The Youth Transition Demonstration Project in Miami, Florida: Design, Implementation, and Three-Year Impacts

Publisher: Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, vol. 48, no. 1
Feb 26, 2018
Thomas M. Fraker, Kelli T. Crane, Todd C. Honeycutt, Richard G. Luecking, Arif A. Mamun, and Bonnie L O’Day

Background. Broadened Horizons, Brighter Futures (BHBF), a transition project in Miami-Dade County, Florida, was the focus of an evaluation of services and work incentives for youth who were receiving disability payments. Notable features of BHBF included paid work experiences for youth and the application of external technical assistance in implementing the program model.

Objective. The evaluation documented the design and implementation of BHBF and assessed its impacts on outcomes for youth three years after they enrolled in the study.

Methods. We randomly assigned 859 youth who were receiving disability payments to either a treatment group that was eligible to receive both BHBF services and waivers of certain disability program rules, or to a control group that was not eligible for either the services or the waivers.

Results. Three years after they enrolled in the study, treatment group youth were more likely than youth in the control group to be employed, their earnings were 50 percent higher, and they were less likely to have had contact with the justice system.

Conclusion. Interventions that include work experiences as a service component can improve outcomes for youth with disabilities. Empirical monitoring of project staff, combined with technical assistance, may be necessary to ensure a consistent focus on helping youth to find jobs.