicated adult social work team supporting young people with disabilities and their families with the move from school and children’s services, to adult life. The Team was established in 2006 and aims to provide a holistic service to young people and their families. The Team works in a person-centred way to help individuals in their final year of school to plan and achieve their preferred post-school option. The Team consults young people and carers and provides information and support. The Transition Team undertakes an adult social work assessment in a young person’s final year of school to assist with future support planning. Resources are allocated according to assessed need to ensure fair and effective distribution of funding and services, and the best personalised package for each individual. Aspire is the part of the Transition Team and provides preventative, specialist transition support for school leavers with Asperger’s Syndrome or high-functioning Autism.
The team values the strong partnerships and works jointly with other in house services such as the Children Affected by Disabilities Team, Local Area Co-ordinators, the Funding Independence Team and other social work teams. They also have close links with education, careers, colleges, health and the voluntary sector. These partnerships enable effective joined up working and strategic planning.
A social worker from the Team attends all school meetings for young people with disabilities aged 14.5 and above until they leave school. This process relies on a close link with education as not all of these young people will be known to social work services. Attending meetings enables the Team to ‘track’ young people to anticipate the level of support they may require, provide information to families about the transition process and post school options. The team are regularly invited to participate in school open days, transition events and parent evenings at many independent and special schools across Edinburgh. The team delivers annual school leavers groups with input from other professionals, aimed at preparing young people with disabilities for the transition from school.
Within the team there is a designated worker who links with Edinburgh College to plan out of class support for young people attending supported courses. The team works collaboratively with health services including the Health Transitions Liaison Worker, to ensure a smooth transition for young people with complex and exceptional healthcare needs. The team works jointly with mental health teams when required. They also undertake Guardianship reviews in conjunction with the Mental Welfare Commission and the Office of the Public Guardian.
The team have built up strong relationships with third sector provider organisations from across Edinburgh, which enables them to provide accurate information to young people and their families about the type of support available, supporting informed choice. These relationships have also lead to working partnerships such as the Positive Pathways Programme: Positive Behaviour Training and Intensive Support for Family Carers of People with Autism and Learning Disability. The programme is co-delivered with Richmond Fellowship and PASDA and offers an opportunity for carers to receive intensive practical training to help and support their family member who is aged 16 years and above.
As the team strives to provide a holistic service to families and young people they seek out ways to extend the service they provide. They recently were successful in securing Autism Strategy Funds to allow workers to undertake training with Sleep Scotland. As a result three members of the team are now qualified sleep counsellors and are delivering regular Sleep Clinics. This enables the team to provide enhanced support for young people who experience disrupted sleep, which can be common for young people with autism spectrum disorders. This will be offered as part of the ASPIRE service and will include individual support, groups and information sessions.