Transition planning is critical for children and youth with emotional and behavioral conditions when they leave residential care. Families should be involved in the transition planning as should relevant service providers and community members. The following resources provide information to promote children and youth's successful transitions from residential care.
Improving Community Adaptation Outcomes for Youth Graduating From Residential Mental Health Programs: A Synthesis Review (PDF - 775 KB)
Wilfrid Laurier University & Partnerships for Children and Families Project (2012)
Reports on risk factors and the effectiveness of program interventions for 212 youth who transitioned out of residential and intensive mental health programs in Ontario. Outcomes related to school, employment, delinquency, returning home, and transitioning from foster care are discussed.
Older Youth Nearing Their Exit From Congregate Care: Current Innovative Programs
Munson & Scott (2008)
Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 24(1-2)
Reviews literature on older youth in foster care and highlights two interviews in which workers describe what they believe older youth need and how to work with them in residential facilities.
Patterns of Movement for Youth Within an Integrated Continuum of Residential Services
Huefner, James, Ringle, Thompson, & Daly (2010)
Children and Youth Services Review, 32(6)
Presents a 5-year study evaluating patterns of movement for youth receiving services within a continuum of intensive and restrictive residential programs. Transitions from more restrictive to less restrictive programs corresponded to deescalating levels of problem behavior, and over 80 percent of the youth were stepped down to either family-based or independent living situations at departure.
Permanency Outcomes for Youth with Complex Mental Health Needs Served by the Child Protective Services Reintegration Project: Phase II Evaluation Report (PDF - 976 KB)
Casey Family Programs, Travis County Health and Human Services, & Texas Child Protective Services (2011)
Evaluates permanency outcomes for youth served by the Child Protective Services Reintegration Project. The project attempts to move youth with complex mental and behavioral needs out of group homes or residential treatment centers and back to their families and communities. The Phase I Evaluation Report (PDF - 807 KB) and Promoting Permanency video are also available.
Residential Transitions Workgroup Report (Word - 214 KB)
University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service & Maine Department of Health and Human Services Office of Child and Family Services (2007)
Provides practice guidance to child and family teams, caseworkers, and case managers as they work in partnership with children and youth, their families, and community-based and residential care providers to support successful transitions from residential facilities to community settings (biological family, relatives, and foster and adoptive homes).
Transitioning From Congregate Care: Preparation and Outcome
Freundlich & Avery (2006)
Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15(4)
Conducted a qualitative study of the experiences of youth in congregate care in New York City's foster care system, the effectiveness of efforts to prepare youth for life after foster care, and postdischarge outcomes for youth.
Transitioning Youth From Residential Treatment to the Community: A Preliminary Investigation
Nickerson, Colby, Brooks, Rickert, & Salamone (2007)
Child and Youth Care Forum, 36(2-3)
Presents finding from a residential treatment center study in which youth, parents, and treatment providers were interviewed to determine best practices.
Using Evidence to Accelerate the Safe and Effective Reduction of Congregate Care for Youth Involved With Child Welfare (PDF - 527 KB)
Chapin Hall & Chadwick Center (2016)
Highlights the steps necessary to reduce the use of congregate care as a needed placement, ensure youth are screened quickly and properly for mental health status, and broaden the scope of community-based treatment options for youth.