Children and young people naturally pass through a number of stages as they grow and develop. Often, they will also be expected to cope with changes such as movement from primary to secondary school and, for children with disabilities or chronic ill health, from children’s to adults’ services. Such changes are commonly referred to as transitions.
Some transitions (such as starting school, moving through curriculum stages or puberty) are predictable. Children should be prepared in advance, and have the opportunity to talk and ask questions about these changes. In this way any negative impacts can be minimised, and the transition should be less stressful for the child or young person.
Some children may have to face very particular and personal transitions which the young person cannot be prepared in advance, and there will be no opportunity to discuss the change before it happens these include: family illness or the death of a close relative; divorce and family break-up; issues related to sexuality; adoption; the process of asylum; disability; parental mental health; and the consequences of crime. It is important to understand a child or young person in the context of their life, to recognise and understand the impact of any transitions they may be going through.
Some of the transitions the children and young people in care include:
- Changes in the body
- Moving from home into care
- Starting/changing schools
- Residential care to leaving care
- Becoming independent
Moving into a new setting like changing schools, preschool to school, changing young groups or leaving care can be emotionally upsetting. Some children might be showing anxiousness at moving, sadness at moving and or loss of friends. This can change their behaviour younger children might show regression and clinginess. Children and young people might change behaviour and some might withdrawal other might show extroverted behaviour or illness. They might have a real illness or pretend so they...