Concerns around transition highlighted
Monday 17 September 2012
A new report from the NI children’s commissioner calls for the arrangements on transition to be strengthened
In response to repeated reports about the barriers and difficulties faced by young people with a learning disability moving into adult services, Northern Ireland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People has commissioned a review of transition arrangements in Northern Ireland.
Patricia Lewsley-Mooney asked Queen’s University, Belfast, to look at the extent to which current transition arrangements protect the rights and best interests of young people with a learning disability. Certain rights are required by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability.
The research focused on education, employment and training, health and social care, social security, leisure, and transport. It found that major difficulties remain, despite transition attracting significant attention from policy makers, practitioners and researchers. Even though there have been improvements in some areas in Northern Ireland, such as the appointment of transition coordinators on all education and library boards and in some health and social care trusts, more change is needed.
The children’s commissioner recommended integrated planning and improved coordination and cooperation between agencies, accessible information, and accessible, age-appropriate and targeted options in education, employment, day services, short breaks and leisure.