For parents and families

Young man smiling

Transition is a natural step in your young person’s healthcare and is best achieved with your support and encouragement. Planning and preparation for transition can help reduce stress and anxiety for both you and your young person.

It may feel uncomfortable to hand over responsibility to your young person if you have been the one making all the decisions about their care, however starting the transition process early will give them time to adjust to their new roles.

Parents of children with an intellectual and/or developmental disability

We also provide information on the transition from a paediatric to an adult healthcare service for the parents or carers of a young person with an intellectual and/or developmental disability.

The steps around transition and considerations around equipment and consumables, support for carers and adult responsibilities are unique, and we have created a specific resource to directly support you. 

Download Transition resource for parents of a young person with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (PDF)

First steps

Discussing transition with your young person’s healthcare team to get an idea of what to expect is the first step. You and your young person will be involved in the planning process, so find out what you can do to contribute and plan for transition, and how you can encourage your young person to take the lead as much as possible.

Stages of transition

There are three stages to transition but when they start depends on your young person’s development and what is going on in their life (health, schooling, etc.) 

1. Introductory/Planning stage

Introduction to the transition process and working out what your young person needs to know about themselves and their medical condition (12-14 years approximately).

2. Preparation stage

Your young person starts learning the skills needed to care for themselves and a transition plan is developed in partnership with your young person and yourself (14-16 years approximately).

3. Transfer stage

Your young person is looking after themselves with confidence, is ready to transfer and information exchange takes place between your young person’s health team at PCH and adult health services (16-18 years approximately).

How you can help

You can start to help in this transition process by:
  • Talking through things that you are doing with your young person, like:
    • How to know when they need a new prescription, and how to get one filled
    • How to recognise when they’re becoming unwell and what to do
    • Keeping track of their appointments, and how to reschedule if they can’t attend
    • Taking five minutes before an appointment to think about what they would like to get out of their appointment.
  • Encouraging them to see their doctor/health professional on their own
  • Let your young person answer any questions that the health professional asks
  • Giving them the details of their usual GP, but if they would feel more comfortable with a new GP, supporting them to do this.

Apple Macbook and stethoscope on desk

Finding a GP

It’s important for your young person to have a good General Practitioner (GP) that they feel comfortable with. Their GP will continue to provide comprehensive, continued and coordinated care for them from childhood to adulthood.

The GP should be your young person’s first point of contact if they are unwell. They will act as your young person’s first point of contact if they are unwell. Having a good relationship with a GP will help them stay in control of their health.

We have helpful tips for adolescents to find a good GP in this Health Fact sheet.

Last steps

The final steps in the journey of transition involve:
  • Encouraging your young person to meet their new healthcare team or visiting the adult healthcare service they are transferring to.
  • Requesting copies of all referral letters and any other medical documentation so that you and your young person have a record of the information that is being provided.
  • Talk with your young person’s healthcare team about how to manage emergency situations during the time between their last appointment at PCH and their first appointment at the adult healthcare service.

Download Transition Resource for Parents Health Fact sheet (PDF)