- Transition begins the minute a youth starts in a program; needs are identified and prioritized, supports services in the community begin to be identified and the family and school stay involved the entire time the youth in is placement.
- Two weeks prior to the student being discharged from a facility, a team meeting including all individuals and agency reps should be held.
- The transition process needs to be outlined to match the STUDENT'S needs.
- Responsibilities of key members are to be outlined; this includes the student and the parent.
- Transition should be step down and be created to support student success.
- It is important that whatever supports are needed for the student when exiting the facility should be in place BEFORE they leave the facility.
What key role should the parent play?
- Parents need to have communication about the program and what it is supposed to accomplish when a child enters the facility. Family needs to be up front about what issues need to be addressed.
- Parents need to be student advocates while in the facility and as they transition out. This means we need to listen to parents.
- Parents know what is actually doable so they need to be part of the team and part of the planning
What key role should the school play?
- Sending districts play a significant role. They need to be involved and communicate all the way through the student' stay in the facility.
- The Placement school should have accumulated all the records from various placements so the receiving school can make informed decisions in concert with the child and family. The placing school (agency) should share strategies that have helped the youth be successful; e.g. point cards, rewards, accommodations, adult advocates within the daily environment, etc.
- Let the parents know what they need to do and if they do not know how to accomplish this, teach them how or provide resources for the parent. (e.g. a parent advocate through NAMI)
- Schools need to know what supports the youth need and make sure they can provide it. If they cannot (for what ever reason) this needs to be stated early in the process, not when the student is ready to leave.
- Schools may need to expand the thinking on support for a student; some ways may not be traditional but they may be just as important.(Some of this can be simple, let a child to stand to write rather than forcing them to sit.)
- Clearly defined expectations of what it takes for the student to meet success needs to be clearly explained; e.g. attendance, on-going attainment of or credit recovery, homework, and what is required for graduation. All of this needs to be discussed before the child return to the home district.
What key role should the child be play?
- It is the child's life. The child needs to know what is expected from him/her, clearly stated and doable. The child needs to explore educational opportunities and options while in placement.
- Children can and should be involved in any meeting related to their program. Student's input increases engagement and thus the likelihood of success.
- Student needs to be able to set goals for him/herself and state what supports he/she needs to be successful.
What attitude should the schools have regarding the confidentiality of the client and their family issues?
- Confidentially should always be respected. Issues should not be discussed if it is not directly related to the students performance.
- Minor's rights need to be upheld; if the law does not require the sharing of information (charges) and it does not impact the safety of the school environment then the rights of the child should be respected. The same is true when it comes to family or mental health issues.
- Keep in mind behavior that is observable is reportable.
What information is useful to schools regarding the transitioning of a child?
- Student's grades
- Behavior in school (past and current with noted progressive trends) Teachers needs to be aware of how learning issues impact behavior. (students who can't read cannot be expected to read out loud or work independently on curriculum that is above the students reading level.)
- Ability levels and learning styles
- Special needs status and IEP
- Supports provided in the small environment that helped the child be successful with some consideration as to how this can be realistically be translated into a larger, more conventional community or school setting.
- Student's educational goals
- Supports the teacher will need and supports that are available to the teacher that may help the child be successful.