Transition Resource Guide for Working with Recent Dane County High School Graduates

Resources / General Information

  • Unless the grads have case management through Family Support and Resource Center (FSRC), or have support through United Cerebral Palsy-Adult Services Assessment Planning (UCP-ASAP), or already have a Support Broker (this is unusual), all grads work with the Transition Coordinators from PCS.
  • Grads that had case management through FSRC tend to have higher support needs and have often been supported by FSRC for many years, but will lose it when they hire you. Because they already have case management, Lynn does not help them with the transition. When someone who has FSRC or UCP-ASAP hires you, set up a meeting with the case manager and the grad and make sure to get important documents from the file. It can be helpful to make a separate appointment with the FSRC case manager to go through the file at their office and copy whatever is needed.
  • Grads who have FSRC case management also receive respite reimbursement through UCP. This will continue after they hire you, and it’s important to acknowledge this on the PCP, ISP, and IFP. (When/if the grad receives residential funding, respite will stop.) There are a set number of hours UCP pays for respite, and it is not possible to increase these hours; however, it is fine for families to supplement this amount with personal money. If you have any questions about respite, call UCP Respite at (608) 273-3318.
  • Most families and grads are overwhelmed, confused, and even sad about all these changes. Many of them are losing support providers they have known for many years. This is a great time to show your commitment and offer a shoulder to lean on. It’s important to take time to make sure they really understand your role, and let them know no question is “stupid.” I’ve found that I’ve developed some of my most sincere and meaningful relationships with people and families I’ve helped with this transition. Additionally, families might express frustration with Dane County’s long waiting list for residential services. To learn more about the waiting list for residential services, speak to your supervisor or the Developmental Disability Intake office.
  • Remember, terms like SDS, Voc., DVR, MA, SSI, Rate, CIP, etc., are commonplace to us, but families and grads often have no idea what they mean and sometimes are embarrassed to ask. Never assume someone knows what acronyms mean!

Vocational Information

Background

In the past, people with disabilities graduated from high school only to find themselves on long waiting lists and would often end up spending years living at home, unemployed and isolated. In response to this, DVR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation), Dane County High Schools, and the Dane County DD system made a commitment to provide high school students in our system with vocational services upon graduation. While there is no guarantee this arrangement will continue indefinitely, it will continue in 2011.

The School’s Role

Before graduating and entering the adult system, it is the school’s responsibility to help the student gain employment. The school will also work with the vocational agency in the months leading to graduation to ensure a smooth transition. By the time a Support Broker is hired, the student has typically worked with the vocational agency for about a month. If a person who hires you does not have a job or a vocational agency, talk to Doug Hunt at Dane County. This is unusual, but does happen.

Working with DVR

The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is a federally-funded agency that provides employment services to many people in our community.

During his or her last year in school, students are assigned a DVR counselor who will follow him or her for 6-18 months and provide funding for job coaching (and sometimes job development if needed). Most grads will receive 6 months funding, although certain situations might warrant a different amount.

Support Brokers might set up and/or attend DVR meetings (about every three months). In other cases, the grad’s family will do this. Talk to the family and grad about what they prefer. When the DVR counselor decides to close the case, it is customary to have a final meeting.

DVR payments go straight to the vocational agency; you do not have to complete any paperwork. The agency must send reports to DVR every month in order to get the money. Agencies know this and only in rare situations will you have to communicate with DVR or the agency about funding.

When DVR funding stops (usually in December following graduation), make sure the agency and you are on the same page with vouchers, etc. In some cases, the amount DVR pays in 6 months ($4,200) is more than the person’s rate for the whole year. In cases like this, the agency will not receive any money from the county until the next year.

You’ve been hired by a grad…now what?

  • Meet with the person. Find out who the team will consist of (usually the person, family members, and a vocational agency contact person). Start building your file.
  • Try to keep the consumer connected with people who were a part of his or her life prior to transitioning into adult services.
  • Make sure all vouchers / IFPs / ISPs are completed and turned in. In most cases, you will not complete these. Lynn, the FSRC case manager, UCP-ASAP worker, or sometimes Joe Purcell or Bill Huisheere at the county will complete these.
  • Make sure you know who is on CIP, whose CIP eligibility is pending, and who does not have CIP. If someone has not applied for CIP yet, talk to your supervisor. Usually Lynn, the FSRC case manager, or UCP-ASAP worker does this prior to graduation.
  • Set up a meeting with the person who hired you and each of the current team members: Transition Coordinator, FSRC Case Manager, or UCP-ASAP worker, DVR counselor, and vocational agency contact person.
  • Throughout the year, be aware of DVR funding and how it offsets a person’s SDS budget. Update vouchers and IFPs as necessary as DVR funding changes or ends.

Written by Courtney Wilson, Support Broker for Teamwork Associates.

(slightly revised in ).