Next steps for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities aged 16 – 24
Surrey Choices vision is to support children and young adults to be happy, healthy, safe and confident in their future. Future Choices is designed to be a solid foundation for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) as they transition to work and independent living.
Future Choices is flexible and enables us to encourage you to move on, however long it takes to discover your career path. Future Choices is a rolling programme so you are able to join at any point in the year, it is not a college or a replacement for accredited courses.
This programme is designed to prepare you for adulthood and particularly to get you ready for work. If you are looking for a supported internship with a local employer and need a bit more time in a more supportive environment, Future Choices is ideal for you.
Unlike an educational setting, there is no mandatory requirement for studying English and Maths and the intensive support allows a flexible programme to be introduced to meet your needs.
Any needs you may have that have been identified by NHS Health professionals will be met through primary health services, not as part of this programme. It is expected that when you are a part of Future Choices, you will work on skills such as your speech and language in a practical way in your work environment.
The flexibility of Future Choices also makes it ideal for you if you require a shorter or longer time to be ready for a supported internship or paid work. Our expectation is that you will be ambitious to find work and gain independence. No previous work experience is necessary, although it is desirable.
Who can apply to be a pre-intern?
The programme will be open to any young person with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, if you are in receipt of an Education Health Care Plan, or if you have been diagnosed with a learning difficulty and/or disability you can apply as aim is to make the programme as inclusive as possible. Working with young people and their families personalised programmes will be designed to meet your needs. Anyone can make a referral, but all need to be agreed with both the Surrey Council Council adult social care teams, SEND team and Surrey Choices before we can confirm acceptance. When you are a part of Future Choices, you will be known as a pre-intern to illustrate the fact that for many, this will be a step towards a supported internship or paid work.
Future Choices will run during term time from 9:30am – 4:00pm and there will be activities on offer during academic breaks, in the evening and over the weekend at an additional cost (subject to the Education Health Care Plan identified need). If you decide to join Future Choices you will be enrolled for one academic year. The flexibility of the programme means that if you are offered a paid job you can either reduce the hours on your programme or leave Future Choices. If you wish to leave, you will have continued support from Future Choices to maintain your new employment and keep the social relationships you have made with us. Your outcomes will be reviewed annually to determine the next appropriate provision.
What will I do on Future Choices?
As a pre-intern, you will have three rotations each year attending different vocational options for three days per week. This will either be within Surrey Choices vocational projects or other employment settings which will be identified when we meet with you and your family. The remaining two days per week will be spent on activities for you to gain life skills, improve your health and wellbeing, become involved in social networks and meet your personal goals. Each vocational project is currently being reviewed to ensure that they are able to provide outcome focussed programmes personalised for you.
Next steps for a Future Choices pre-intern
Our aim is to help you make choices about what comes next and help you gain the skills to achieve your goals. Here are the likely next steps for you on your journey to adulthood.
How to get in touch
Future Choices launches in September 2020, with a small pilot taking place from September 2019 (this will be a rolling programme). For further information or to be referred to the programme please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 01483 806806
Or contact your local SEND team at Surrey County Council:
South East team (Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead, Tandridge) 01737 737990
South West team (Guildford, Waverley) 01483 517890
North East team (Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell, Spelthorne) 01737 737940
North West team (Runnymede, Surrey Heath, Woking) 01483 518110
We hope that many young people will be able to celebrate their success and skills gained from the support of Future Choices.