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Youth in Transition Toolkit:

3

The basics

Roles

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

Below you'll find an overview of people and the roles they commonly play throughout the youth planning process.

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. And finally, we have shared practices and common tools to support youth in the planning process.

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.

Note: A release of information is required for team members to directly share the youth's information with each other. Best practice is to have the youth share their own information, when possible.

Note: 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.

 

Family, guardian, advocate Waiver case manager Service providers Vocational rehabilitation staff School staff The youth
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. One way they can do this is by using the activities in the Best Life Paths in My Vault. The youth is also central in helping the team complete the Transition/Pre-ETS Inventory, deciding which learning stage they are in and which transition/Pre-ETS topics they would like to prioritize for the year.
  • Helps identify team members. The youth identifies who's in their life that they rely on for help. The My Core Team activity in the Best Life Paths in My Vault can help the youth (with help from their team members as needed) gather names and contact information of people they trust most and share the list with team members they choose. Their list may include people like parents/guardians, other advocates, school staff like IEP case manager, school counselor, work coordinator, school nurse, etc., Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) or State Services for the Blind (SSB) staff, waiver case manager, and service provider staff. The youth may need help thinking through who isn't currently on their team but who they might want to add. Remember, the youth is the main player on their team and it's up to them to say who they want to participate in conversations and planning.
  • Engages in transition planning. The youth participates in planning meetings and leads these meetings when possible. They share their goals and describe what help they want to reach those goals. The youth is supported in understanding their options and weighing the risks and rewards of those options to make an informed choice. The youth is supported to understand their options, including learning about available services and program rules, and weighing any risks.
  • Participates in services and activities. The youth participates in the services and does the activities with the support of their team members. They are an active partner in planning, participating in services and following up on next steps to help reach their transition and Pre-Employment Transition Service (Pre-ETS) goals.
  • Communicates with team members. The youth actively communicates with all team members throughout their planning process in whatever way is most accessible to them. The youth lets team members know how services are going and are supported to provide feedback. As they move through learning stages within each focus transition/Pre-ETS topic their needs will change. The youth communicates with their team members so that plans and services can address their changing needs. They can create a My Vault account to store and share planning activities and relevant documents with their transition support team. This helps the youth and their team to coordinate and get services that meet their needs.
  • Reflects at the end of the year. The youth leads or participates in a discussion with team members to reflect on the overall progress within each transition topic and what they want to focus on next year.
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. They may rely on close contacts - like family members, guardians or friends - to help them make decisions. These people 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. They can help the youth make decisions, like which learning stage they are in for each transition/Pre-ETS topic, which topics the youth wants to prioritize for the year, which services the youth wants, and who is on their support team. The youth can ask them to attend planning meetings and assist in setting goals in their Individualized Education Program (IEP) and other agency plans.
  • Help the youth communicate. They can provide information and insight about the youth's strengths and needs and help the youth communicate when completing the Transition/Pre-ETS Inventory. One way they can do this is by using the activities in the Best Life Paths in My Vault. They can also help communicate questions or concerns to the support team and ensure the youth's voice is heard during the process. The youth may ask family members and others to help them let team members know how services are progressing and support the youth to provide feedback as they move through learning stages within each transition/Pre-ETS topic they are focusing on during the year. As the youth's needs change, they can help update all team members so that plans and services can address those needs. Family members and guardians should be aware youth may create My Vault account to store and share activities and documents. Family members and guardians can also create their own My Vault accounts to store and share planning activities and documents with the youth and their support team. This helps coordinate and ensure youth get services that meet their needs.
  • Help the youth identify team members. They can help the youth share names and contact information for all current team members, and help the youth thinking through who isn't currently on their team but who they might want to add. the My Core Team activity in the Best Life Paths in My Vault can help the youth (with help from their team members as needed) gather names and contact information of people they trust most and share the list with team members they choose.
  • Reflect at the end of the year. They can participate in a discussion with team members to reflect on the overall progress within each transition topic and help the youth decide what they want to focus on next year.
Specialed

School staff

Facilitate the planning process and teach transition skills

School staff help youth plan and prepare for future success. A main school staff person is identified for each student. This person coordinates services a student needs and ensures other school staff are included on the planning team. For students in special education, the main school staff would be their IEP case manager. For students with a 504 plan, this would be their 504 coordinator. For other students with disabilities that do not have an IEP or 504 plan, it could be their school counselor, school social worker, school nurse, etc.

