Transition Age Youth and Families (TAYF)
The Hogg foundation has awarded eight grants totaling roughly $10 million to identify and address the mental health needs of transition-age youth and their families (TAYF) in the Houston/Harris County area.
The four-year TAYF initiative consists of two types of grants: one Transition-Age Youth Coordinator Grant and eight Transition-Age Youth Planning Grants. The role of the Coordinator is to coordinate a strategic learning process for Planning grantees to understand best practices when working with TAYF in Houston/Harris County. The intertwining of the two grant programs allows for the Coordinator grantee to work with the Planning grantees in coordinating the process for building a coordinated, TAYF-guided service and support system.
Young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 go through significant changes in their development as they transition into adulthood. Their decisions during this period can have a dramatic effect on the rest of their lives, affecting their employment and future careers, their living situations, their education and their health.
With this in mind, the foundation is interested in identifying and addressing the needs of transition-age youth and families (TAYF). This vulnerable population, an estimated three million young adults, who live with serious mental health conditions, are at greater risk for involvement in the juvenile justice and foster care systems. They also often experience challenges in education, such as disciplinary referrals and dropping out of school.
The foundation has awarded eight grants totaling $10 million to service providers in the Houston/Harris County area, as well as a coordinator grant to the Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS). The four-year grants are the latest milestone in an ongoing initiative to identify and address the mental health needs of transition-age youths and their families.
- Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics —To support the Adolescent and Sports Medicine department to expand current transition collaborations to enhance the participation of TAYF in mental health treatment.
- Communities In Schools of Houston Inc. —To support efforts to plan and establish TAYF-driven services in the area of school dropout prevention.
- Disability Rights Texas —To support collaborative work with TAYF and other stakeholders to plan the provision of legal services and self-advocacy skills training for TAYF with mental health conditions.
- Easter Seals of Greater Houston Inc. —To support a collaboration of organizations that want to provide transition services leading to higher education and employment for teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorder.
- Family Services of Greater Houston —To support the organization’s goal of engaging TAYF in developing resources to support the emotional and behavioral health needs of transition-age youths and their families.
- Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults —To support the activities of the Houston Alumni & Youth Center, a one-stop center where foster care and former foster care youths can receive a wide range of transition resources, services and support.
- Houston Department of Health and Human Services — For its Houston Youth: Healthy Transitions project, a planning process that will involve TAYF to develop young people to be integrated health mentors.
- Star of Hope Mission — To support the development and delivery of supportive services to TAYF through their three main facilities: the Men’s Development Center, the Women & Family Shelter and the Transitional Living Center.
In its role as coordinator of the grant program, Texas Network of Youth Services is providing training, technical assistance, and consultation to the eight grantees, in addition to facilitating a Youth Council and a Caring Council (for family members and other caregivers). TNOYS will also be conducting a comprehensive evaluation of project results that will include engagement of youth and caregivers through a participatory action research model.
Young Minds Matter Conference
Since 2010, the foundation has hosted a free biennial conference in Houston focusing on children’s mental health topics. Ideally, the conference theme coincides with the Ima Hogg Children’s Mental Health Grant Program. The most recent conference,“Young Minds Matter: Transition-Age Youth,” was held June 9-10, 2015, and focused on transition-age youth and their families.
The Hogg Foundation, and the grantees of the Transition-Age Youth and Family (TAYF) initiative, are committed to involving youth and their families at every stage of the planning and implementation process.
To this end the planning phase of the initiative included training in the Transition to Independence (TIP) model, an evidence-supported system developed to help prepare youth and young adults with emotional and/or behavioral difficulties for their movement into adult roles. The TAYF grantees are not required to be certified by the National Network on Youth Transition (NNYT) for Behavioral Health, which is the organization that oversees training and certification in the TIP model, but the values of the model are shared by the initiative, and are consonant with the Hogg Foundation’s commitment to incorporating the voices of consumers and families into everything the foundation does.
For more on the TIP model visit the NNYT website.
Hogg Program Officer
Vicky Coffee-Fletcher joined the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health as a program officer in 2007. She leads initiatives to improve the mental health of children and their families in Houston, enhance the mental health workforce, and promote consumer, youth and family involvement in mental health policies and services in Texas. Coffee-Fletcher is a licensed professional counselor supervisor and former public administrator with 23 years of experience in community-based social services, including mental health, child welfare and education. She works with local, state and national audiences as a trainer and facilitator, focusing on topics related to mental health, diversity and children, youth and families. For more on Coffee-Fletcher, see her bio.