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Youth Engagement

Transition Planning

What is Transition Planning?

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoption Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351) amends the case review system at section 475(5) of the Social Security Act to create a new planning requirement. The caseworker must develop a personalized transition plan as directed by the youth, during the 90-day period prior to the youth’s emancipation.

Transition planning policy should focus on being strengths-based and directed by the young person. As youth experience their voice having equal consideration to the adult voices and see their plans developing, their participation will then be truly meaningful. Young people will take ownership of and responsibility for plans created with them, but not one created for them.

Transition Planning with Adolescents: A Review of Principles and Practices Across Systems presents a number of recommendations for child welfare agencies to consider.

Why is transition planning important?

Systemic support of transition planning is a necessity. Skilled professionals’ administration of transition planning needs to be supported by the system they are working within. A transition policy can strengthen and allow for sustainability in common practice. Policy also allows for consistency for all youth receiving services.

Who’s involved in transition planning?

Plans and services must be the result of a collaborative effort on behalf of all agencies currently involved in a young person’s life, as well as those that the young person will be involved with in the future. These may include mental health systems, educational entities at both secondary and post-secondary levels, and correctional systems.

Barriers to cross-systems information sharing must be overcome in order for all services to work together to serve youth and adults holistically, instead of the current fragmented plans and services operating in isolation of each other.

To learn more about transition planning or the Fostering Connections Act, click on any of the links below:

Transition Planning with Adolescents: A Review of Principles and Practices Across Systems

Work Ability: Turning 18

Supporting Youth in Transition to Adulthood: Lessons learned from Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice

Improving Outcomes for Youth in Transition

Teens Aging out of Foster Care in Oregon

Standards of Excellence for transition, independent living and self-sufficiency services