Considerations for the Papers Developed for the SSI Youth Solutions Project
- This report synthesizes characteristics of the 12 proposed interventions developed for the SSI Youth Solutions project. These characteristics may be helpful for policymakers, as well as advocates and other stakeholders, in considering funding programs and policies to further the transition outcomes of youth receiving SSI. The value of the proposed interventions might depend on a stakeholder’s vantage point: where they sit in the transition system, what outcomes they want to achieve, the types of youth in which they are interested, and the resources they have available.
- Because all 12 proposed interventions explicitly or implicitly aim to increase employment among youth with disabilities as a long-term outcome, the goals are broadly compatible with those of most state and federal policymakers operating in the youth transition space. The wide variety of interventions address a range of transition challenges, giving policymakers the latitude to select ideas that directly address particular challenges.
- By asking the transition field for innovative ideas, ODEP expected that the project’s papers would have gaps and limitations in what we know. Common gaps include the proposed intervention’s effects on employment outcomes, costs, and implementation challenges. Despite these gaps, the papers identify ways for policymakers and other stakeholders to take the next steps—large and small—that could encourage youth receiving SSI to further their employment outcomes.
To generate testable ideas for improving outcomes among youth receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Office of Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) initiated the SSI Youth Solutions project in 2019. The project gathered proposed ideas—both those based on existing research and practice and those that represented novel, untested ideas—from subject matter experts for testable program and policy solutions to promote employment for this population. This report offers a deep dive into the 12 papers developed for the project. It presents and contrasts their characteristics, potential strengths and limitations, and other factors that might guide policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders in deciding which might be best to pursue. To assess the ideas proposed in these papers, we used a framework designed to help policymakers identify and select an intervention across an array of potential programs and policies.