GETTING A LIFE EXPLAINED
Getting a Life is a three-year cross government programme that aims to identify what needs to happen to ensure that young people with severe learning disabilities leave education and goon to achieve paid employment and full lives.
It is likely that less than 10% of people known to services actually have paid employment and that the overall numbers of people with any form of learning disability in work are less than half of that for disabled people generally.
In addition to this, many young people tell us that unlike their non disabled peers they have few friends and meaningful relationships, and don’t get to choose where and who they live with and what they do with their spare time.
This programme focuses on what needs to happen during the vital transition period of between the ages of 14 to25 to ensure this changes.
Getting a Life receives support and funding from four government departments. These are Department of Work and Pensions, Department for Children Schools and Families, Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department of Health. It also receives support from the Office of Disability Issues.
Getting a Life aims to:
- Identify and demonstrate ways of working that enable young people with learning disabilities to leave school, get paid employment and have equal life opportunities.
- To explore how to use person centred planning to bring together the assessment and funding streams from four different national and local policy areas; SEN assessment and transition planning, Connexions, LSC and post 16 education, Job Centre Plus (including New Deal and Access to Work) and adult social care assessment and day service funding, so that young people can use public resources flexibly to get the outcomes they want which will include access to employment opportunities.
- To inform government about what can be achieved locally, and what needs to change at a regional, national and/or policy level of support.
Getting a Life is working with 9 National demonstration sites, - one of them being North Tyneside.
Each site has a multi-agency project team that includes the key people who can make decisions locally about what needs to happen to ensure that young people who have learning disabilities go into paid employment and get a life. These include young people who have learning disabilities and family carers, children’s and adult social services, Job Centre Plus, Connexions, Learning and Skills Councils and supported employment agencies.
All sites will be working with approximately 30 young people aged 14-25 over the 3-year period. They will work with the whole system to review and improve what happens for young people who have a learning disability aged 14-25 so that they have equal opportunities that supports them to achieve real employment, education that enables them to pursue their chosen career and lead full and valued lives.
Our vision is that by March 2011, there will be more examples of young people with severe learning disabilities working in paid employment, living full lives, enjoying friendships and relationships and that we will have demonstrated what needs to happen at a local, regional and national level to make this a reality for people.