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If you are a young person with a learning disability, we need to change the services we provide for you when you become an adult. This is called ‘transition’.  

We want this to be a positive experience for you so we support you throughout this process.  

Discussions about preparing for adulthood should start when you reach 14 years old. Professionals you are currently working with will be involved. 

If it is decided that you will need support as an adult, our Transition Team will usually start to prepare with you between the ages of 16 and 17. However, if you have many complex needs, it might begin earlier, when you are 14. 

Who can use the service

You may be eligible for support if: 

  • you have a diagnosed learning disability and/or an autism diagnosis 
  • you are a young carer of someone with a diagnosed learning disability and/or who has an autism diagnosis 

How we can help

Merton Transition Team is made up of social workers, who work closely with children’s health and social care services, to support young people with additional needs through the transition from childhood to adulthood. 

You may have an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan but we also accept referrals for those who have not received a service from children’s social care before, if they have additional needs. 

Our social workers work with children’s services to support you and your family through the transition from childhood to adulthood. 

We provide advice, assessment, planning and support and aim to help make the transition as easy and smooth as possible. A transition worker will work with other professionals to help you with your aims and goals for: 

  • education and employment 
  • health and wellbeing
  • being part of the community 
  • having friends and relationships 
  • living independently, for example by looking at housing options  

A needs assessment will decide what eligible needs you are likely to have as an adult and based on this a care and support plan will be created. Funding and management of the services will also be discussed. There are two options:  

  1. A personal budget, which is paid directly to you or your carer, also known as a direct payment. This allows you to make more decisions about how the money is spent and how you receive support.  
  2. You do not receive a direct payment and the service is organised by us instead.  

As part of the process, the team will offer a carer’s assessment to parent carers to see if the adult service can support them. We will ensure young carers are identified and support is arranged through Carers Support Merton


If the assessment identifies that you and the person who cares for you need support away from home to give you both a break we can arrange this through a specialist learning disability respite provider we work with.  


When transitioning to adult social care we will need to carry out a financial assessment to work out if you need to make a financial contribution towards the cost of your care (for example, by using some of the benefits you may receive as an adult). This is different from children’s social care where support is free. 

Information leaflet

This information is also available as a leaflet: Preparing for adulthood - Transition 

Contact us

For more information please contact our Transition Team 
Email: Transition.team@merton.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 8545 3033