Rae Roebuck and Judy Coultes-MacLeod
First Leadership Limited
2: TOOLS & RESOURCES
1: Best Practices in Transition Planning
practices are programs, initiatives or activities which are
considered leading edge, or exceptional models for others to
follow. Many research studies have been undertaken to identify
the best practices in transition planning. A summary of that
information is provided below.
the child with developmental disabilities in the planning process
in ways consistent with their abilities is an important key
to its success. When the person is engaged in the process and
is making choices about their future, the likelihood of positive
outcomes is enhanced. Having the young person take a leadership
role is also a good opportunity for them to enhance their self-advocacy
or self-determination skills. This is a much needed skill for
making the transition to adult life.
plan focuses on strengths and abilities rather than disabilities
and identifies appropriate activities that are responsive to
the child’s needs for pputting the plan in action. Typically,
a person-centred plan should include the following steps:
is important to include parents and/or other family members
in transition planning. Evidence shows that this involvement
increases the success of transition planning. Typically, the
parents and family know the child best and are most able to
identify the child’s strengths in putting together the
transition plan. The child’s best advocate is a parent
who will likely have the greatest insight into what their child
wants to accomplish. Parents can also share their child’s
dream and help them put it into action through a transition
is also important to involve other individuals in the development
of the transition plan. While parents have invaluable insight
to their child’s strengths, abilities, aspirations, and
dreams, they may not have a completely unbiased view of what
their child is capable of accomplishing.
Other individuals to consider in forming a transition team could
include: friends, teachers, social workers, current and future
community service providers, post-secondary representatives,
employers and/or members of community business organizations,
etc. These individuals can make invaluable contributions to
the transition planning process by helping to build a network
of supports and services that will be needed to make the transition
to adult life.
Identify a Coordinator
coordinator for the transition planning process should be someone
that the family is comfortable dealing with and could be any
member of the transition planning team. This role could be assigned
to a parent or other family member, or it may be a teacher or
other school official if the plan is being coordinated through
the school system.
the coordinator plays an important role in tying together the
many transition activities that may be happening concurrently;
for example, transition activities in the school system, coordination
with the service system and activities at home and in the community.
The coordinator would play a key administration role by scheduling
meetings and recording minutes of meetings, tracking activities
identified for action and following up on implementation of
activities. The coordinator would also be responsible for writing
up the transition plan and ensuring that review and updating
occurs on a regular and timely basis.
Monitor and Update
of the most important concepts in developing a transition plan
is the need to have the plan reflect the preferences and interests
of the child. It is the responsibility of the transition team
and more specifically the coordinator, to monitor, review and
update the plan regularly to ensure that the interests of the
child are central to the process.
plan “check-ups” should be used to review and update
progress on identified actions, record achievements, identify
new tasks or actions to be taken, and review the goals to ensure
they are still consistent with the child’s interests and
preferences. The transition plan is a document that should be
updated and reviewed even beyond the transition itself.