Many programs have divergent attitudes towards treatment and they may not have effective ways of communicating with each other.

Part of the problem continues to be the different populations involved have diverse service models. In the NCSL report it was stated, “Many programs have divergent attitudes towards treatment and they may not have effective ways of communicating with each other.”

This project is specifically for Youth-in-Transition with psychiatric disabilities. Besides youth with SED in school, there are also populations of youth in foster care, developmental disabilities, and those in the juvenile justice system who also have a co-occurring psychiatric disability.

Foster Care
State Programs:
Missouri
Treatment Foster Care Model to help older youth with SMI problems that are living in group settings to become independent. Youth are removed from the group setting and placed with a treatment foster family. Provides services and therapies to help them understand their own mental health care.

New Jersey
Robin’s Nest – Youth aging out of foster care are provided with life skills training, crisis intervention, independent living, counseling, housing and planning for the future. The goal of the program is to offer these services while promoting meaningful employment and further education through self- sufficiency and independence.

Georgia Teamwork Program
16-21 year olds in foster care or with developmental disability — Summer program that helps youth in transition participate by offering real world experience by providing jobs in state agencies and private business. (Georgia Web Page)

North Carolina Reach
North Carolina Post Secondary Education Support Scholarships — the State provides scholarship assistance to foster care youth after their 12th birthday or who are aged out of system to either the University of North Carolina or any public community college. (North Carolina Web Page)

Experts Recommendations:
Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
Provides resources for independent living, education and training and gives flexibility for foster care youth to get coverage through age 21. Funds are flexible and aimed at independent living for foster care youth. The program continues eligibility through age 21 and includes funding for financial management and employment services. (Michigan Division of Human Services has put together an excellent breakdown of how they use Chaffee Funding)

Juvenile Justice
The National Center on Education Disability and Juvenile Justice has asserted that transition may be the most neglected component of correctional programs. (Juvenile Justice Study from 2008)

State Practices:
Oregon
Project Parole Support in Oregon — Department of Education, Oregon Youth Authority, Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation and University of Oregon provide confined youth who have a mental health disorder with pre-release training and coordinated planning and support program.

The Transition Specialists work with the Parole Officers to organize focused pre-release transitional services, which include working immediately with the youth to develop a project transition plan, which includes organizing community services for these youth immediately upon their parole from the facility. The transition specialist will work with each youth to assist him or her in re-entering school, employment and housing.

California
Los Angeles has a Juvenile Mental Health Court geared to youth with high intensity needs. Team comprised of judge, prosecutor, public defender, probation, school and mental health worker together form a ‘super case manager’ for each individual. (Meeting the Mental Health Care Needs of Youth in the Foster Care and Juvenile Justice System — California Research Board and Library Foundation)

Experts Recommendations:
Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth in Juvenile Justice Report
Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) has had positive results in providing services in home and community settings and addresses a range of faculty, peer, school and community functions. National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) has funded a project in 2007 to help older youths with serious mental illness to transition to adulthood and avoid criminal offending through MST in Massachusetts. 2008 Report on Juvenile Justice indicates that use of MST is the ‘most effective approach for youth with mental health needs who are in the juvenile justice system’. The research indicates that positive effects for youth in regard to re-arrests and out of home placements.

Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth in Juvenile Justice Report
Counseling — There is some evidence that counseling which includes components such as anger management, social skills training and career training reduces recidivism.

Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth in Juvenile Justice Report
Recommend a Guaranteed Minimum Service for all youth in juvenile justice facilities. Youth would be provided with ongoing comprehensive support services in a manner that is supported by research.