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Transitional Living Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Transitional Living Program?
Where does Youth Villages currently provide the Transitional Living Program?
How many young adult adults have been served by the Transitional Living Program?
What is the age range of young adults who can be referred to the Transitional Living Program?
How long is the average length of treatment in the Transitional Living Program?
What makes the Youth Villages Transitional Living program unique and different from other Independent Living Programs?
What makes a young adult ineligible for the Transitional Living program?
How often does the assigned Transitional living specialist see the young adults?
What is the relationship between Transitional Living and the referral source?
What are the typical components of a TL specialist’s treatment strategy?
How common is it for young adults in the Transitional Living Program to have children of their own?
Does Youth Villages provide funding to the young adults in the Transitional Living Program for basic needs such as rent, utilities, transportation, food?
Does Transitional Living collaborate with other agencies who may be involved with the young adults?
Does the Transitional Living Program provide crisis intervention services?
What are the hours of operation for the Transitional Living Program?
Does Youth Villages provide any support for youth after discharge?
What are the qualifications of staff in the Transitional Living program?
How many young adults does a Transitional living specialist have on his or her caseload?
How are the specialists in the Transitional Living Program organized, trained and supervised?
Does Youth Villages have a quality assurance plan in place for Transitional Living?
Does Youth Villages track the outcomes of young adults/families who participate in the Transitional Living Program?
What is the rate for a young adult in the Transitional Living Program and what does that rate include?
What if funding runs out and the young adult is not ready for discharge or the young adult is no longer eligible for the program due to age?
Do you have references specific to this program?
Does Youth Villages have experience starting up the Transitional Living Program in new locations?
How long does it take Youth Villages to start-up the Transitional Living Program in a new location?


What is the Transitional Living Program?

Please visit our program overview page.

Where does Youth Villages currently provide the Transitional Living Program?

The Transitional Living program currently serves more than 500 young adults per day in Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.

How many young adult adults have been served by the Transitional Living Program?

Transitional Living has served more than 5,000 young adults since the program's inception in 1999.

What is the age range of young adults who can be referred to the Transitional Living Program?

Almost 85% of the young adults in the Transitional Living Program have been 17 or 18 at their admission date. In some cases, Youth Villages continues to serve young adults past the age of 21 if they are in need of further services. Because funds are typically not available for young adults older than 21, Youth Villages uses private donations to continue services for these cases.

How long is the average length of treatment in the Transitional Living Program?

Program participation usually lasts from 6 to 12 months, with an average of 7-9 months.

What makes the Youth Villages Transitional Living program unique and different from other Independent Living Programs?

Please visit our How it Works and Why it Works pages to learn more about the unique aspects of the Transitional Living program.

What makes a young adult ineligible for the Transitional Living program?

Children and young adults with active suicidal or homicidal behaviors, or psychotic without medication stabilization at time of referral are not appropriate for the Youth Villages Transitional Living program.

How often does the assigned Transitional living specialist see the young adults?

Transitional living specialists are available to the young adults 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They make a minimum of one face-to-face contact per week with the individuals at the youth’s home, job, or wherever is most convenient. The number of sessions can be increased based upon the individual needs of each young adult.

What is the relationship between Transitional Living and the referral source?

Transitional living specialists work closely with all individuals and agencies involved with the young adult, including the referral source. The transitional living specialist often communicates and collaborates weekly or monthly -- as appropriate or needed -- with the referral source, court system, the employer and others closely involved in the case. Weekly and monthly progress updates are provided, as well as written discharge summaries and recommendations.

What are the typical components of a TL specialist’s treatment strategy?

Self-sufficiency skills, community reintegration, education, vocational skills and job training/experience are the major focal areas within the program. The proposed program will provide the young adult with the knowledge and skills necessary to:

  • Maintain safe and stable housing
  • Achieve or maintain work and/or education
  • Remain free from legal involvement
  • Become self-sufficient
How common is it for young adults in the Transitional Living Program to have children of their own?

About 20 percent of the young adults in this program have children or are pregnant. Transitional living specialists provide parenting education, assist the young parent in arranging for childcare, and help the young adult with any other barriers related to being a healthy and productive parent. In addition, all young adults in the program receive pregnancy prevention training.

Does Youth Villages provide funding to the young adults in the Transitional Living Program for basic needs such as rent, utilities, transportation, food?

