Bridging the transition cliff: Best practices in assisting young adults with mental health needs as they transition to adulthood

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aarc webinar
Young Adulthood represents the age range with the highest prevalence rates of severe mental health needs, yet young adults are also least likely to engage services and supports. Similarly, supportive systems vary widely across the country, and within each state, regarding eligibility for young adults in need of services, making it extremely difficult for young adults to access the supports they need. For these and many other reasons, young adults leaving child welfare and residential care have startlingly poor outcomes. However, programs that provide early and developmentally targeted preparation, and a solid coordination of transition services, can make a life-changing difference in the futures for young adults in residential care.

This presenter will introduce Chicago’s Thresholds Youth Programs, dedicated to best practices for young adults in care with severe mental health needs. The youth programs include a Residential Program for young adults, a Transitional Living Program for youth with Severe Mental Illness, and a Transitional Living Program for Parenting young adults.

This presenter will discuss how Young Adulthood has evolved over 60 years into its own age range, and how that evolution underscores the unique needs of this age group, both on a national and local level. The audience will then be introduced to some of the best practices with young adults, emphasizing the Transition to Independence Practice (TIP). The TIP Model is the Evidence Informed Practice dedicated to Young Adults with Emotional/Behavioral Needs or Mental Illness. Developed by Rusty Clark, Ph.D. of the National Network on Youth Transition, the TIP Model assists programs in adjusting their practices to promote better outcomes for young adults at risk across the five Transition Domains: Employment, Education, Living Situation, Community/Life Functioning, and Personal Effectiveness & Wellbeing ( The presenter will discuss some of the basic principles of the TIP model, along with other Promising Practices, and how Thresholds evolved its supports for young adults within the context of a Residential Program which still must adhere to Child Welfare regulations.

Finally, this presenter will illustrate changes the audience members can make right now to enhance their work with young adults in care to better prepare them for adult life. The audience will leave with resources and contact information for learning more about the discussed practices and about further young adult and child welfare-based research.

Our presenter is Marc Fagan, Psy.D., Marc A. Fagan, Psy.D. is the Associate Director for Youth Services at Thresholds in Chicago, the oldest and largest mental health agency in Illinois. Dr. Fagan oversees comprehensive programs for young adults with mental illness and traumatic histories, teen parents, homeless families, and young children. He has presented both locally and nationally regarding youth in transition to adulthood. As a Certified Consultant for the National Network for Youth Transition, Dr. Fagan trains audiences in the Transition to Independence Process (TIP); an evidence-supported framework for working with young adults with emotional/behavioral disorders and/or mental illness. He also participates in numerous state workgroups dedicated to improving outcomes for transitioning youth and for young people in the child welfare system. Dr. Fagan was recently honored to speak at a Congressional Briefing in Washington DC in support of the Healthy Transitions Act for youth with mental health needs. Additionally, Dr. Fagan is a Master Trainer in Aggression Replacement Training (ART®) and a Certified Trainer in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI).

This event requires registration, will last for 2 hours, and it is free to AACRC members along with free NASW CEU's. Non-members fee is $50.00 for an single login (which can be viewed by as many individuals in the room) and $25.00 per each NASW CEU's requested.


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