New Mexico Adolescent Transition Groups

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Best Practice | August 11, 2006

 
New Mexico Adolescent Transitions Groups

In 1994, the State of New Mexico established Adolescent Transition Groups (ATGs) to support the most vulnerable youth transitioning from out-of-home care into adulthood. Adolescent Transition Groups are comprised of representatives from state and local child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and mental health agencies, as well as youth advocates, attorneys, and other community stakeholders. ATGs exemplify a systems management approach that utilizes the experiences of individuals to identify systemic barriers for youth in transition. The primary goals of ATGs are to help youth access services that they are eligible for as adults, to identify and address barriers to services and service gaps, and to raise awareness and promote dialogue between child and adult systems of care.

Currently, there are five Adolescent Transition Groups throughout New Mexico. ATGs are un-funded, utilizing existing agency resources to staff each ATG and to provide technical assistance and training to communities interested in forming an ATG. Child welfare and juvenile justice agencies refer their hardest-to-serve youth to ATGs. Typically, the youth referred have dual or multiple diagnoses including a mental health condition with substance abuse and/or developmental disorders. ATGs hold monthly half-day meetings, during which professionals, family members, and youth present information about transition-related issues and problems they encounter. After identifying the youth’s needs, the group discusses possible solutions and refers the family, youth, and/or caseworker to untapped resources and services. The groups regularly report to state agencies to increase interagency awareness about the needs of youth transitioning out of care.
For more information, contact:

New Mexico Department of Health
Behavioral Health Services Division
Homeless and Housing Services Supervision
(505) 827-1630