Procedures. Local Authorities really like procedures. It’s a bit like that 80’s game Downfall. The cogs turned when Max started year 10 and one morning I got a call for my LA’s Transition officer. Or perhaps it was more like Mr Ben “The Transition officer suddenly appeared…” I may be showing my age with that one. Let’s call her Miss Bob shall we?
So what is transition? Let’s ask the charming bods from NHS.uk shall we?
“Until the age of 18, the care of children with long-term health conditions is the responsibility of child health and social care services. From 18, they are usually the responsibility of adult services. Between the ages of 16 and 18, the child will start a “transition” of the services affecting, health and social care, mental health, education, financial benefits for the young person and their family, work and housing.
Planning for this transition should begin when a child is in Year 9 at school (13 or 14 years old) at the latest. Transition should be an ongoing process rather than a single event and should be tailored to suit the child’s needs….Transition assessments could also potentially become part of a young person’s education, health and care plan.”
About as dry as a dry cracker eaten in a dry desert on a rather dry day. In short, I reckon transition means the time when a whole bunch of other people you don’t know with different budgets to the ones you’ve fought for have to take over supporting our kids while they grow up to not be kids anymore.
My Local Authority’s transition officer was a lovely, smiley, blonde lady who arrived on time (a bit of a bug bear of mine so a fine thing). Miss Bob also liked the mug I gave her which put me in a good mood too. I have this collection of Penguin Book mugs, a bit chipped and beaten up now but much loved all the same. You see I have a game I like to play with them. Each mug has a book title printed on the side. I take great, secretive glee matching mug titles with personalities or events. I have everything from The Invisible Man to The Big Sleep to The Common Reader. I gave Miss Bob my Great Expectations mug.
Miss Bob sat in my living room giving her reassuring but well-worn transition spiel, I found myself pondering how I was going to get the massive stain out of the sofa cushion next to her oversized handbag. I wondered if I should have bought better biscuits or given her real coffee? I tried to focus on what she was saying. She explained that most children take one of a few well-trodden paths. Most children….. And that’s where things started to get tricky, because you see I’d made a rather important promise to Max.
If you’re in the same place, you might want to check out these useful links…