Youth Villages does not provide the young adults in the Transitional Living Program with a place to live or with funds to pay for their livings costs. Instead, Youth Villages helps the young people make their own arrangements for independent living, with the goal to teach young adults the skills they need to live successful, independent lives. In the majority of cases, Transitional Living assists the young adult in finding a place to stay with a friend or family member when the young person is unable to make living arrangements for him- or herself due to lack of funds. However, in roughly 10 percent of cases, young adults simply have no family member or friend to support them. In these cases, Youth Villages will assist them with housing costs -- provided they are taking the necessary steps to work toward absorbing those costs on their own by a certain date. Also, in rare cases, Youth Villages will assist with utility bills, food, and other basic-needs purchases.

Does Transitional Living collaborate with other agencies who may be involved with the young adults?

Yes. In addition to providing individual and family counseling, the Transitional Living staff works closely with other agencies, as well as any existing programs and services of benefit to the young adult to ensure that the young adults served are linked with all appropriate community resources. At the inception of every case, Transitional living specialists seek input from the young adult’s referral source, extended family members and friends, teachers, employers, peer group, neighbors, and others involved with the young adult and family, such as probation officers and mental health workers. Transitional Living Specialists “check in” with these key people in the community on a typically weekly basis and at least monthly throughout treatment. All outside contacts made are made with the young adult’s consent and only after release forms have been signed.

What are the hours of operation for the Transitional Living Program?

Transitional living specialists work flexible schedules to meet the needs of each young adult and to be there in cases of emergency. Transitional Living Specialists are available to the young adult 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Transitional Living staff work in teams and rotate an on-call pager on the weekends and on holidays to ensure that young adults can always get in touch with a transitional living specialist. Referrals are generally accepted during normal business hours, although emergency referrals may be accepted at other times. The format for the Transitional Living program's services does not change during holidays or other times during the year.

Does the Transitional Living Program provide crisis intervention services?

Yes. Crisis intervention and prevention services are available to young people and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the preventive stages, the clinical team (specialist, supervisor, consultant, and regional supervisor) track “red-flag” behavior, identifying potential problem areas and designing interventions to prevent a possible crisis. In case of a crisis, young adults may contact specialists at any time, and either their specialists or an equally trained team colleague will respond to the young adult. Crisis resolution may include responding by phone and/or in person regardless of the hour or day of the week. Transitional Living specialists are trained in de-escalation techniques to resolve crises. Specific steps are in place for designing and implementing safety plans on an immediate basis, and formulating short-term strategies to prevent recurrence of the crisis incident. Transitional Living specialists alert the clinical supervisor as soon as is possible for support and guidance. Transitional Living specialists notify regional supervisors immediately if further support and guidance is needed.

Does Youth Villages provide any support for youth after discharge?

Youth Villages' TL specialists remain available to the young adult beyond the discharge date via office phone. In cases where the young adult begins to experience struggles or new problems arise, Youth Villages will assess the situation to determine the best course of action. Examples of remedies include additional sessions without readmission, referral to an outside therapist or case manager, and in some cases, readmission to the Transitional Living Program.

What are the qualifications of staff in the Transitional Living program?
  • Qualifications for Transitional Living positions are as follows:
  • Specialist – master’s degree in social science field preferred, bachelor’s accepted with experience. More than 9 years of data from the Transitional Living program show no significant difference in bachelor’s- or master’s-level staff with regard to outcomes.
  • Clinical Supervisor – master’s degree in social science field preferred, bachelor’s accepted with experience. Experience in training and providing Transitional Living services required.
  • Clinical Consultant – master’s degree required and pursuance of licensure, as well as extensive experience providing Transitional Living services and extensive ongoing training.
  • Regional Supervisor – master’s degree in social science field preferred, bachelor’s accepted with experience. Experience in training and providing Transitional Living services required.
How many young adults does a Transitional living specialist have on his or her caseload?

Transitional living specialists maintain caseloads of about six to ten young adults depending on the intensity of the case.

How are the specialists in the Transitional Living Program organized, trained and supervised?

A vital component of Transitional Living is the level of training and supervision for transitional living specialists. Specialists, with caseloads of 6-10 young adults, are supervised by a clinical supervisor who is responsible for a team of 4-5 specialists. A highly structured specialist training-and-development process includes an initial three-day training, quarterly booster trainings, weekly clinical consultation, weekly team supervision, weekly individual supervision and development, and field supervision.

Does Youth Villages have a quality assurance plan in place for Transitional Living?

