Advances in medical care and life saving technology have meant more and more children with life-limiting conditions are living into adulthood. But the transition from children to adult services in health and social care can be an unsettling for young people and their families. Now Tŷ Hafan has launched a new project to help and support young people who are transitioning into adult care. Transition co-ordinator, Sarah Slye, explains:
“The transition pilot project launches in Cardiff and the Vale this month and my role is to support, advocate and signpost children and young people aged between 14 and 25 years, transitioning from children’s to adult services in South East Wales. We aim to engage young people and their families and help them to identify progression routes post-18 that ensure their social, emotional and physical needs are met.
We are developing skill-based group workshops designed around a medical and social model of care for young people and their families to help them gain knowledge and independence in planning for a variety of situations like health, education and housing. The sessions and workshops will involve partnership working to develop a toolkit that provides a checklist for a holistic approach for families and professionals.
Through this transition project, Tŷ Hafan aims to enable young people to live their lives as independently as possible, according to their wishes, whilst receiving the care and support they and their families need.
I’d strongly encourage young people aged 14-25 years from across local health boards to engage and participate in the project”.
One family who will benefit from the Transformers project is Beth Robinson and her mum Karen, who have been supported by Tŷ Hafan throughout Beth’s childhood. In March, Beth turned 18 and celebrated her birthday at Tŷ Hafan. At that point, her care transitioned from child services to adult services, meaning is no longer supported by the same medical and care professionals she’s known for years.
Her mum Karen said: “It’s a worry. We will lose our community nurses and Tŷ Hafan. It was really strange seeing the staff we’ve known all these years for the last time. They’ve known Beth since she was a baby and we’ve built up that bond of trust. We’re going to miss all that. All her doctors will change too and I’ll have to start building up relationships all over again. But Sarah is helping us through the process. It’s good having her there to ask questions that I wouldn’t know to ask. She’s even come with us to look at colleges and places for respite care. It’s hard choosing these things because it’s not my life; it’s Beth’s life and I just want to do what’s best for her”.
If you would like more information on the Transformers project, please see our information pack.