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Youth in Transition Toolkit:

2

The basics

Roles

Many people play a role in supporting youth with disabilities on their transition journey.

Below you'll find an overview of the roles commonly on a youth's team.  

In our unique roles, we share the core belief that the right supports can help everyone succeed in independent living, competitive employment, and postsecondary education or training. We also share a commitment to using person-centered practices to help people make informed choices.

In each of our roles, it's important to partner across the system to get results.  

Learn more about partnering across schools and VRS by watching this video (03:49) or reading Career supports for students with disabilities: A partnership guide for VRS and education.

The Person

The youth

Driving the transition plan

The youth drives transition planning and supports. They may rely on other team members to explain services, processes and options — but the youth is the decision maker. If the youth is a minor or under guardianship, the family or guardian must also be involved in these decisions.

The youth:

  • Communicates interests and chooses supports. The youth shares their goals and describes what help they would like to reach those goals. To make informed decisions, the youth must understand their options and weigh the risks and rewards of those options. Keeping in mind that informed decisions are bound by available services and program rules.
  • Engages in transition planning. The youth must be engaged in setting goals within their personal learning plan, Individualized Education Program (IEP) and/or other agency plans.
  • Participates in services and activities. The youth is an active partner in planning, participating in services and following up on next steps to help reach their transition goals.
  • Communicates with team members. The youth can create a My Vault account to store and share relevant documents with their transition support team. This helps support professionals coordinate and deliver services that meet the youth's needs.

If the youth chooses not to create a My Vault account, transition support team members must help the youth get and share their information in another way. An appropriate release of information is required for team members to directly share the youth's information with each other.

Family Members

Family members, guardians and advocates

Supporting the decision-making process

Family members, guardians and other people who help are critical for the youth's transition success. The youth is the decision maker. Still, they may rely on close contacts — like family members, guardians or friends — to help them make decisions. These close contacts help the youth make their own decisions, rather than making decisions for them.

Family members, guardians and other people who help can:

  • Help the youth make decisions. Close contacts can help the youth make decisions, like which services the youth receives and who is on their support team. These close contacts can also help communicate questions or concerns to the support team and ensure the youth's voice is heard during the process.
  • Participate in meetings. The youth may ask family members and others close to them to participate in planning meetings. Guardians are expected to attend planning meetings.
  • Provide signatures for minors or those under guardianship. Guardians provide approvals and signatures for any planned services. Guardians are expected to attend planning meetings.
  • Rally supports. Close contacts can identify, activate and engage informal supports, like arranging a neighbor to drive the youth to work or finding a friend to help practice riding the bus. These close contacts can also make sure other activities, services and supports wrap around the youth's transition planning and process.
  • Plan logistics. Close contacts can help the person think through decisions like transportation, schedules and the impact of independent living, employment, and postsecondary education and training on other daily activities.  
  • Use My Vault. Complete activities in My Vault to help share perspective, vision and resources.  
Specialed

School staff

Introducing the skills needed to be successful

School staff, such as teachers, special education case managers, work-based learning coordinators, and school counselors, help youth plan and prepare for future success. This includes thinking about postsecondary education or training, employment, independent living, and learning the skills needed to succeed.

School staff:

  • Help youth maintain planning documents. Personal learning plans, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans outline the youth's educational goals and transition plan plus strategies to reach those goals. Use My Vault to help youth have their own electronic copy and maintain and share their plans.
  • Organize IEP meetings. IEP meetings are required at least once a year to coordinate the youth's educational goals and transition plan. The youth's waiver case manager, VRS/SSB staff, parents or guardians, and any other people the youth chooses are invited to the meetings, along with the required IEP team members (including at least one special education teacher and one general education teacher, the administrative designee and school case manager).
  • Support transition planning. This includes incorporating postsecondary education or training, employment, access to general education curricula (including expanded core), and independent living into the youth's transition plan, as well as identifying interests and goals.
  • Guide work experiences and career and technical education. School staff can identify work experiences to support the youth's employment interests as well as connect the youth with relevant career and technical education resources.
  • Collaborate with other professionals. During transition planning, school staff communicate regularly with waiver case managers and VRS/SSB staff. They may also participate in or provide information for VRS/SSB planning meetings. To help facilitate communication and collaboration, school staff should help youth use My Vault to store and share information.

If the youth chooses not to create a My Vault account, transition support team members must help the youth get and share their information in another way. An appropriate release of information is required for team members to directly share the youth's information with each other.

VRS

Vocational rehabilitation staff

Providing Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and other supports

Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) and State Services for the Blind (SSB) staff help people find competitive integrated employment. Services are provided using a person-centered approach and vary depending on the person's specific needs. 

