Section 4, Chapter 5 (Older Youth Program), Subsection 2 – Definition and Purpose

 Effective Date:  5-1-19


Adolescence is a time of adjustment culminating, hopefully, with a successful transition to adulthood and independence. This is a very difficult time of transition for the youth, which can only be made easier with proactive, supportive case planning, involving the youth.  There is no definite age for this maturational process to occur.  The only certainty is that the process will take place.

For youth in out-of-home care, who can neither return home nor be adopted, independence becomes a factual circumstance. The earlier the youth’s needs are addressed, the greater the youth’s chances for successful transition.  The case manager’s role is to ensure that the youth is involved in all phases of planning for their future and to facilitate the youth taking advantage of opportunities provided for them.

While Children’s Division (CD) is considered the primary caretaker for youth in out-of-home care, the community plays a crucial role in their healthy development. Given the multitude of needs of youth in and exiting out-of-home care, CD must access and partner with community resources.  Community supports are essential, and our efforts to develop an array of resources to meet their areas of need should be on-going.  Making a smooth transition to self-sufficiency will depend on the youth’s physical, psychological, and emotional well-being.  A successful transition to independence hinges on building partnerships with other public and private agencies in the community.