• Transitions to Adulthood

    13 May 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about the Children’s Society ‘Crumbling Futures’ research and supporting vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds as they transition to adulthood.

    I know that colleagues in the Department for Education are committed to preparing vulnerable children for adult life, and recognise the importance of the transition into adulthood.

    As you rightly point out, a range of organisations must work together to identify how to support children in need. The key statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ describes how agencies should jointly agree on, and deliver, joined-up support. The guidance is also clear that known key transition times for a child should be planned for in advance, including where they are likely to transition between child and adult services. 

    Children in need are more likely than their peers not to be in education, employment or training. That is why Education Ministers are determined to ensure disadvantaged students are properly supported in their post-16 education The Government plans to invest nearly £7 billion in 2018/19 to ensure there is a place in education or training for every 16 to 19 year old who wants one.

    Education is critical to the long-term outcomes of children in need, and getting the best possible education is a vital part of preparing for adulthood. However, as you mention, there are some other areas that disproportionately affect children in need. I am encouraged that work is being done across Government to improve services, specifically mental health, child sexual exploitation and homelessness services. For example, an additional £2.3 billion is being invested nationally each year into mental health services, enabling at least an additional 345,000 children and young people to access support via NHS funded mental health services and school or college-based Mental Health Support Teams.  The Government’s mandate to NHS England includes an explicit expectation that the NHS, working with schools and children’s services, will support and safeguard vulnerable children through a joined-up approach to addressing their emotional, mental and physical health needs.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon

    Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General