Transition is the process of moving from childhood to becoming an independent adult, and it involves much more than the transfer of care from a pediatric to an adult care setting.
Health education on self-management, legal and financial decision-making, choices about education and careers are all important for health and productivity of young adults.
Barriers to a successful transition may include: lack of available adult providers who are comfortable caring for young adults with special health care needs; lack of provider time and reimbursement; and lack of youth/family preparation and education around transition.
Although a planned transition is important for all youth, it is especially important for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). A well-planned transition supports continuity of care, medication management, and prevention of chronic conditions.
Youth Health Transition Initiative
The YHTI helps with health transition.
Download or view our Transition Infographic here.
Nationally, only 25% of CYSHCN receive the services they need to make successful transitions to adult health care, work, and independence, according to data from the 2019 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. In Wisconsin, just 33% of adolescents met these outcomes. Nationally and in Wisconsin, youth who are minorities, who have mental health and developmental conditions and who have disabling chronic conditions are disproportionately represented among those without adequate transition support.
The federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau funds a national center to support health care systems to be responsive to the concerns of youth with special health care needs, and to guide states and local practices. The Center for Health Care Transition Improvement, Got Transition, is housed at the National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health. This national center has developed transition tools including the Six Core Elements of Youth Health Transition which offer guidance for clinical practice.