Transitioning Youth To Independence Program

The Transitioning Youth to Independence Program works with youth ages 17 - 21 years and offers a unique opportunity for youth to gain the skills needed to live independently through social and adaptive living skills training in a supportive atmosphere. Programs offer experiential hands-on learning opportunities, identification of natural supports & community based services and linkages to progressive educational and employment programs in the service rich southwestern area of Wayne & Cabell Counties. 

PHASE I - Residential Level I Semi-Independent Living Program (24/7 supervision)

The Transitioning Program Phase I is a minimally structured on-ground semi-independent program. The Program is developed to assist youth who are not entirely ready to live in their own apartment, but who do not necessarily need all of the structure of a residential program. Each youth must be responsible to take care of their responsibilities with little prompting, responding appropriately to the normalized treatment expectations and be participatory in the experiential life-skills environment. 

PHASE II - Supported Apartment Living (5 hours supervision daily)

Phase II continues the experiential living environment in supervised community based apartments in Huntington, WV. Phase II will give each youth a “taste” of living independently without having to face it entirely on their own. The youth has the opportunity to practice dealing with the challenges of apartment living (e.g., paying bills, paying rent, resolving roommate differences, managing their own schedules) with staff available to process these difficulties. Youth must be engaged in 40 Productive Hours weekly such as school, work and/or service learning volunteer activities. Additionally, youth are expected to demonstrate an ability to navigate their own medical needs, finances, form lasting relationships, connect with the community, exhibit a work ethic and advance educationally/vocationally. 

PHASE III - Chafee Transitional Living Program (decreasing eyes-on supervision)
Location: Wayne, Cabell, Putnam Counties w/in 45 minutes of Stepping Stones

Phase III - the Chafee Transitional Living Program is the final step in the Transitioning Program continuum. Youth live independently in the community in apartments with a dedicated financial stipend. To be eligible for the Chafee Scattered Site Apartment Living Program, the youth must have been in continuous care for a period of six months and have demonstrated an ability to handle independence as evidenced by stable and responsible behavior prior to referral to Transitional Living. In the Program, Youth must agree to be engaged in 40 Productive Hours weekly via secured employment and be attending high school, GED classes, vocational school or College. 


Ongoing Screening & Assessment Linkage to Community Health Providers
Linkage to Community Mental Health Providers Linkage to Community Educational & Vocational Programs
Linkage to Job Service The Phillip Roy Life Skills Curriculum
Supportive Individual Counseling Relapse and/or Safety Planning
Discharge Planning Pro-Active & Reactive Crisis Planning & Assistance
Ansell Casey Life Skills Assessment & Curriculum Asset Development via Circle Plan and the Search Institutes 40 Developmental Assets
Supportive Group Counselings & Resources    

Stepping Stones, Inc. Youth Transitioning Program

Youth in DHHR Custody from Southern West Virginia
Unless otherwise approved, youth must have Medicaid coverage or other third-party payer. 
Youth identified past their 18th birthday that are not in State's custody & without fiscal resources are not excluded from this program but must be qualified by Stepping Stones & WV DHHR Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities (BHHF) to access the necessary resources to cover the costs of the program and assure independence. Stepping Stones will staff these youth on a case by case basis with BHHF representatives.
Youth returning from Out-of-State placements who have demonstrated treatment completion will be given priority. 
Youth must be capable of acquiring Independence within two years
Youth may enter the Transitioning Program at any Phase - as indicated by assessment appropriateness
Male and Female Youth ages 17 - 21 years of age
Phase I must be age 17 years at Intake
Phase II & Phase III - may be ages 17 to 20 years at Intake
Youth will have a Mental Health Diagnosis and be capable of Self-Medicating (under supervision) and Self-Preservation. Additionally:
Mild MR will be considered if youth is capable of self-care
Youth must have stable abstinence from previous Substance Abuse
Youth with high risk behaviors may be considered when assessed as low risk to relapse, amendable to continue community-based treatment & monitoring, have identified strengths conducive for program success and are safe for community placement.
Youth must agree to abide by rules of conduct
Youth must agree to and achieve 40 hours weekly of productive activities (may be a combination of school, work and/or service learning)
Phase I Residential = 5 beds (4 Level I at Stepping Stones; 1 bed with contracted Agencies) 
Phase II Supervised Apartment Living = 6 slots for male or female 
Phase III Scattered Site Chafee Transitional Living = 12 slots for male or female
Disqualifying Conditions for the Youth Transitioning Program at Intake 
Is a Safety threat/concern to self, others, the community 
Youth has not demonstrated treatment gain in prior placement(s) 
Has engaged in criminal activity that necessitates detention/correction services 
Youth requires a level of supervision that exceeds that provided by the Program
Youth does not meet eligibility criteria as established by the Program Eligibility Criteria

If youth is denied the Youth Transitioning Program Services, all efforts will be made to provide the Referent with alternative placement and/or service linkages. 


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