Yes. The Transitional Living program's treatment model naturally lends itself to in-depth quality monitoring of outcomes and ongoing processes due to the program's vigorous supervision structure and adherence measures. Youth Villages has implemented additional structure and processes to ensure that counselors adhere to the treatment model. High-risk cases receive extra supervision, as warranted by each individual case. Critical events trigger additional attention to the problem case. Clinical oversight is provided through field supervision by the clinical supervisor, review of taped sessions (with the youth’s consent), database-generated scorecards of the specialists' and supervisors' performances, and clinical-services quality is further ensured through quarterly booster trainings on specific areas, such as intervention development and youth engagement, among others.

Program success is monitored weekly and monthly, measuring key data to ensure success or make crucial changes in treatment wherever needed. Youth Villages’ goal always is to provide the best services possible, and Youth Villages continuously measures outcome data to ensure services provide the best help to young people and their families.

In addition to measuring outcomes and following up with clients post-discharge, Youth Villages continually assesses and refines specialists’ clinical skills in group supervision, individual supervision, clinical consultation, and regional consultation.

Does Youth Villages track the outcomes of young adults/families who participate in the Transitional Living Program?

Yes. Youth Villages collects data on all young adults served by the Transitional Living Program. Data is collected at point of discharge and 6, 12, and 24 months after discharge. Data collected show whether the young person lives in a home, is in school or working, has had any involvement with the law, and more. Research staff not affiliated with the Transitional Living program conduct follow-up research with children, young adults and families to monitor program effectiveness.

Key outcome data collected includes:

  • Living arrangements at discharge and during the following 24 months to assess whether the young person is successfully living in a home or has been hospitalized, in jail, has run away, or has been referred to a residential or other treatment program.
  • Criminal/ Legal Involvement
  • Use of mental health services
  • Employment
  • Educational Status
  • Social Support /Life Skills
What is the rate for a young adult in the Transitional Living Program and what does that rate include?

Transitional Living services include individual and family counseling and support services provided by the transitional living specialist, as well as management of the case while in the program. Because Transitional Living is an in home-services program, the primary expense is personnel-related. Travel reimbursement for direct-service staff is the most significant operating expense beyond traditional overhead for office space, utilities and equipment (computers, telephones, etc.). A monthly rate per youth receiving Transitional Living services is calculated uniquely for each service area.

What if funding runs out and the young adult is not ready for discharge or the young adult is no longer eligible for the program due to age?

Youth Villages is currently raising funds through the private sector to make continuing services possible for any young person who needs these intensive services. An annual internal fund-raising campaign that allows Youth Villages’ staff to give back a percentage of their salary to the organization also helps raise significant funds for the Transitional Living Program, specifically for young adults who otherwise would not qualify for funding to receive services.

Do you have references specific to this program?

Tennessee Department of Children’s Services

Mrs. Bonnie Hommrich, Deputy Commissioner 436 6th Avenue North, 7th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243 Telephone – 615-741-9702 Email: bonnie.hommrich@.state.tn.us

Mrs. Kim Crane Mallory, Director of Interdependent Living 436 6th Avenue, 8th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243 Telephone – 615-532-9644

Does Youth Villages have experience starting up the Transitional Living Program in new locations?

Yes. Youth Villages has successfully and quickly rolled out our intensive in-home services program and Transitional Living in many new areas and states, most recently across the state of Tennessee, North Carolina and Massachusetts. Youth Villages has its own team of specialists -- each with years of experience -- who provide case consultation to therapists and intensive development training to clinical supervisors. Many management-level staff have experience starting up programs in new cities and states. The process of starting up in a new location involves some combination of leadership working on-site and traveling between locations on a weekly basis.

How long does it take Youth Villages to start-up the Transitional Living Program in a new location?

Generally, it takes about six months to provide full services in a new location. The first two months of starting up a new program are typically consumed by hiring and training staff, conducting meetings with stakeholders, other providers, community services and others, and establishing the referral and admissions process. During the third and fourth months, Youth Villages completes the hiring and training processes, admits the first round of cases, and continues meetings with stakeholders. During the final two months of start-up, Youth Villages continues training new staff and communicating with stakeholder agency staff to resolve any potential or actual service barriers. Youth Villages begins serving cases at full capacity during months five and six.

About Us
Youth Villages is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to helping emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families live successfully. We help more than 22,000 children and families each year from more than 20 states and Washington, D.C. Our Evidentiary Family Restoration™ approach involves intensive work with the child and family, a focus on measuring outcomes, keeping children in the community whenever safely possible, and providing accountability to families and funders. The EFR approach produces lasting success for children with success rates twice that of traditional services at one-third the cost of traditional care.
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