School staff:

  • Leads transition planning. The main school staff facilitates transition planning meetings (like IEP or 504 plan meetings). They bring the youth into the planning process and prepare them to lead the meeting whenever possible. They schedule meetings 30 days ahead of time, ensuring all support team members the youth want to attend are invited. They create the meeting agenda in consultation with the youth and other support team members and prepare the youth to lead their meeting. The main school staff works with the youth and team to develop goals within the areas of independent living, employment, and postsecondary education and training, determine accommodations to reach those goals, and reflect this information in the youth's plan.
  • Ensures the youth has a support team. The main school staff person is the primary person responsible for ensuring that the student has a team of support, all members are identified and information is shared between them, as the youth directs. At the beginning of each school year, the primary school staff person asks the youth and parents/guardians about who is on the youth's support team. This my include parents/guardians, other advocates, other school staff members like the IEP case manager, school counselor, work coordinator, school nurse, the VRS/SSB staff, waiver case manager, and service provider staff. The main school staff also help the youth think through who isn't currently on their team but who they might want to add and helps the youth share names and contact information for all current team members. The My Core Team activity in the Best Life Paths in My Vault can help the youth (with help from their team members as needed) gather names and contact information of people they trust most and share the list with team members they choose.
  • Helps youth identify transition/Pre-ETS strengths and needs. With input from the youth, the main school staff takes the lead in completing the Transition/Pre-ETS Inventory with the entire support team. One way they can do this is by using the activities in the Best Life Paths in My Vault. They facilitate a discussion about which learning stage the youth is in for each transition/Pre-ETS topic as well as which topics the youth wants to prioritize for the year.
  • Implements the plan. School staff utilize the Engage Families and Support Youth sections of the Youth in Transition Toolkit to support the implementation of transition services.
  • Tracks progress. School staff communicates with the youth and use the learning stages for each transition topic to track the youth's progress within transition services. As the youth's needs change, they update the transition plan and services accordingly.
  • Reflects at the end of the year. Main school staff facilitate a meeting with the youth and all the team members the youth chooses to reflect on the youth's progress through the learning stages within each transition topic focused on the past year.
  • Helps youth maintain planning documents. The main school staff help the youth have their own electronic copy of their 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. They help the youth create and use their own My Vault account to store and share their plans.
  • Collaborates with team members. They actively communicate with all team members, including VRS/SSB staff and waiver case managers, throughout the planning process. They can create a My Vault account to create contacts, store and share relevant documents with the youth and their support team, as the student chooses. This helps team members coordinate and ensure youth get services that meet their needs. Main school staff may also participate in or provide information for VRS/SSB and waiver planning meetings.
VRS

Vocational rehabilitation staff

Providing Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and other supports to prepare for, find, keep, and advance in competitive integrated employment

Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) and State Services for the Blind (SSB) staff help youth prepare for and find competitive integrated employment. Services are provided using a person-centered approach and vary depending on the youth's specific needs. VRS/SSB staff are assigned to every high school and age 18-22 transition program in the state.

