Youth in Transition
Family Involvement and Supports
Participation and involvement of parents, family members, and/or other caring adults promote the social, emotional, physical, academic and occupational growth of youth, leading them to better post-school outcomes. All youth need parents, families and other caring adults who do the following:
- Maintain high expectations that build upon the young person's strengths, interests and needs and foster their ability to achieve independence and self-sufficiency.
- Stay involved in their lives and assisting them toward adulthood.
- Provide access to information about employment, further education and community resources.
- Taken an active role in transition planning with schools and community partners.
- Provide access to medical, professional and peer support networks.
In addition, youth with disabilities need parents, families and other caring adults who have:
- An understanding of their youth's disability and how it affects his or her education, employment and/or daily living options
- Knowledge of rights and responsibilities under various disability-related legislation
- Knowledge of and access to programs, services, supports and accommodations available for young people with disabilities, and
- An understanding of how individualized planning tools can assist youth in achieving transition goals and objectives.
Related resources include:
- Administration on Disabilities Federal agency that ensures that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of, and have access to, culturally competent services, supports and other assistance and opportunities that promote independence, productivity, integration and inclusion in the community.
- Children Youth and Families Education and Resource Network Research-based information from universities for youth service providers and parents of youth with disabilities.
- National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth Links to information on providing support to young people and families.
- PACER Center National center that offers educational materials to parents and social service professionals to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children with disabilities.
- Preparing for Employment Article written by PACER Center that describes ways in which youth and their families can effectively explore work-based learning outside of the school setting.
- Tips on How Parents Can Put Their Children with Disabilities on the Path to Future Employment Fact sheet reviewing seven basic principles for parents to foster an employment mindset early in their children's lives.