Becoming an Adult (16 - 25 years)

At this age there are opportunities for young people to develop skills, continue in education or enter education, training or employment and find support available including grants.


If you need to know how to request an assessment and the process involved SEN Assessment & Commissioning have put together some information, there are also details on the Help with Special Educational Needs page. 

When people can’t agree - special educational needs and disability (SEND) complaints: a guide for young people in education

More information about this stage in your life can be found on the Preparing for Adulthood website.

If you want to continue your education at College or in Further Education

There are a range of colleges available for you to choose from, either within the Knowsley Area, or the rest of the Liverpool City Region or outside Merseyside.  This information can be found by selecting each of these links - Further Education Colleges, Higher Education Institutions and Independent Specialist Colleges. You can get help deciding on the right course and the right place to study by speaking to someone at school or by contacting the TAG (Targeted Advice and Guidance) within Knowsley Local Authority on 0151 443 2898 where you will be put in touch with the relevant specialist SEND adviser.

All colleges should have a Learning Support Adviser. They can advise on courses and the help available for students with disabilities. Visit the college first to see if their facilities and equipment meet your needs. If you need support that's not currently available the college may be able to provide it specially.

Knowsley’s Further Education providers have been working together with Knowsley Local Authority to develop a progression route through further education to independent living, volunteering or supported employment in Knowsley.

Bluebell School in Knowsley has options available for Post 16 and there are also Independent Schools outside Knowsley that offer this option or 6th Form Schools/Colleges.

If you are leaving Education there are opportunities for Employment, Training and Skills Development (including volunteering).

There are different openings available to gain experience, develop your skills and enter work. 

Knowsley Council and Knowsley Community College run the Knowsley Supported Internship Programme to help young people with SEND to gain work experience, learn new skills and maybe progress to paid employment. Some organisations offer work as a Volunteer or supported employment. 

National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities.  The service offers confidential and impartial advice.  This is supported by qualified careers advisers.

With Supported Employment & Training you will have support from a job coach who helps you learn the skills for a job. It also offers you the time in order to learn how to do the job you would like to do. You can find out more about Supported Employment from the Disability Employment Adviser at your local Jobcentre  

Day services also offer opportunities to gaining new skills and develop the skills you already have.

In Control is a national charity working for an inclusive society where everyone has the support they need to live a good life and make a valued contribution.

If you would like some help in being able to manage your finances and learn practical money management skills then Barclays Money Skills have a number of resources and NatWest MoneySense has interactive pages for different age groups as well as for teachers/parents.

Do you need Financial Support?

An Access to Work grant helps pay for practical support if you have a disability, health or mental health condition so you can start working, stay in work or start your own business. How much you can get depends on your circumstances. The money does not have to be paid back and does not affect your benefits.

There are benefits calculators on the website that can help you find out what you may be entitled to.

Funding and grants available for disabled students

As a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you have a disability, including a:

  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia

You may find helpful information in the Resources section of Preparing for Adulthood (PFA) or visiting Disability Rights UK - Student FAQ

Working Families have produced a guide - From Child to Adult: A guide to disability, transition and family finances – updated 2014 about how family finances affected when a disabled child becomes an adult?  You can find more information and download the PDF here.

Services that offer Health Support to young people and adults

Transforming Care

NHS England has introduced a new approach to health and care services for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism. Transforming care aims to improve health and care services so that more people can continue to live in their local community with the support they need to enjoy a happy, fulfilling and productive life as an active member of the community.

Transforming Care will ensure that people with learning disabilities and/or autism:

      • are treated with dignity and respect
      • get the support they need to live long and healthy lives
      • have their own home within their community [with support]
      • develop and maintain social relationships and
      • have employment or meaningful occupation that enables them to contribute purposefully and feel a sense of achievement

We are developing the way we work to help young people and adults, and their families, get the right level of support at the right time.  The care-co-ordination role is central to this support – it ensures understanding of the support available and helps with access to appropriate support that service users want from health and social care systems.

More details can be found on the learning disabilities page on the NHS England website.

Information about services for continuing health care for children and young people with complex health needs can be found HERE

  • is an online and sometimes face-to-face mental health service for children and young people 11-25 living in or attending school in, Knowsley. Young people in care living in Knowsley or young people who are from Knowsley but resident in care in another borough are welcome to use the service.
  • If you are aged 19 or over and experiencing any degree of mild to moderate mental health issue FACE Forward is a mental health and community learning/social inclusion partnership between Knowsley Council’s Family And Community Education Service (FACE) and North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (Recovery Service).
  • The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is a specialist service providing support and therapeutic intervention to children, young people (up to aged 18) and their families who are experiencing complex, persistent and severe emotional and psychological problems.
  • Knowsley Think Wellbeing Service provides psychological therapy services such as cognitive behavioural therapy for young people (ages 16+) and adults with mild to moderate symptoms of common mental health problems like stress, anxiety, panic disorder and depression. Our aim is to help people change the way they feel by changing the way they think.
  • The Live Well website has lots of health services and information that you may find useful when you reach 18 [and before 18 when you are thinking ahead].
  • The Special Care Dentistry Department at Liverpool University Dental Hospital has a unit that offers a Consultant-led service, providing specialist dental care on a referral basis, to those who have a physical, sensory, intellectual, mental, medical, emotional or social impairment or disability, or a combination of these factors.
  • The Children's Therapy Service offer Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy up to the age of 19.
  • The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is designed to protect and empower people who may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment. It applies to people aged 16 and over.

Please remember to check out the Information & Advice page as there may be more information and services listed there that can help you.