Health Care Transition For Parents

Transitioning Youth to Adult Care | Healthcare and Community Settings | For Youth and Young Adults  |  For Families and Support System

Health care transition is a process that takes time and is different for each child. Whether you identify as a parent, family member, caregiver, or support system, you have an important role in your youth/young adults' transition from pediatric to adult care. Preparing your youth for independence can be a scary thought. But following the easy S.T.E.P.S can lead you to success. No matter the level of functioning your youth may have, starting early is an easy first step. Gaining information, encouraging your youth/young adult’s health care independence, asking questions of and engaging your youth’s physicians, possibly preparing for shared decision making, along with identifying support team members and community resources are all ways you can improve the successful transition.  We encourage you to view the transition parent guide for more information on preparing your youth/young adult for their health care transition.   

S.T.E.P.S for Transition

Start Slow, Start Now! The time to begin this process is the present.  

  • Ask your youth’s current physician about their approach to transition
  • Begin involving your youth in their health care as early as age 12

Talk with your youth and families/caregivers about transition.

  • Encourage your youth to learn about their health care and self-management
  • Have open conversations with your youth about their health care concerns
  • Allow your youth to have alone time with their physicians

Educate your youth/young adult about the process, their conditions, what to expect, etc.  

          Remember transition is a process that takes time and practice.

  • Prepare your youth for health emergencies
  • Encourage your young adult to always keep their doctor’s phone number, insurance, and pharmacy information with them.
  • Role play key points in health care: scheduling an appointment, refilling a prescription, questions to ask a physician, etc.

Plan and begin creating a transition plan for the youth/young adult.

  • Plan for future health care such as shared decision-making, guardianship, adjustments to the insurance provider, change in doctors/specialists, etc.
  • Prepare a Medical Summary with your youth via a phone app or on paper  
  • Use the internet to help make important health care decisions

Support your youth in this process.

  • Support the gradual process of your child assuming their health care responsibilities. For example, knowing their health condition, name of the physician and/or practice, name of medications, scheduling appointments, having alone time with health care professionals, and knowing the privacy consent changes that occur at age 18, etc.

Provide feedback about the health care transition process to providers and other professionals.


Page last updated 05/23/2024