Transition of Youth and Young Adults with Emotional Or Behavioral Difficulties

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Hewitt B. Clark, Deanne K. Unruh
Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company, 2009 - Education - 357 pages
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As youth with emotional or behavioral difficulties transition from school and home settings, they face the complex challenges and expectations of adult life: finding and maintaining work, establishing new relationships, building a career, and more. This comprehensive professional handbook will help transition specialists, general and special educators, school psychologists, and administrators support youth and young adults in setting goals and achieving positive outcomes across employment, education, and community settings.

Drawing on the expertise of a wide range of contributors-practitioners, educators, researchers, administrators, parents, and young people themselves--this book collects our best, most current knowledge on supporting transitions for young people with mental health issues. Through up-to-date research and in-depth analyses of five successful transition programs, readers will discover how to

  • apply evidence-supported practices to guide youth and young adults through the transition obstacle course
  • bridge the gap between child and adult mental health services for consistent, coordinated care
  • ensure effective adult services that are developmentally and culturally appropriate
  • address system fragmentation, so the mental health, education, justice, and other systems can work together to serve children's best interests
  • implement strategies for the transition from high school to meaningful employment or postsecondary training
  • use peer supports to reach, engage, and coach young people as they move into adulthood
  • reduce common risk behaviors through skillful prevention planning
  • fund and sustain services and supports through a creative combination of federal, state, local, and private dollars
  • implement a Continuous Quality Improvement process to recognize needs, build on strengths, and make required changes

Vignettes and first-person testimonials throughout the book strengthen readers' awareness of the challenges young people experience and how effective transition services can make a difference. Detailed examinations of program, system, policy, and research needs will help professionals shape the future of mental health supports--and ensure the best possible adult lives for the young people they serve.

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Understanding and Addressing the Needs
Challenges and Effective Transition Systems

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About the author (2009)

Hewitt B. Rusty Clark, Ph.D., received his doctoral degree in developmental and child psychology from the University of Kansas in 1972. He is a professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida. His research interests and grants focus on evaluating the effectiveness of 1) individualized planning and intervention processes for children with emotional and behavioral difficulties and their families, 2) after-care services for juvenile offenders, and 3) the transition of youth and young adults into employment, educational opportunities, and independent living. Dr. Clark came to the University of South Florida after directing a comprehensive mental health program for families in Nevada, where he was affiliated with the University of Nevada. Over the course of his professional career, Dr.Clark has developed and researched various innovative programs and has published extensively, wit 3 books and more than 80 publications to his credit. He has served as President of the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis and continues to chair the Florida Peer Review Committee, which monitors the quality of treatment programs in developmental disabilities and mental health. Dr. Clark serves on various boards of editors for professional journals and consults nationally and internationally. He was a guest professor at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany, and has presented a series of invited addresses and workshops at conferences in Israel, Peru, Scotland, and Sweden. When Dr. Clark is not conducting research and workshops or teaching, consulting, and developing programs on his topics of professional interest, he enjoys his avocation of sailing the Gulf of Mexico and other seas.

Maryann Davis, Ph.D., received her doctoral degree in psychobiology from Emory University in 1990. She completed her clinical psychology training at Emory University in 1992. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a faculty member of the Center for Mental Health Services Research. She has worked in private and public mental health agencies to examine how mental health services for children and adolescents can be improved. Her research interests focus on understanding the interface of the developmental process of entering young adulthood and the service system changes associated with attaining official adult status among young people with emotional or behavioral difficulties. Her current efforts focus on developing an effective model of service coordination for youth in transition. She is also examining the access that adolescents exiting public services have to adult mental health services and their involvement in the adult corrections system. Dr. Davis's work on developing an effective service coordination model and part of her work on this book were supported by a grant from the van Ameringen Foundation. She provides consultation to public agencies on working with individuals making the transition to adulthood and identifying system barriers to and solutions for developing better supports for these individuals.

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