Transition & Court-Involved Youth

The Transition & Court-Involved Youth project recognizes that students with disabilities represent a larger than average percent of the student population served in juvenile detention centers and correctional facilities. Educators who serve students in these environments face different challenges when providing special education services including the implementation of postsecondary transition practices.

This project sought to identify the barriers and facilitators for the implementation of postsecondary transition services in juvenile detention centers. To do this, a needs assessment was distributed to educators in all of the juvenile detention centers in Virginia. Following the analysis of the needs assessment, the project team has compiled and developed resources aimed to support educators working with youth with disabilities who are court-involved.

Assess 21st Century Workplace Readiness Skills

Workplace readiness skills are the skills generally believed to be most needed for successful employment. They are skills you would need regardless if you are working as a cashier at a fast food restaurant, as a manager at that same restaurant, or the chief operating officer of that restaurant chain.

In Virginia, these skills are organized into 3 categories: Personal Qualities and Abilities, Interpersonal Skills, and Professional Competencies. Skills related to work ethics, teamwork, problem solving, and self-representation are just a few of these essential workplace readiness skills.

Youth who have been or are involved with the court system often lack opportunities to develop and practice workplace readiness skills. Activities related to work readiness skills are available across settings, but as youth transition in and out of detention centers, educators struggle to implement activities that are directly tied to a student’s unique strengths and needs related to workplace readiness skills.

There are three major reasons this informal assessment should be used with court-involved youth:

  1. It is important to be aware of these skills in order to build them in students. A lack of these skills can pose just as significant a barrier to entering or maintaining employment as a lack of job-specific skills.
  2. These same skills are important to community integration and healthy relationships.
  3. Baseline data from this informal evaluation can help guide instruction and determine if progress is being made in building these skills.
first page of WRS for Court-Involved Youth

Workplace Readiness Skills Assessment

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