A Person-Centered, Asset-Based Community Development Framework for Youth with Special Health Care Needs/Disabilities in Transition to Adulthood

Heather H. Boyd, Beth Swedeen


In the United States, 12.8 percent of children under 18 have special health care needs. Ninety percent of youth in America with special health care needs and/or disabilities can now be expected to reach adulthood. Youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities are less likely to experience successful transition to adulthood in comparison to youth without special health care needs. This article presents a person-centered, asset-based community development approach that assisted youth in achieving transition and inclusion-oriented outcomes. Examples are drawn from a Healthy & Ready to Work demonstration project in Wisconsin. At the center of our approach to transition were community connectors -- adults who knew the personal interests and assets of youth and who found opportunities in the community that matched individual youth interests. Implications for youth development professionals as successful community connectors are described.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2007.364

Copyright (c) 2007 Journal of Youth Development

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/