The purpose of transition planning for youth with special needs is to identify opportunities and experiences during their school years that will help them better prepare for life as an adult. Transition planning can assist youth with special needs in securing employment, pursuing post-secondary education and fully participating in community life.
A person-centered planning approach is a best practice. It places the individual with special needs or their family in a leadership role during transition planning and service delivery. The ultimate goal of person-centered planning is to create supports and opportunities that enable a person with special needs to experience a self-directed life.
The Government of British Columbia recognizes the importance of collaborating across the service sectors to support the transition to adulthood for youth with special needs and their families. The Cross Ministry Transition Planning Protocol for Youth with Special Needs describes how such collaboration across nine government organizations will occur.
The protocol outlines the components of a transition planning process that starts by age 14 and identifies the Roles and Tasks for Transition Planning Team Members.
For more information regarding the Cross Ministry Transition Planning Protocol for Youth with Special Needs see the Fact Sheet and Question and Answers.
Transition Planning Guides
In 2005, the ministry produced two information guides to support the development of person-centred transition plans for youth with special needs:
These guides will be revised to reflect the Cross Ministry Transition Planning Protocol for Youth with Special Needs and its description of the transition planning process, the roles and tasks of transition planning team members and the government supports and services for youth between the ages of 14 to 25 that are described within.
Transition Planning Best Practices
Transition Planning Best Practices will assist with transition planning for youth with special needs. This information includes the six best practices associated with transition planning as well as the six steps to person-centered transition planning.
The transition from services for children and youth to adult services ideally involves the youth, family, service providers, school professionals and ministry staff in the planning process. Key government organizations that assist in the transition to adult services include:
- Ministry of Social Development - education and support payments, employment programs, bus passes and health and dental benefits for persons with disabilities. See the At Home Program Guide for information on transitioning from At Home Medical Benefits to Adult Disability Assistance. The Advocate for Service Quality can assist in situations involving transitioning youth with special needs and their families who could benefit from the intervention of someone working independently of ministries and agencies.
- Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology - education services to adults with disabilities. Education Planner also provides comprehensive information about post-secondary education in BC.
- Community Living British Columbia - range of services to assist adults with developmental disabilities to live as fully and independently as possible in the community.
- Ministry of Health - home and community care for adults who have acute, chronic, palliative or rehabilitative health care needs.
- Ministry of Education – leadership and funding to the K-12 education system.
- Public Safety and Solicitor General – the Crime Victim Assistance Program provides financial assistance and benefits to victims of an injury due to violent crime.
- BC Housing – administers subsidized housing and programs that offer housing options.
- Public Guardian and Trustee - acts as co-guardian with the Ministry of Children and Family Development or Delegated Aboriginal Child and Family Service Agencies for youth under Continuing Custody Orders (CCOs), and is responsible for the protection of the financial and legal interests of children and youth under a CCO. Also, provides consultation and/or services to adults who may not be mentally capable of managing their own personal, health care, legal and/or financial affairs.
To find out more about transition planning resources, go to the Resource Guide section of Your Future Now or visit the contacts page on this site.