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Resources to Help Youth With Complex Medical Needs Prepare for Adulthood

When a child turns 18, they are legally an adult. For the medically complex population, this transition requires families to make decisions surrounding the patient’s legal rights and responsibilities, as well as their healthcare in the future.

Many patients also need to prepare to transition to adult physicians once they reach a certain age (often somewhere between 18-25, depending on the system) – and experts recommend that conversation begins with providers as early as age 12.

While patients don’t need to worry about transitioning off of service with PHS as long as we have a contract with their insurance provider, we have put resources together to lay the groundwork for these discussions while exploring various aspects of entering adulthood. is a hub you can come back to time and time again as your child grows.

Helpful and Trusted Resources

Whether you are thinking about guardianship or switching adult care providers, employment opportunities or what your child is ready to manage, we have put resources together from trusted sources to help start the conversation and guide you through the process. Choose any of the options below to be led directly to tools that pertain to that topic, or visit to view the entire page. 

Tools to Help Parents & Children Prepare

Having access to the right tools can make all the difference as families prepare for a child to transition into adult care. We have put together four resources, adapted from, that provide a starting point for caregivers and youth alike to evaluate and organize the needs for a patient. 

Taking It Step By Step

Many children with medical complexities have been followed by the same doctors their entire lives, and know their hospitals and clinics well. For this reason, it can feel daunting to prepare to transition into the adult healthcare system – but it doesn’t have to be. By taking things one step at a time and starting the conversation early, you can be proactive and feel prepared for the eventual change.

If you have any questions or are looking for more resources, visit the Youth & Families page on, or email 

Originally published: March 21, 2019