Adolescent Transition

What is transition?

adol_transitionAdolescent transition is a process that patients go through, resulting in a transfer from children’s hospital to an adult health care service. hearts4heart work closely with transition teams so that support is continued through their adult years.

Transition is a coordinated process involving the young person, their families or carers and all the hospital departments involved in their care. It is a gradual process, beginning in early adolescence and is not completed until the young person has engaged in an adult health service. Adolescent transition is a major milestone in the life of the young person and their family. As with other transitions in life, such as from high school, it should be coordinated and planned well in advance, in close consultation with the young person. This will serve to minimise unnecessary upheaval for the young person and ensure their participation and engagement with adult health care providers.

Ways in which hearts4heart will assist with this process are:

  • Meet with children and family in early stages of the transition
  • Offer support and educate on services available
  • Help you develop skills in communication, decision-making, assertiveness and self-care, advocacy and deciding your future direction
  • Improve your sense of control and independence in regards to your health care
  • Provide support and guidance for your parents/carers
  • Maximise your capabilities to live well and achieve your goals regardless of your condition


The RCH has developed a number of resources for young people and parents designed to assist with the transition process.  It is recommended that these resources be discussed with a member of the clinical team. These include fact sheets on topics such as ‘Differences in Care’, ‘How to talk to your doctor’, etc and a Healthcare skills checklist to check your knowledge and skills prior to your transfer to an adult health service.

Click here to view articles and factsheets

For Parents and Carers

Transition from paediatric to adult health services is a time of significant change and may be stressful for both the young person and their families. As a parent/carer you have to cope with your own challenges as you encourage your child to look after their own health care and become independent. Your involvement in your son/daughter’s transition is important as it will help you to support them during this time of change.

As with most new things, there are certain challenges that you as a parent/carer will have to work through as part of your child’s transition process.

Challenges for parents may include:

  • A changing role from managing your child’s care to becoming more of a support and resource
  • Feeling excluded or out of the loop as your child takes on more ownership of their care
  • Concern about your child’s readiness to transfer to an adult health service
  • Adjusting to adult health care services and different processes and expectations
  • Developing confidence in your child’s new medical team

Working with your child’s health care team through the transition process will help support and inform you by:

  • Encouraging your child to take ownership of their health
  • Supporting you to step back into a consultation role instead of a management role
  • Encouraging you to transfer your knowledge to your child
  • Encourage direct communication between your child and the health care team