The LGO has investigated many instances of delay and apparent lack of grasp on the part of transition social workers as to what they are supposed to be doing or the way in which adults’ services in their own councils actually work.
Many of the reports in this section involve delay in transfer and remaining on children’s packages (ironically often more generous), lack of transfer to other agencies’ adult services such as Adults’ NHS continuing health care and a tendency to fall back on parent carers for want of appropriate provision presenting itself, some of which we think will be price related as opposed to existence related.
Restitution (reimbursement) of what others have spent on the person’s needs, or the value of work done other than informally, in default, can sometimes be reclaimed in these situations.
In some cases a move of the parent from one area to another, or the need for the child to be differently accommodated, leads to ordinary residence / responsible NHS commissioner disputes as well – and these are complex because there are always at least two different statutes butting up against each other here – often more.
When transitioning between Children’s and Adults services, the Care Act 2014 places a duty on Local Authorities to conduct transition assessments for children, children’s carers and young carers where there is a likely need for care and support after the child in question turns 18 and a transition assessment would be of ‘significant benefit’.
There should be no gap in services – children’s services continue, in legal terms, unless or until adults’ services are ready to take over, in terms of legal rights. Para 16.68 of the Care and Support Guidance says, if adult care and support is not in place on a young person’s 18th birthday, and they have been receiving children’s services (and should be receiving adult services), a council must continue providing the existing services until the adult services are in place, so there is no gap in provision.