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A male teenage youth and his parents.

Tapping into the Power of Families: How Families of Youth with Disabilities Can Assist in Job Search and Retention

April 4, 2011 Publication

Families and other caring adults play a vital, yet unrecognized role in helping young people with disabilities explore careers, build work skills, and be successful in employment. Yet families themselves may not realize that their knowledge of their son or daughter can contribute to the employment-related transition goals of their child’s Individualized Education Program. What is more, while many school, youth employment, and vocational rehabilitation professionals value family involvement and understand that involving families in their son’s or daughter’s program can lead to more positive career development experiences and successful employment results, this has not always been the case. Past models of case management placed the professional in a position of power and input from family members was not welcomed, and families who are seeking to maintain high expectations for their family member’s future may be discouraged from actively participating in the work preparation, exploration and placement processes.

This InfoBrief provides families and other caring adults with information on how their involvement can have a positive impact on their young person’s work readiness, career exploration, and workplace success. Educators and other youth service professionals can also use this information to consider how to involve family members in a young person’s work readiness and career development.

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