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Watch our 60th Anniversary video that honours and remembers the civil rights history of people with developmental disabilities in BC. Read more about our history here.

Transition planning for families

Visit the Inclusion BC Transition Planning blog to see how four families are planning for the transition out of high school. www.transitionplanningbc.ca

Update! New transition planning guide published by Inclusion BC. Download the publication here.

Planning early, planning together

Your child will experience many transitions: from home to preschool or kindergarten; from preschool to kindergarten; from school to school; from elementary school to middle or high school; and from high school to a college or university or adult life. 

For some children, the transition from school year to summer may be significant. For others the transition from school year to school year may present challenges.

Transition planning should begin early. 

Once your child is in school, the goals of atransition plan should be incorporated into the Individual Education Plan (IEP) as appropriate. As students get older and can participate, they should be at the centre of transition planning, actively participating.  A valuable guide to person-centred transition planning for youth is Your Future Now: A transition planning and resource guide for youth with special needs and their families.

Leaving high school and embarking on adult life is a major transition, and it’s crucial to plan well in advance. Planning should begin in grade 9 or 10, and the IEP should incorporate new goals to prepare students for upcoming life changes. In BC, students remain eligible for educational programs through the school year in which they turn 19. During this year, they must be provided with a full-time educational program (see Chapter 6 for ministry policy on school age). Students who have an IEP with an adapted curriculum and who are pursuing a Dogwood Diploma may be eligible to remain in school until they’re 21.

IEPs in high school should begin to prepare for options after high school, including the following:

  • Planning further learning opportunities in post-secondary or other programs (see Steps Forward at www.steps-forward.org)
  • Developing employment objectives
  • If appropriate, accessing adult community living supports and opportunities through Community Living BC (see www.communitylivingbc.ca)

At this stage of planning you may need to include other community professionals. A Child and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) social worker from the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) or a facilitator from Community Living BC (CLBC) may be an important member of the transition team. MCFD delivers community-based supports and services to children, youth with special needs and their families. CLBC delivers supports and services to adults with developmental disabilities and their families in their home communities. These supports may include assisted daily living and residential support.

CLBC’s vision is one of full citizenship in which people with disabilities lead good lives, have rich relationships with friends and family, financial security, choices in how they live their lives, employment opportunities and are accepted and valued as citizens.

To create the best possible future options, begin transition planning early. Build a transition planning team that focuses on the child or youth and that includes family and friends, school personnel, community professionals, and service coordinators as appropriate.

To assist students, their families and a transition team with effective transition planning, a Cross Ministry Transition Planning Protocol for Youth with Special Needs was developed and signed by 9 ministries and government organizations in 2009. A copy of the protocol may be found on the CLBC website at http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/individuals-families/support-for-adults/youth-in-transition/. In addition this website provides a very comprehensive guide to transition planning for youth and their families including step by step tips starting with the eligibility process. We have included a copy of the Roles and Tasks chart in this handbook.

-From the BCACL Parent Handbook on Inclusive Education

Visit this webpage for other helpful resources on transitions

Transition planning workshops

Inclusion BC provides workshops to help families plan for life after high school. If you are interested in hosting a workshop, please contact Karen Delong by email kdelong@inclusionbc.org or phone: 604-777-9100 ext. 530.