The 16+ Transition Service is a Regional Service provided across Northern Ireland by health and social care Trusts. The Belfast Trust manages the service in Belfast.
It is a specialist Social Work and Personal Advisor service for young people from16-21 years of age (or up to 24 years if they are in full time education or training) who have been in a Family and Childcare Programme such as residential care or foster care, or have received social work services in other areas of care such as CAMHS.
The aim of the service is to assist young people as they move towards leading independent adult lives. by providing advice, financial and practical support on things like accommodation, education, training, life skills and personal development.
Each young person would have a dedicated Social Worker and normally would also have a Personal Advisor available to them.
We also work with a range of other organisations and groups as well as carers and relatives / friends to increase the opportunities for these young people. Developments include:
GEM Scheme – a regional scheme for young people who are 18 and over and have in agreement with their former foster carers chosen to remain living with them until they are at least 21.
Employability Forum – a multi agency Employability Forum which enhances training and employment opportunities for care leavers.
Accommodation Programme – established between the 16+ Transition Service, Supporting People and providers in the Voluntary sector to provide supported housing in Belfast for young people moving out of care.
How to Access this service
The service is located close to Belfast city centre, accessible by public transport, making it easier for young people to visit and to provide professional outreach work.
Young people can only be referred to this service by a Senior Social Workers. Those who are Looked After ( ie in residential or foster care) are automatically referred at age 15.5, transferring to a Social Worker (and where appropriate a Personal Advisor) in the 16+Transition Service on their 16th birthday