Vermont Receives $9 Million Grant to Support State’s Youth in Transition Efforts

first_imgVermont Receives $9 Million Grant to Support State’s Youth in Transition EffortsWaterbury, Vt.- Governor Jim Douglas today announced that Vermont will receive over $9 million to support youth in transition through a Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA).Governor Douglas said the six-year grant is meant to promote the development of integrated home and community-based services and supports for transition age youth (aged 16-22) with serious emotional disturbances, and their families.”Ensuring that young Vermonters have access to services that enable them to become self-sufficient, contributing members of society is of critical importance to my administration. I was very pleased to sign the Youth in Transition Act into law over a year ago, which provides key supports to at-risk transition-age youth until their 22nd birthday,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “This federal funding will be invaluable in our efforts as we continue to strengthen our support network for all transition age youth, particularly those with severe emotional disturbances currently served by the Agency of Human Services.”This CMHI grant will enable Vermont’s Act 264 State and Local Interagency Teams to build upon the successful Jump on Board for Success (JOBS) supported employment program, using it as a foundation for engaging transition-aged youth through teen centers, recovery centers, homeless youth programs, and at critical intervention points within the juvenile and criminal justice systems.”Our Agency is aggressively enhancing our efforts to best serve transition-age youth, including expanding Vermont youth capacity at Northlands Job Corps and coordinating the efforts of our Department for Children and Families’ Family Services Division and community partners to expand appropriate services,” said Cynthia D. LaWare, Secretary of AHS. “Through this grant, we will significantly increase community-based supports to ensure more transition age youth are actively and productively engaged in their communities and free from incarceration.”Vermont data indicates clear correlations between youth with disabilities (such as those with severe emotional disturbance) and lower rates of high school graduation, higher rates of incarceration and less access to higher education opportunities. To better serve these youth, the Agency of Human Services created a Youth in Transition Leadership Team in 2007 to design a comprehensive, one agency approach to integrate all AHS efforts to meet the needs of this population.###last_img

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