Transition age youth in publicly funded systems: Identifying high-risk youth for policy planning and improved service delivery

  • Heflinger C
  • Hoffman C
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Abstract

Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbances (SED) face many challenges as they approach the transition to adulthood and adult services. This study examines publicly funded transition-age youth in order to describe the numbers and type of youth in need of policy and service planning in one state. Using Medicaid enrollment and claims/encounter data, youth with high risk of transition difficulties were identified in the following groups: SED, state custody/foster care or risk of custody, users of intensive or frequent mental health services, or having diagnoses of major mental disorders, conduct disorders, or developmental disabilities. Almost one quarter of all enrolled 14 to 17-year olds met criteria for at least one of the high risk groups, and three-quarters of these were youth with SED. High risk youth are described, with greater detail on those with SED, and implications for policy, services, and research are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Foster care
  • Medicaid
  • SED
  • Transition to adulthood

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Authors

  • Craig Anne Heflinger

  • Cheri Hoffman

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