Transitioning Children and Youth Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk of Withdrawal
The Patchogue Medford School District has established an outcome-oriented process that is reasonably calculated to promote the successful movement from the community to a residential or correctional program setting, and from a residential or correctional program setting to post-residential or post-incarceration setting.
The district identifies three elements of successful transition:
- It must have coordinated activities as part of the process;
- It must be an outcome-oriented process;
- It must promote successful movement between the facility and the community.
Coordinated activities involve both the district and the residential facility or detention center, or pertinent agency such as the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (“OCFS”), or the Suffolk County Department of Social Services (“DSS”), working together to plan for and ensure that youth involved receive appropriate support services at all stages. The primary individuals involved are the youth, his or her family or guardian/persons who maintain a parental relationship with the youth, and a designated case-manager at the district. The District’s designated case-manager, is the Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Pupil Services. Others who should be involved in the process include court and probation personnel; administrators including building principals, guidance director, teachers, and staff from detention and corrections institutions; service providers from other agencies or programs (e.g., mental health, substance abuse, child welfare); and personnel from the community, including schools and employers. Ultimately, the individuals required to support the youth will depend on the unique needs of that child and his or her transition plan.
Requiring the process be outcome-oriented means focusing on the goals of successful youth engagement with school and/or employment, avoidance of return to the Juvenile Justice or Family Court system, and reduction of the likelihood of future entry into the adult criminal justice system. Youth returning or being released from a residential or correctional program require re-integration and engagement in school and/or work. Having both short- and long-term transition goals is the key to success of the youth returning, and is not just the responsibility of the youth and the pertinent agency coordinating the youth’s release but a collective responsibility of the District community and all those involved in the transition process.
Successful movement between the facility and the school community requires awareness of all the systems and policies in place to help support the youth in navigating these systems and also requires successful movement of records and processes to support the youth in acquiring appropriate academic, career and technical, behavioral, social, and independent-living skills with a focus on preparing youth for college or career.
In order to successfully transition a youth, in accordance with the three elements discussed above, a transition team is convened consisting of the Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Pupil Services, a social worker, a teacher, and a guidance counselor, and the team will invite any pertinent agency officials or representatives to participate in person or by phone. If the youth has an Individualized Education Program (“IEP”), then transition from any residential facility or correctional program will be discussed and incorporated into the IEP as part of the student’s needs and transition plan. Should the youth have an IEP, the Special Education Director will be part of the transition team. Such a transition team, or where applicable, the CSE, will convene at or prior to a youth entering a facility or prior to incarceration, and within 14 days of the youth’s reentry/release.
The team or CSE shall:
- Conduct intake assessments of the youth, to be done by the School Social Worker, Psychologist or teacher;
- Conduct transition planning as a team;
- The Transition Team shall arrange to establish agreements (i.e. MOAs/MOUs) with the relevant agencies involved;
- Establish regular and consistent communication with the youth and family in a language they can understand to discuss progress toward meeting transition goals and to discuss transition activities and ways to improve;
- Establish relationships with other school districts, community-based providers, employers and others that can help reintegrate the youth into the community;
- Ensure accurate, complete, useful, timely and confidential records transfer;
- Create a transition plan based on academic, behavioral, social-emotional and career and technical assessments, including the provision of weekly or monthly counseling, administration of Level I and Level II assessment already being used for IEP students;
- Use the plan as a guide to educational placement and programming for both educational and vocational programming;
- Communicate with providers, parents/guardians and students through the transition team/IEP plan;
- Monitor and revise the transition team/IEP plan on an ongoing basis; and
- Tracking of goals through collection of transition data, including tracking of number of days of school attended, number of passing grades or credits/courses completed, hours of career and technical certificates earned.
The District’s transition team shall seek out relevant funding for transition services, including but not limited to Title I, Part D funding, which reflects current and anticipated future demand.