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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Preparing for Adulthood?

The term “Preparing for Adulthood” (PfA) is used to describe the move from childhood into adult life.

It takes place when a young person moves from children’s services to adult services, or when young people start to think about what they want to do as an adult.

This usually happens between the ages of 14 and 25. Although in Portsmouth, we might start asking you to think about adult life from year 6 if you have an EHCP.

The government have funded a programme called ” Preparing for Adulthood”. This programme aims to make sure Young People with SEND  have equal life chances as they move into adulthood. For example, paid employment, housing, independent living, choice and control, friends and relationships.

You can find out more about this programme at

Preparing for Adulthood themes

Higher Education and/or employment – including looking at different employment options, such as support for becoming self-employed and help from supported employment agencies
Independent living – this means young people have choice, control and freedom over their lives and the support they have, their accommodation and living arrangements, including supported living
Participating in society – including having friends and supportive relationships, and participating in, and contributing to, the local community
Being as healthy as possible in adult life – ensuring access to the right health professionals who understand the young person’s learning difficulties and disabilities

I am leaving school. What help can I get?

The support you need will depend on what you would like to do as your next step.

Adult Social Care and help with benefits

Adult Social Care Helpdesk can signpost people to suitable resources. Adult Social Care can complete an assessment and support plan if this is requested.

After leaving education, you will no longer be treated as financially dependent on your parents. If you are not working, or only have a low income, you will be able to make a claim for Universal Credit to help you pay your living costs. If you have to pay rent, Universal Credit can help with that too.

You can find out whether you should claim Universal Credit, and get help making a claim, by contacting the Citizens Advice Help To Claim team. Ring 0800 144 8 444, or email to find out when their drop-in service will be open at Portsmouth or Cosham Jobcentre.

Who can help me get into work?

If you make a claim for Universal Credit, you will have a Work Coach at the Jobcentre. They can help you to explore your options, such as training courses, work experience, volunteering and looking for work.

If you would like to learn new skills, The Learning Place offer a fun and varied choice. Many of their courses are free, but some have a fee. Find out more on their website.

There are also places like Solent MIND, You Trust In To Work, Lily and Lime, WEA Omega, and Salvation Army Employment Plus who can provide support, depending on your circumstances.

What is a supported internship?

Supported internships are a structured study programme based primarily at an employer. They enable young people aged 16-24 with a statement of SEN, or an Education, Health and Care plan to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace. Supported internships are unpaid, and last for a minimum of six months. Wherever possible, they support the young person to move into paid employment at the end of the programme.

In Portsmouth Supported Internships are run by some of our local colleges. Click on the links below to find out more.

Highbury College Supported Internships

Portsmouth College Local Offer




I would like to live more independently, who can help me?

Adult Social Care can offer an assessment and support plan which identifies needs and what support networks are available to meet these needs.

If eligible, Adult Social Care can provide a direct payment to enable people to employ a personal assistant to meet the needs identified in the support plan. Alternatively a private agency could be commissioned to provide the needs identified.

Community Connectors can promote independence (this service can be contacted through the Adult Social Care Helpdesk).


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