What are “transition” services? What is a Transition Specialist?
The goal of Transition Specialists is the prepare juveniles for successful transition to public school, employment, and to life in their communities as responsible, productive citizens. The Office of Transition and Diversion Programs (ODTP) serves students who face unique educational challenges because they are placed in facilities out of their home for adjudicated and status related offenses, mental health services, or specialized medical needs. ODTP Transition Specialists work closely with these students to ensure they are able to enroll in public school or higher education, complete their high school graduation tracks, obtain employment, and develop essential skills needed to function productively in society.
The following list of school and community-based activities are examples of the work of Transition Specialists:
- Coordinate educational planning with parents/guardians, students, ODTP schools and school districts. Understand educational opportunities available to the student and educate families and school personnel on these options;
- Identify technical and community based resources available based on the individual student’s need;
- Collaborate with agencies such as WVDHHR, post-secondary schools, and Youth Reporting Centers (YRCs);
- Work with Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to provide educational support for at-risk students before they are placed outside their homes;
- Assist with student engagement initiatives to support school attendance and minimize truancy;
- Link, refer, and advocate for students’ educational objectives;
- Attend and participate in education and court-related meetings as needed;
- Assist with post-secondary test registration, FASFA, and college applications;
- Provide follow-up services, track progress and collect student data for one year post discharge; and,
- Anything else needed to help students achieve education and career success!