Transition is the word used to refer to the life changes that children and young people go through. In education and in health it refers particularly to the movement between different schools, settings and services as children get older. This begins with the transition from nursery to reception at school, right through into adulthood.
Transition at all stages can be an exciting time, but equally it can be a time when children and young people can present with worries and anxieties. Transition can require great effort – physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. Children and young people will go through transition more successfully when they are prepared i.e. they know what they will need to do and they have a meaningful adult to help.
Some children will need particular support at times of transition – including those with additional needs, care leavers and those who have already faced difficult change in their lives -for example bereavement.
Public Health England have identified “seamless transition and preparation for adulthood” as a high impact area. Within their document (2016) they stress the importance of supporting young people on their journey through to adulthood. The trusting and professional relationships that settings are in a unique position to build play a vital role in this.
For young people, the transition to adulthood can be confusing and difficult but through early preparation and planning it can be a positive experience. This will provide a foundation for confidence when facing change and accessing services independently.
Key Points of transition include;
In Professional Settings
Wherever possible allowing time to prepare children and young people and their families for key points of change will be time well spent.
The support children and young people receive from settings around transitions has improved dramatically over time and children clearly benefit from the increased preparation for change.