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.

Name of CouncilTitle of ReportNumber
EssexEssex County Council at fault for delays in allocating a social worker, which delayed a person’s ability to move closer to family20 003 299
WarringtonWarrington Council at fault for breaching its duty under Section 47 of the Care Act to take reasonable steps to prevent or mitigate the loss or damage to a person’s belongings18 009 388
CroydonLondon Borough of Croydon Council at fault for severe delays and unexplained systemic failures in transitioning to adult services, carers’ assessments and direct payments for the package18 015 014
Bracknell ForestBracknell Forest Council at fault for improper assessments and for failing to inform family of its social care rights 18 013 073
Dorset CountyDorset Council delayed in making appropriate arrangements for the transition of an autistic child to adult services 18 014 483
Darlington BoroughLocal Government Ombudsman’s recent reports on issues arising around transition from children’s to adults’ services at Darlington Borough Council 17 017 575
Essex CountyEssex County Council at fault for its school transport policy 18 012 500
CroydonCroydon found at fault for basing respite care decisions on costs and ‘gatekeeping’ complaints21 013 878
BirminghamBirmingham Council was found at fault for historical injustice, delays in assessment for transition to adult care services and numerous failures to reassess and provide carers’ assessments19 012 575