Youth in Transition - What is Transition Planning?


Why is it important to plan for the transition to adult life?

Young people, nearing adulthood, have many decisions to make:

  • What kind of job do I want?

  • Where will I live, and with whom?

  • What do I want to do for fun?

In addition, young people with disabilities, who receive services and supports as children, will also consider how to find services and supports as adults. If you are a teen or young adult receiving services as a child, or if you are the parent of a young adult, it is important to start planning for the transition to adulthood as early as possible.

The sooner the planning begins for life after high school, the smoother the transition. Family members, teachers, and the people you know and trust can help during this planning process. Planning ahead for transition gives you time to learn about and understand the changing roles, responsibilities, and opportunities as an adult. Planning ensures that you make informed decisions about your life. Your Support and Service Coordinator, through the Children's Long-Term Support Waiver, can support you and your family with Transition Planning.

The Role of the Support and Service Coordinator

If you are participating in the Children's Long-Term Support (CLTS) Waiver, then your Support and Service Coordinator (SSC) can help you plan for transition and your life as an adult. Here are some ways your SSC can help:

  • Talking with you about life after high school.

  • Encouraging you to explore your interests and talents.

  • Finding opportunities for you to gain independence and increase self-determination skills.

  • Setting goals and creating a vision for your life.

  • Guiding you to learn about legal changes, including new rights and responsibilities when you reach certain ages (14 and 18 years).

  • Applying for adult long-term support programs and getting a place on an adult long-term care waiting list (if necessary).

  • Supporting you to meet educational and training goals.

  • Making referrals to help you find a job.

  • Sharing information on how you can keep your Medicaid benefits, even if you are working.

If you already know what you want to do as an adult, great! Your SSC can help you find ways to use your long-term supports to work on your goals. Your SSC can talk with you about your Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals at school and help you share your goals with your school team and others.

Your SSC can help you and your family discuss your situation with staff at an Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), to learn about and apply for adult long-term care services (beginning when you are 17 years and 6 months old). You may still be eligible for CLTS Waiver services until you turn 22, depending upon which county you live in and what kind of disability, or disabilities, you have. If you live in a county that does not have Family Care, IRIS, or Partnership, then there may be a waiting list for adult services. If that is the case, it is important to talk with your SSC about applying for adult services as soon as you can. You can also talk with your SSC and the local ADRC about the types of supports that may be available to you while you are waiting.

When it's time for you to transition off of the CLTS Waiver, your SSC will work with the adult waiver program you choose, or other available programs in your county, to help set a date for you to stop receiving CLTS Waiver services and start  receiving adult services. If you "age out" of the CLTS Waiver before you can access adult waiver services, then you may need support from your family, friends, neighbors, or community programs, as well as other benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. If you need services while on a wait list, you can contact the following resources:

Last Revised: July 2, 2019