VRS/SSB staff:

  • Helps youth and families know VRS/SSB services are available. VRS/SSB staff works with school staff to introduce VRS/SSB services and provides application packets to all youth and families referred to them.
  • Helps the youth complete the application, intake and eligibility process. VRS/SSB helps the youth complete the VRS/SSB application and intake process. They determine eligibility and communicate that with the youth and their team, as the youth directs.
  • Learns who is on the youth's team. Once a youth is enrolled in VRS/SSB services, the VRS/SSB staff works with the youth, parents/guardians, and school staff to understand who is on the youth's support team to coordinate services. VRS/SSB staff also help the youth think through who isn't currently on their team but who they might want to add. The My Core Team activity in the Best Life Paths in My Vault can help the youth (with help from their team members as needed) gather names and contact information of people they trust most and share the list with team members they choose.
  • Helps youth identify transition/Pre-ETS strengths and needs. VRS/SSB staff reviews the Transition/Pre-ETS Inventory with the youth, school staff, and other support team members to identify which services VRS/SSB will provide. They may also participate in discussion about which learning stage the youth is in and which topics the youth wants to prioritize for the year. They can also use the activities in the Best Life Paths in My Vault.
  • Helps the youth plan their services. VRS/SSB works with the youth and other support team members to plan how VRS/SSB services will be provided. VRS/SSB may work with the youth to choose a service provider to help provide VRS/SSB services. To help coordinate services, if the youth wants them to, VRS/SSB staff attend school facilitated transition planning meetings (like IEP or 504 plan meetings) and waiver support plan meetings.
  • Implements the plan. VRS/SSB staff utilize the Engage Families and Support Youth section of the Youth in Transition Toolkit to support the implementation of transition/Pre-ETS services.
  • Tracks Progress. VRS/SSB staff use the learning stages for each transition topic to track the youth's progress within transition/Pre-ETS services. As the youth's needs change they update the employment plan and services accordingly.
  • Collaborates with team members. They actively communicate with all team members, including school staff and waiver case managers, throughout the planning process. They can create a My Vault account to create contacts, store and share relevant documents with the youth and their support team, as the student chooses. This helps team members coordinate and ensure youth get services that meet their needs. VRS/SSB staff may also participate in or provide information for school and waiver planning meetings.
  • Reflects. VRS/SSB staff attend the meetings with youth, school staff and other support team members to reflect on the youth's progress through the learning stages within each transition topic focused on the past year.
  • Continues services after graduation, if needed. VRS/SSB can continue to provide services after the youth graduates from high school or age 18-22 transition programming. An employment goal is created with the youth which is reflected in the youth's Employment Plan along with the services the youth needs to reach that goal. Services can include postsecondary education/training, job placement, and supports to keep a job. Once a youth graduates from high school or 18-22 transition programming, if they have a waiver they work with the waiver case manager to identify the needed services within the Engage, Plan, Find, Keep framework.
Waiver Case Managers

Waiver case managers

Assessing needs, creating service plans, offering referrals

Waiver case managers help youth who are on a waiver identify their independent living needs and access and navigate supports and services to meet those needs. Waiver case managers are responsible for providing the information a youth needs to make informed choices about the supports and services they want. This includes social, health, educational, vocational, housing, and financial services.

The waiver case manager:

