Preparing and planning for adult life, including community employment, should begin very early in a young person’s life. However, for youth that receive services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP), transition planning is required to formally begin by age 14. The youth's team, including adult service personnel, educators, the youth and family, work collaboratively to create and support a path to community employment that is the 'best fit' for the youth.
Ohio Employment First Transition Framework is a critical component to the Ohio Employment First structure and is intended to address barriers to transition planning and services in order to achieve meaningful adult outcomes. The Framework was developed by stakeholders from multiple agencies to create processes and highlight practices that can be used by all agencies. These common processes assist professionals to plan, prepare, empower, educate, and connect across systems so as to consistently assist youth with disabilities to realize meaningful, community employment and other valued aspects of adult life.
The Framework is built on three non-negotiable foundational elements that together create a 'filter' to examine the practices and procedures used when working and supporting transition youth. The foundational elements for the activity and practices of the Framework are:
- Person-centered. The youth is where the team efforts begin and end. Policies and practices must be flexible enough to respond to individual strengths and needs.
- Agency-neutral. As agencies come together to collaborate, activity should occur in a manner where all involved see value for the youth and no single agency policies or procedures are considered the priority.
- Outcome-focused. The common focus of the collaborative efforts are the meaningful adult life outcomes.
To effectively implement the Framework, efforts are needed on multiple levels. Therefore, the organization of the Framework is designed to support a combination of state, regional, and individual level activity, processes, and tools. Together, these tiers of work support a sustainable structure for statewide transition practice.