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Transitioning Back, Transitioning Forward Making Transition Services Relevant and Effective for Youth in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems.

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Presentation on theme: "Transitioning Back, Transitioning Forward Making Transition Services Relevant and Effective for Youth in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transitioning Back, Transitioning Forward Making Transition Services Relevant and Effective for Youth in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems Leigh Gallivan Mahoney, M.Ed.

2 Who and Why? Students involved with the child welfare system (in MA, DCF) or juvenile justice (in MA, DYS) –Abused or neglected Trauma, attachment issues –In placement or community Placement can mean foster care, congregate care, residential treatment Multiple placements is the norm, with each usually comes 4-6 months loss of educational progress, plus the attendant struggles of continued disruptive attacments

3 High need, low resource In MA, 55-60% of youth committed to DYS were involved with DCF prior/during commitment 1 –Number jumps to 75% for girls Nationally, approximately 37% of youth in juvenile justice systems have identified disabilities and special education involvement 2 Though their need is high, on the whole, these youth often have minimal individual advocacy 1 Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, State of Learning Disabilities Report, LD.org

4 High need includes… Students from this cohort generally exhibit –Poor physical and emotional self- regulation –Poor social interpretation/interaction –Academic delays –Developmental delays –Compromised executive functions

5 Good transition planning… assesses strengths and needs develops skills is collaborative identifies existing supports/creates new ones fosters self-determination is comprehensive is person-centered contain both plans and follow-up L ess like following a detailed map than it is developing a student’s inner compass and removing obstacles

6 What’s in their wallet? Three predictors: Human Capital –Education and skills Social Capital –Access to personal relationships that can assist in both growth and opportunity Personal Capital –Behavioral characteristics/circumst ances that affect students’ ability to be independent and maintain post- secondary education or employment Delinquency Mental health issues Parenthood

7 Policy connections between child welfare and education Fostering Connections Act transition planning: An individualized plan must be finalized no less than 90 days before a child ages out of care, and include specific options regarding: housing health insurance health care proxy education local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services work force supports and employment services. IDEA transition planning: An individual plan taking into consideration the child’s needs, strengths, preferences, and interests; focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of a child with a disability, including: postsecondary education/training vocational education integrated employment (including supported employment) self-determination adult services, independent living, or community participation; community experiences if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.

8 Policy and programming connections between juvenile justice and education Not as robust, but no less necessary: Re-entry and transitional independent living needs for juvenile justice youth housing health care proxy education local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services work force supports and employment services Behavioral health services/supports Legal challenges to education and employment post-adjudication Systemic Challenges: Lack of coordination between youth-serving agencies Shortage of resources in transition services Shortage of advocacy/funding Challenges of information-sharing and systems-integration Orange & Van Slyke (2006)

9 Strategies Identify your students who fit in this category Identify relevant team members and communicate early –Case workers –DYS ed liaisons –Educational advocates/educational surrogate parents/GAL’s Identify compliance levers to gain support/collaboration of state/federal entities –Indicator 13 (and other indices) –WIA (has child welfare students/foster care as a target population) –Fostering Connections Act Actively participate in collaborative systemic change for systems integration and information sharing Incorporate this thinking into transitional services model development –Goals, forums, participants, activities

10 Yoda on execution

11 Additional Resources Helping Youth Transition to Adulthood: Guidance for Foster Parents https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/youth_transition.pdf What is Child Welfare? A Guide for Educators Working With Youth to Develop a Transition Plan https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/transitional_plan.pdf Coming of Age: Employment Outcomes for Youth Who Age Out of Foster Care Through Their Middle Twenties Transition Planning With Adolescents: A Review of Principles and Practices Across Systems FosterClub’s Transition Toolkit Employment of Former Foster Youth as Young Adults: Evidence from the Midwest Study Things People Never Told Me Models for Change-system reform for juvenile justice


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