Information for children and young people

September 2014 saw the introduction of the Children and Families Act 2014 which changed the way children and young people, aged 0 to 25 years, with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities are supported.

This fact sheet for parents, produced by Contact a Family, summarises the legislation and what the SEND reforms mean.

Introduction to the Children and Families Act 2014


Through the Children and Families Act  2014, Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans where introducted to replace statements of special educational need. Like the statement, the EHC plan is a legal document, specifying a child or young person’s special educational needs, the special educational provision they will get, and the nursery, school or further education college they will attend. The EHC plan could begin at birth and continue until a young person is 25, if they still need the extra support to complete their education or training.

The Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA) have produced a checklist outlining what legally must be included as a minimum in any Education Health and Care Plan issued by a Local Authority.

EHC Plan Checklist


Young people with complex health needs who are eligible for NHS Continuing Care and children in receipt of continuing care have the ‘right to have’ a personal health budget.

Process for assessing, deciding and agreeing continuing care for children with complex health needs.

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) and the National Children's Bureau (NCB) have a helpful website with a focus on advising young people about their rights in relation to health care, by the.

Get Your Rights

The Care Act 2014 introduced a new duty on local authorities to carry out Child’s Needs Assessments (CNA) for young people who are likely to have needs for care and support after they reach 18. The purpose of a CNA is to determine what adult social care a young person might be eligible for once they reach 18 so they can make informed choices about their future. Young people or their parents can request a CNA at any time prior to a young person’s 18th birthday whether or not they have an EHC plan.

The Care Act - Transition from child to adulthood

Happy family moments - Mother and child have a fun.

Other useful links

SENDirect has worked in partnership with other organisations to bring together and create information to help support children, young people, parents, families and professionals. It includes a wealth of information, from your rights under existing laws to managing a personal budget and how to choose the right service.



This toolkit by Cerebra aims to support disabled people and carers, as well as their families and advisers, who are encountering difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services. It will help to unpick these problems and develop effective strategies for resolving them.

Problem-Solving Toolkit


This guide focuses on young people, aged 14-25, who are preparing for adulthood. It aims to help people use person-centred approaches when developing Education, Health and Care Plans and carry out transfer reviews. It also sets out their responsibilities for the new preparing for adulthood reviews and gives practical ideas on how to support young people to participate fully in planning their lives and achieve better outcomes as they move into adulthood.

Preparing for Adulthood: A Good Practice Toolkit


Produced by Preparing for Adulthood, this fact sheet gives examples and scenarios of how personal budgets can be implemented in further education colleges and post-16 provision.

Personal Budgets for Post-16 Provision and FE Colleges