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Transitioning To Adult Services

Transitions are about change.  Sometime between the ages of 14 to 18 it may become more difficult for you, the caregiver, to be involved in your loved one’s life.  Different services have different cut-off ages to allow this to happen.

You need to start to consider knowledge transfer and service transfer for your child.  You also should consider the need for a Substitute Decision Maker or Power of Attorney form if the need warrants. (See sample forms).

While this process is not the same for all young people the aim of successful transition is to optimize their abilities and what is available in the community to support them.

A holistic approach needs to be used – your child has the same needs as anyone else – but the actual process needs to be tailored to your child’s mental status and should include your child as much as possible.

Case management is one of the possibilities.  This would be someone who would take responsibility for the transition, the co-ordination of community services, housing, social activities, further education, etc. while still being sensitive to the needs of the caregiver in beginning to let go.

There are a few on-line resources regarding transition planning although they are not specifically aimed at Mental Health needs they can be adapted. A helpful document is the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development:  Your Future Now. A Transition Planning and Resource Guide for Youth with Special Needs and Their Families.  It is listed below.

Links or Useful Resources for TRANSITIONING TO ADULT SERVICES:
Parent’s Guide to Transition by Nancy Cherry
Parent’s Guide to Transitions – Developmental Disability focused but valid.
A Transition Planning & Resource Guide for Youth with Special Needs and Their Families” –
“Connections” -
Parents for Children’s Mental Health –
aterloo Region Family Network –