The services section is the one filled with the largest number of emerging best-practices from across the country.

Overarching Service Needs

The Literature around the country is consistent on the needs articulated by the thought leaders. In the YIT Study in Massachusetts, youth service needs were broken down as Survival (Independent Living, Money, Job), Advancement (School, Vocational Training), Relationships – Social (Friends, Roommates, Family) and Health (Insurance Entitlements, Mental Health Support, Substance Abuse Resources). The White Paper in Oregon suggested the same general service structure.

Apart for the specific services identified, two states seem to have the best-practice models for the overarching needs of YIT and services—Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Connecticut
Text Box: An essential part of the process for identifying who may potentially be a candidate for comprehensive services is recent work on screening and assessment process for younger children as well as middle school and high school students.In 2005, Connecticut became the first state in the country to require that all adult mental health programs offer developmentally appropriate services to young adults. They created Youth Adult Services (YAS), which is based on the TIP Model. The YAS model provides mental health services supports, supported employment, vocation, education, life skills and supportive housing all at different levels depending on the need. They include everything from case managers to structured group homes. (GAO Report and NCSL)

Massachusetts
In 2005, the Transition Age Youth Initiative for YIT was developed out of mental health, foster care and juvenile justice. Age appropriate services for 16-25 include mental health treatment, voc rehab, employment, housing, peer support and family psycho education. In addition, there are 36 State Transition Age Youth case managers and technical assistance youth services are available in all six regions of the state. (GAO Report and NCSL)

Both states have used many of the facets of the TIP Model, which is the closest emerging best-practice in regard to Youth-in-Transition. There is a separate section dedicated to this model (see page 30).

The recommendations of the Tunnels and Cliffs report provided five areas for inclusion as part of the service need structure: 1) Information about career options and experiences in the world of work (internships); 2) Opportunities to develop social, civic and leadership skills; 3) Strong connections to caring adults; 4) Access to safe place to interact with peers; and 5) Support services and specific accommodations to allow them to become independent adults.

The state of Missouri has developed four critical components for the service needs of Youth-in-Transition: 1) Youth and Family Voices; 2) Specialized Case Management; 3) Natural Supports in the Community; and 4) Interagency Partnerships.

Breaking down the recommendation of the work group and the overarching service needs from the literature search indicate several areas to review for model practices.