  • Helps youth identify strengths and needs. Waiver case managers work with the youth and their family to identify their strengths and needs. One way they can do this is by using the activities in the Best Life Paths in My Vault. The Transition/Pre-ETS Inventory can also be reviewed with the youth, school staff, and other support team members to help identify strengths and needs.
  • Learns who is on the team. Waiver case managers work with the youth, parents/guardians, and school staff to understand who is on the youth's support team in order to coordinate services. They also help the youth think through who isn't on their team but who they might want to add. The My Core Team activity in the Best Life Paths in My Vault can help the youth (with help from their team members as needed) gather names and contact information of people they trust most and share the list with team members they choose.
  • Works with the youth to create a support plan. Waiver case managers work with the youth to identify supports and services needed to meet their needs. They participate in transition planning meetings (like IEP or 504 plan meetings) to coordinate services and identify which services can be provided through the waiver. They create a support plan and share it with the youth and other team members the youth chooses.
  • Implements the plan. Waiver case managers help the youth choose waiver service providers and authorize those providers to implement the waiver support plan. The Engage Families and Support Youth sections of the Youth in Transition Toolkit should be used to help with support planning.
  • Tracks progress. Waiver case managers get regular updates from the youth, waiver service providers and other team members on the youth's progress within the learning stages. As the youth's needs change, they update the waiver support plan and services accordingly. 
  • Reflects. Waiver case managers hold and attend meetings with youth, school staff and other support team members to reflect on the youth's progress through the learning stages within waiver services provided the past year.
  • Collaborates with team members. They actively communicate with all team members, including school and VRS/SSB staff, throughout the planning process. They can create a My Vault account to create contacts, store and share relevant documents with the youth and their support team, as the student chooses. This helps coordinate and ensure youth get services that meet their needs. Case managers also participate in or provide information for school and VRS/SSB planning meetings.
  • Continues services after graduation. Waiver case managers continue to work with the youth, assessing needs, and authorizing needed services and supports after the youth graduates from high school or age 18-22 transition programming. They continue to work with the other members of the youth's support team. As it relates to employment, they work together to identify where the youth is at on the Engage, Plan, Find, Keep continuum and which services the waiver will provide and when.
Employmentserviceprovider

Service providers

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

VRS/SSB and the Minnesota Department of Human Services contract with service providers across the state. VRS/SSB staff and waiver case managers work with the youth (and parents or guardians as applicable) to make informed decisions about which provider(s) will deliver services.

Service providers:

  • Convene intake or "first meetings." After receiving a referral from VRS/SSB or a waiver case manger, the 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.
  • Learn who is on the team. Service provider staff works with the youth, parents/guardians, school staff, VRS/SSB, and/or waiver case manager to understand who is on the youth's support team in order to coordinate services. The My Core Team activity in the Best Life Paths in My Vault can help the youth (with help from their team members as needed) gather names and contact information of people they trust most and share the list with team members they choose.
  • Understand the youth's strengths and needs. The service provider staff reviews the completed Transition/Pre-ETS Inventory to understand the youth's strengths and needs and the services they have been asked to provide. They can also do this by using the activities in the Best Life Paths in My Vault with the youth.
  • Participate in meetings to ensure coordination of services and progress toward transition/Pre-ETS goals. Service providers should participate in all transition planning meetings, including IEP meetings, VRS/SSB employment plan meetings and waiver service plan progress meetings in order to report on the youth's progress within the services they are providing and ensure that the services are coordinated with other supports the youth receives.
  • Track progress. Service providers include the youth's progress through the learning stages for each transition/Pre-ETS topic they are addressing in progress reports they submit to VRS/SSB and/or waiver case managers. As the youth's needs change, they help the youth communicate those needs with the support team and adjust their services accordingly.
  • Collaborate with team members. They actively communicate with all team members, including school staff, VRS/SSB staff, and waiver case managers, throughout the planning process. They can create a My Vault account to create contacts, store and share relevant documents with the youth and their support team, as the student chooses. This helps coordinate and ensure youth get services that meet their needs. Service providers may also participate in or provide information for school, VRS/SSB, and waiver planning meetings.
  • Reflect. Service provider staff participate in discussions with youth, school staff and other support team members to reflect on the youth's progress through the learning stages within each transition topic focused on the past year.

VRS/SSB contracts with 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. If a youth will need long-term employment supports provided by a waiver, then youth should be encouraged to consider service providers that are dually enrolled as a VRS/SSB and waiver service provider so that seamless supports can be delivered.

For youth on waivers, home and community-based services needed outside of school hours (evenings, weekends, school breaks, etc.) are provided by waiver service providers.

Youth who are on waivers and need employment services should be encouraged to consider service providers that are enrolled with both VRS/SSB and waiver so seamless supports can be delivered.

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