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Supporting Young Adults: What You Need To Know

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Posted on 23rd June 2021.

It could be that your child is moving from children’s social care to adult’s social care, or you are a young adult who wants to live more independently; there are many reasons why young adults might require some assistance and it is not uncommon to experience feelings of trepidation when faced with looking for the right support. Whether you or your loved one are keen to continue studying or embark on a new chapter of life more independently, or even just have a more active social life, young adult support can empower people to live full and active lives.

We understand that coming to terms with needing some help or knowing how to best support a loved one in the decision-making process can bring up a whole host of emotions, including overwhelm and excitement. This is why we have written this simple article to answer some of the most frequently asked questions when looking for support for a young adult.


How Can I Support A Young Adult Needing Care?

If your loved one is a young adult needing support, there are many things you can do to make their everyday life easier. From help with arranging appointments to researching social groups within their area, supporting a loved one can come in many different forms. Recognising that someone needs support isn’t always easy, but there are some conditions that commonly require assistance:

The best way to support your loved one is to be there to provide reassuring, emotional support. A young adult looking for support may not know where to start, or perhaps they are unsure of how each step will work; your loved one will benefit from your guidance and a hand to hold through the process.

Whether you think they’d like some help researching different types of support, or a reassuring presence when they first meet their support workers, by simply being there to guide your loved one and celebrate their independence with them, they will feel more confident moving forward.


Supporting A Young Person With Their Studies

We believe that someone’s condition need not hold them back from doing what they want to do, including going to university, college, or attending a class. Some people may find looking into the options available to them daunting, but for many, it is an exciting experience. By being there with your loved one to look at different courses, not only will they appreciate your support, but you will feel reassured that this next step is a positive one for you both.

We understand that providing support to a young adult can sometimes come into difficulties, especially if you have other commitments such as work or childcare. Sometimes, finding the right support can be just what you need for your loved one to attend education independently and to enable them to feel more confident doing so.

Often there is funding available for young adults with support needs in higher education, the UK provides ‘disabled students’ allowance (DSA)’ which can help fund specialist equipment and support to make it easier to fully participate in their studies. Many colleges and universities have departments dedicated to supporting students who have conditions. You may find that your loved one needs some help researching and contacting the different funding and support organisations.

When Is The Right Time To Arrange Care?

The simple answer is that there is no perfect time to arrange support, but usually, there are some key signs that arranging some assistance would be beneficial to you and your loved one.

The following things can indicate that you and your loved one would benefit from a support worker:

  • You’re experiencing carer burnout, the physical and psychological exhaustion often brought on by caring for others’ needs more than your own.
  • You’re struggling to fit everything in, including your own hobbies and commitments.
  • Your loved one wants to become more independent, or you’d like to see them be more confident doing activities without you.
  • Your loved one has recently left formal education and they’re experiencing difficulty without the structure and routine of college/school in place.
  • Your loved one has complex needs and you would like some support from a professionally trained person.

Talking To Your Loved One About Support

As someone providing support to a young adult, it can be useful to prepare yourself before approaching the topic of additional support. It could be that you’re unsure of how young adult support works, or perhaps your loved one has only ever heard of care for older people and you want to know how to discuss the options available to them. We believe that young adult support can empower you and your loved one to live an active and independent life, which is why we’ve come up with some simple tips on how to discuss support for a young adult so that you and your loved one can both feel confident and excited about the next steps.

  • Consider the language you use before you approach the topic – many young people prefer to use the term ‘personal assistants’ or ‘support workers’ which can help steer the conversation into a more positive one.


  • Focus on the things they’ll be able to do with a support worker – young adult support is all about empowering the person to do what they want to do whilst also helping them to become more confident and independent.


  • Keep the conversation positive, make it exciting, and focus on it being an opportunity for them to have more independence and fulfill hobbies, aspirations, and attend education.


  • Many young adult support workers/personal assistants are of a similar age to the people they support, and they often become a friend and confidant as well as a support worker.


  • Be patient with them – it is not unusual for someone to feel overwhelmed by the topic of support, even if it’s something that makes them excited, they might need some time to process the information and consider what they would like to do next.


A helping hand…

We understand that finding the right support for your loved one is very important and can be an emotionally charged time, full of excitement and anticipation for the future. Here at Helping Hands, we believe in only providing the best quality support for the person who needs it, which is why every single person receives a support plan tailored to them and what they like. From attending college to socialising with friends, our young adult support empowers people to not only live independently but to fulfill goals and aspirations.

For more information, please call 0330 029 8699 or request a callback and we will call you.

Alice Clough Campaign & Content Executive
About Alice joined the Helping Hands team in January 2021. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Film Studies and writes for her own blog. Read Alice's full profile