Meeting Health Care Transition (HCT) Needs of Youth with ID/DD Who Have Been in Detention

Funded by the WITH Foundation (September 2022 – August 2023)

Project Goal

Family Voices and our core partners at the Center for Transition to Adult Health Care for Youth with Disabilities worked with The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability to enhance the work of the Center for Transition to Adult Health Care for Youth with Disabilities, a 5-year grant from the Administration for Community Living (ACL). Our goals were to learn more about the needs of youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have been in detention facilities; to engage these youth in leadership opportunities, develop educational resources for families and professionals; and to develop tools for youth to help them lead their own health care transition.

What we know

  • An estimated 33% of youth and young adults who are in detention have an intellectual or developmental disability (ID/DD) (Quinn et al., 2005).
  • While in detention, they face barriers to adequate care, including inadequate health histories, lack of subspecialty care, and an insufficient number of providers (Perry & Morris, 2014).
  • Upon release, follow-up of medical and psychological care is often neglected (Society for Adolescent Medicine, 2000) due to lack of access to health insurance (Golzari & Kuo, 2013) and primary care in their community (Feinstein et al., 1998).
  • Youth and young adults who have been in detention are at increased risk of poor health outcomes, including shorter life expectancy and worse social functioning (Massoglia, 2008).
  • 85% of youth and young adults who were previously in detention report not seeing a health care provider after release (Golzari & Kuo, 2013).

What we learned

In this project, we conducted key informant interviews and surveys to learn about the health care transition needs of youth with ID/DD in detention.

What we developed

A brief for juvenile justice facilities, health care providers and youth with IDD to learn about the health care transition process.

A webinar: Pathways and Pitfalls: Helping Youth with IDD in the Juvenile Justice System Move to Adult Health Care

Webinar with Spanish interpretation

Recommendations for health care providers working with youth in the juvenile justice system

Recommendations for juvenile justice professionals working with youth with IDD and their families

Recommendations for youth with IDD in the juvenile justice system and their families (English/Spanish)

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Our Vision

With families at the center of health care, all children and youth reach their full potential and health disparities are eliminated.

Our Mission

Family Voices is a national organization and grassroots network of families and friends of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities that promotes partnership with families—including those of cultural, linguistic and geographic diversity—in order to improve health care services and policies for children.

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