Multi-agency transition services: greater collaboration needed to meet the priorities of young disabled people with complex needs as they move into adulthood

Susan Evelyn Clarke, Tricia Sloper, Nicola Elizabeth Moran, Linda Suzanne Cusworth, Anita Franklin, Jennifer Beecham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Drawing on a wider study about the effectiveness and costs of different models of multi-agency transition services, this paper aims to present new evidence on the ways in which such services meet the priorities and concerns of young people identified in previous research.

Design/methodology/approach: The evidence is based on qualitative interviews with 130 managers and staff in five transition services across England, and a quantitative survey of parents and young people receiving these services (pre-transition), or having received the services in the last two years
(post-transition). In total, 110 pre-transition and 33 post-transition parents, and 73 pre-transition and 24 post-transition young people, completed questionnaires. Statistical analysis included calculating frequencies and mean values for the responses that measured met and unmet need, and qualitative
results were analysed thematically. The consequence of, and reasons for, the low response rate to the family survey are also discussed.

Findings: The research found examples of good practice and innovative services to meet young people's needs. However, provision of such services was patchy, and unmet need for transition support remained high in all the priority areas studied both during and after transition: ranging from 52 to 84 per cent in parent reports and 59 to 82 per cent in young people's reports.

Originality/value: With the onset of public service cutbacks, the paper concludes that improved multi-agency commissioning of services, based on the priorities and concerns of disabled young people, and greater engagement of transition services with a broader range of agencies, will help to address these deficiencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Integrated Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • disabled young people
  • services
  • transition
  • multi-agency working
  • complex needs

Cite this