“Picture of a Life” Project Renewed for Fifth Year to Continue to Work with Foster Youth with DD as they Transition to Adulthood

Sonoran UCEDD Updates
Spring 2017

The Creating a “Picture of a Life” for Transitioning Youth with Developmental Disabilities in Foster Care (POL project) is a state-wide collaborative effort between the Sonoran UCEDD and the Arizona Department of Economic Security/Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) with primary funding from the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. The POL project is an intervention program focused on developing person-centered plans with youth participants, and youth engagement in self-advocacy and self-determination activities. The goal of the project is to prepare youth with DD who are about to exit foster care to exercise choice, promote the use of informal and community supports, and to make knowledgeable decisions on community living and work. Initial enrollment to the program is for youth ages 14 – 17 years enrolled in DDD and the Department of Child Safety, and they are followed throughout the duration of the overall project. 

clip art of a person drawing out a vision of his future on a posterThe UCEDD began implementing the project in 2012, and with each year we’ve grown the project by enrolling new youth, expanding the evaluation/research components, and engaging in new partnerships such as the DIRECT Center for Independence, Ability360, the Office of Children with Special Health Care Needs. In this fifth year, we were able to hire a program coordinator to work with the project director as the project continues to grow. In addition to continuing programmatic implementation, we are focusing on building capacity across the state in person-centered practices through training of professionals across multiple disciplines, and convening a stakeholder workgroup to enhance systems collaboration and integration of person-centered planning and practices throughout Arizona in the effort to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities, especially those in the foster care system.

For more information about the POL Project and upcoming trainings, visit http://sonoranucedd.fcm.arizona.edu/person-centered-initiative or

contact Project Director, Jacy Farkas at jkbell@email.arizona.edu