  • Complete the intake and eligibility process. Vocational rehabilitation staff help the person complete the VRS/SSB intake and application process, including eligibility determination and service priority (how quickly services can start).
  • Coordinate Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS). Vocational rehabilitation staff ensure youth get their needs met within these five activities: job exploration counseling, work-based learning, postsecondary education counseling, workplace readiness training, and instruction in self-advocacy. A meeting with the youth, parents or guardians, school staff and waiver case managers should take place to discuss needs and how services can be coordinated.
  • Help the person develop an employment goal. Vocational rehabilitation staff help the person determine what they want to do and then create a plan for finding competitive integrated employment. They identify the best VRS/SSB services for the person, including exploration of interests, abilities and conditions for employment.
  • Provide initial job supports. Once the person finds employment, vocational rehabilitation staff make sure the person has the time-limited job supports needed to become stable in employment. These initial supports are provided by a VRS/SSB employment service provider. Then, vocational rehabilitation staff work with the waiver case manager to ensure all needed long-term support services are in place to help the person maintain employment.
  • Organize and participate in meetings to ensure coordination of services and progress toward employment goals. They organize and schedule Pre-ETS planning meetings and VRS employment plan meetings (used to plan for VRS/SSB service delivery), and VRS job search placement plan meetings (used to start the job search process). They invite youth, parents or guardians, school staff and wavier case managers to these meetings as well as participate in IEP and waiver meetings (annual assessments and six-month reviews).
  • Collaborate with other professionals. Key points of collaboration for vocational rehabilitation staff include reviewing items shared through My Vault or by other employment team members, helping the person develop the initial employment plan and share it with the team, working with the person and the vocational rehabilitation employment service provider to develop the job search placement plan, connecting with VRS/SSB employment service providers about service availability, and reviewing regular updates from the employment service provider.

Two VRS staff are assigned to each school in the state of Minnesota. Find the VRS staff assigned to a specific school.

Employmentserviceprovider

VRS/SSB Pre-ETS service providers

Providing support to help youth engage, explore, prepare for, and implement options or plans for independent living, postsecondary education or training, and employment

VRS/SSB contracts with Pre-ETS/employment service providers across the state. VRS/SSB staff work with the youth (and parents or guardians as applicable) to make informed decisions about which provider will deliver services.

VRS/SSB Pre-ETS service providers:

  • Convene intake or "first meetings." After receiving a referral from VRS/SSB, the VRS/SSB Pre-ETS service provider will convene a meeting with the youth and their team to learn about the desired services, complete initial paperwork, and discuss how the team will coordinate and communicate going forward.
  • Deliver Pre-Employment Transition Services. VRS/SSB Pre-ETS service providers deliver services (as requested by the youth and VRS/SSB staff) within these five activities: job exploration counseling, work-based learning, postsecondary education counseling, workplace readiness training and instruction in self-advocacy.
  • Provide initial supports for a work experience. If a youth obtains a work experience outside of school hours and needs coaching support to be successful, the VRS/SSB service provider provides time-limited supports to become stable in the work experience. Then, vocational rehabilitation staff work with the waiver case manager to ensure all needed long-term support services are in place to help the person maintain the work experience.
  • Participate in meetings to ensure coordination of services and progress toward employment goals. They should participate in IEP and VRS employment plan meetings in order to report on the youth's progress within Pre-ETS services and ensure that the services are coordinated with other supports the youth receives.
  • Collaborate with other professionals. VRS/SSB service provider staff review items shared through My Vault or by other team members, help youth develop a work experience placement plan, and provide service updates.

 

VRS/SSB contracts with Pre-ETS/employment service providers across the state. VRS/SSB staff work with the youth (and parents or guardians as applicable) to make informed decisions about which provider will deliver services.

For youth, waiver employment service providers are primarily used to provide long-term employment supports outside of school hours (evenings, weekends, school breaks).

Waiver Case Managers

Waiver case managers

Assessing needs, creating service plans, offering referrals

Waiver case managers help youth identify, access and navigate supports and services. Waiver case managers are responsible for providing the information a youth needs to make informed choices about supports and services. This includes social, health, educational, vocational and financial services.

Waiver case managers:

  • Connect the youth to services and supports. Case managers identify the youth's needs, introduce services to find and keep employment, help the youth understand their service provider options, authorize services, and connect the youth with their chosen providers. Case managers may use familiar local service providers or find new contacts through MinnesotaHelp.info.
  • Participate in intake and 45-day meetings for waiver employment services. To inform service planning and ensure the youth's needs are met, case managers are required to participate in intake and 45-day meetings for waiver employment services.
  • Coordinate services. Case managers ensure that a youth's other services — such as transportation or day services — are coordinated with their transition goals and services.
  • Monitor services. Case managers meet with the youth at least twice a year (or more often as needed) to monitor waiver services and review the youth's needs and progress toward goals. These meetings may include other support team members, like school staff, VRS/SSB or service providers. For example, school or VRS staff may be invited to participate in a meeting regarding changes in the person's living situation (such as moving to a new house) to make sure other transition services are aligned with the change.
  • Stay informed about VRS and IEP meetings. Case managers must understand the outcomes of VRS and Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings — ideally participating in the meetings themselves.
    VRS employment plan meetings (which typically include the youth, parent or guardian and a VRS counselor) are used to plan for service delivery.
    VRS job search placement plan meetings (which typically include the youth, a VRS counselor and a VRS employment service provider) are used to start the job search process.
    IEP meetings (which typically include the youth, parent or guardian, school staff and VRS counselor) are used to plan the person's education and transition supports.
  • Collaborate with other professionals. Case managers coordinate the supports a youth needs to be successful in all areas of life, including employment. Key points of collaboration include reviewing items shared through My Vault or by other transition team members, reviewing regular updates from other team members, and helping the youth complete and share their waiver support plan and service authorizations.

If the youth chooses not to create a My Vault account, transition support team members must help the youth get and share their information in another way. An appropriate release of information is required for team members to directly share the youth's information with each other.

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