Hi there Tigsteroonie,
Welcome to Mencap’s family hub! I’m one of the Mencap information and advice officers and we often hear from parents like you who are worried about what the future may hold for their child.
Having the education, health and care plan (EHCP) is a positive step. It will continue until your son is 25 if he remains in education, and there is an emphasis on preparation for adulthood as he gets older. If your son has care and support in place through Children’s Services he should have a transition plan when he is approaching 18. It’s a good idea to start thinking about this well ahead when your son is in his early teens. Of course it’s important to involve him as much as possible so that he can make his own choices.
You can google the ‘local offer’ for your local authority and it will list what services and opportunities there are for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in your area.
Most people over 18 who get care and support will get social care support arranged for by the local authority or council. This type of support helps people with their day to day lives and supports them to have a good quality of life. The starting point would be an assessment of your son’s needs on a day to day basis. Assessments and care planning must follow the Care Act which came into force in 2015. If he is looking at supported living options your son would need a care plan, so that wherever he lives his assessed eligible support needs can be met.
If you are worried about financial aspects of planning for your son’s future you may be interested in Mencap’s wills and trusts service. The team deliver ‘Planning for the future’ seminars around the country and can advise on things like writing a will and setting up a trust fund for your son.
You can find out more on the website: https://www.mencap.org.uk/willsandtrusts
Don’t forget that if you have any specific queries you can contact the Mencap Direct helpline on 0808 808 1111 and you will be put in touch with one of the Mencap information and advice officers for more in-depth support.
I hope that helps!