As a natural part of growing up, adolescents becoming adults must become responsible for their health care. Taking
responsibility for one's own health care, as developmentally able, is part of becoming independent from one's family and
finding a place in the adult community.
However, youth with special health care needs, chronic illnesses, physical or developmental disabilities may find this difficult.
If leaving a pediatric provider, it may be hard to find an adult health care provider trained in pediatric conditions or ready to
assume primary responsibility. An adolescent who has been receiving care from a family practitioner may stay with that family
practitioner but find it easy to continue to function in a child's role. Either way, young people may be uncomfortable in the role
of an adult health care consumer. And families may have trouble letting go of the health care services which are familiar and
Health Care Transition is a process that helps youth with special health care needs identify the knowledge and skills they need
to manage their chronic health condition as well as educates and supports them to become as independent as possible.
Transition is a period of preparation before assuming adult health care responsibilities and before transferring to an adult
provider. The most common recommendations among transition experts are that transition should start early (at the minimum
age of 12) and should involve the youth, their parents, their pediatrician and a primary care doctor, so that everyone is
included in the discussion of the expectations and goals for this process.
In partnership with Special Medical Services, the NH Title V, Children with Special Health Care Needs Program, NHFV has
designed this page to help smooth the transition process. We hope to make this page a resource for information, materials, and
links to help with health transition issues.
|Health Care Transition
NH Family Voices in Partnership with Special Medical Services (SMS)