Other Youth Topics


  1. Youth Topics
  2. Effective Programs for Transition Age Youth

Effective Programs for Transition Age Youth

Researchers have identified common characteristics of effective programs for teens (Hall, Israel and Shortt, 2004):

  • Youth feel a sense of independence through participation in the program, including financial independence (wages or stipend).
  • Programs offer job skills, job preparation, job training, and actual employment opportunities.
  • Schools and principals are active partners.
  • Youth are supported as they work to navigate life after high school.
  • Youth voices are incorporated into decision making, and participants feel that the time they have dedicated counts.
  • Youth interact with peers and adults, including community and business leaders.
  • Youth are exposed to life outside of their immediate neighborhood.
  • Programs are flexible.


Hall, G., Israel, L., & Shortt, J. (2004). It’s about time! A look at out of school time for urban teens. Wellesley, MA: The National Institute on Out-of-School Time.

Youth Briefs

How Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Planning Makes a Difference for Youth with Disabilities

Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.

Youth Transitioning to Adulthood: How Holding Early Leadership Positions Can Make a Difference

Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people

How Trained Service Professionals and Self-Advocacy Makes a Difference for Youth with Mental Health, Substance Abuse, or Co-occurring Issues

Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.

Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care: Challenges and Solutions

Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.

Coordinating Systems to Support Transition Age Youth with Mental Health Needs

Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.

Civic Engagement Strategies for Transition Age Youth

Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).