A recommendation from the work group was specific to links and coordination with families

State Programs:
Maryland
Hired transition specialists to provide information and support to families caring for transition age youth and also developed a family curriculum. (Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health)

The Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health offers transitional aged youth training curriculum including high school transition planning, services activities through the Department of Rehabilitation Services, employment and education, housing and community life, health care and benefits

Maine
The Southern Maine Advisory Council on Transition has developed a Transition Planning Guide for Families of Youth and Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities Toolkit. (Access Maine) Among the various sections of their training guide are pieces on youth focused transition planning meetings, school programming, vocational rehab services, behavioral services, benefits and guardianship.

Expert Recommendations:
Tunnels and Cliff Reports
This report identifies the strong linkage between transition success and the role of the family. The recommendations include:

  • Taking an active role in transition planning with schools and community partners
  • Access to models, professional and peer support networks
  • Understanding of how individualized planning tools can achieve transition goals and objectives
  • Recognize and address warning signs of suicide and co-occurring disorders
  • Access supports and professionals to help navigate varied systems such as mental health, juvenile justice and child welfare
  • Extend Guardianship past age of majority when appropriate
  • Access to Respite Care

Care Coordinator would take an active role in linkages with family members and/or caring adults to help promote social, emotional, physical and occupational growth of youth. Family involvement and support are critical to this model.  Transitional services must actively involve and work efficiently with families.

New York State Children’s Plan
Provide incentives to mental health providing clinics and organizations that hire family advocates as a means of expressing youth and family involvement in treatment and planning activities.