Preparing for Adulthood?

The West Sussex Local Offer publishes information for young people up to twenty-five. Although, some services listed on our Local Offer continue to support people 100+. It may however be that you may want to use a combination of resources to find out about support 18+ including the West Sussex Connect to Support website and the Making Sense of Adult Life handbook written by and for parent-carers of young people with special needs and disabilities (aged 14-25) in West Sussex making the transition to adulthood.

In West Sussex we want to be able to work together jointly in sharing resources so that you have a variety of options to pick information from! It also encourages us to work collaboratively with charities and other colleagues within other teams.

Below we have split information into sub heading for the different strands to 'Preparing to Adulthood'.


Learning, training or employment opportunities

Useful links
The West Sussex SEND Information, Advice and Support Service provides impartial information, advice and support to children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, up to and including age 25.

If you would like to discuss:

  • what to do when you leave school;
  • worried about whether you have the right support at school, college or training;
  • you need advice and support to think through your options;
  • you need information on Education, Care and Support and Health services;
  • you need help to look for information on the Local Offer.

    If you would like support from SENDIAS please call 0330 222 8555 or email [email protected]

  • Further Education Providers
    Routes into Work for young people with Special Educational Need and Disability age 16 to 24 (PDF)
    Learning, Training and Work Pathway (PDF)

    Community Inclusion

    It may be your child has been using Short Breaks up to now. We are really pleased that your child has had a great experience of using Short Breaks up till now! Short Breaks is a statutory function that the Local Authority must provide up to the age of 18. In West Sussex we have tried to be flexible and have joined funding for SummerFest with adult services and several other sessions. Some of our Short Break providers have expanded to support young people 18+ however funding for these activities differs to if your child is under 18. Please see here Short Break providers who do support children and young people 18+.]( link to add ...

    We've also put together information about services that support young people be active citizenship here and have added a new filter on our Local Offer to list relevant services for you.

    It may be that you also want to browse through the West Sussex Connect to Support website to find further options.

    Independent Living

    West Sussex are currently creating a Lifelong Service for anyone that has a lifelong disability acquired before the age of 25 and or autism. The service is for people that require social care support either as a child and/or adult. The vision of Lifelong Services is : To provide a consistent approach to working in partnership with children, young people and adults with lifelong disabilities, autism and their families. If you would like to contact the service then email [email protected]

    Local authorities also have a duty to make sure that those most in need receive the highest level of support, and that everyone is treated fairly. West Sussex uses national guidelines called 'eligibility criteria' to help us understand whether people have eligible social care needs. This applies to people needing social care support and to carers. Find out more.


    Useful links
    Continuing Health Care
    Community Learning Disabilty Teams ( 18+ ) CLDTs (incl. Speech & Occupational Therapy)
    Barnardo’s Moving Forward Project West Sussex Health works with Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust to empower young people aged 16 - 25 years old who have a disability or learning difficulty living in West Sussex.

    Other Guidance

    Local and National
    SEND Pathways to Adulthood Strategy The West Sussex SEND Pathways to Adulthood Strategy is focused on young people with SEND between the ages of 16 – 25 and their families and has been produced as part of the County’s implementation of the SEND reforms.