At their next meeting on Wednesday 19 May, cabinet members will be asked to endorse a Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND) Preparation for Adulthood (PfA) strategy. This strategy will ensure a smoother transition to adulthood, supporting young people’s long-term ambitions.
In April 2020, cabinet members agreed the borough’s refreshed SEND strategy for 2020-22, which set out five key priorities. The PfA strategy is in response to the fifth key priority: planning for pathways to adulthood.
The SEND Youth Forum have agreed the four key areas that are nationally recognised, but also added another, ‘choice and control’, meaning that there are five key focus areas for the PfA strategy:
- Employment and education- developing knowledge, skills and experience.
- Independent living – building close links between children and adult services.
- Community inclusion– developing healthy relationships and a sense of belonging.
- Health – having good mental and physical health as part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Choice and control- making informed decisions.
The strategy sets out shared values, visions and principles for how services across the local area SEND system in Barnsley will work together to support children and young people with SEND to prepare for adult life. This includes children, young people, parents and carers, Barnsley Council, Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group, early years settings, schools, further education and other health and education organisations. By working collaboratively, services will help children, young people, and their parents and carers receive the right information and support.
The strategy focuses on early, well-supported preparation for adulthood to make sure that young people have the best start in their adult life. It also commits to ensuring that children and young people are at the centre of decision making, as they will be empowered to make informed and ambitious choices about their support, how they want to live and what they want to achieve.
Cllr Margaret Bruff, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “This strategy will support our young people to be successful in adulthood and reach their full potential. Children, young people and their families will be fully involved in planning their futures from the earliest point so that they can live full and rewarding lives.
“We really appreciate the time and commitment of everyone who contributed to this strategy, including our fantastic SEND Youth Forum who were integral in developing this strategy.”