Meeting the needs of transition-age youth in Simcoe/Muskoka: Implementing the TIP model

In brief

Members of the Simcoe/Muskoka Service Collaborative, part of the System Improvement through Service Collaborative (SISC) initiative, determined there was a lack of services to address the important life goals of transition-age youth with mental health and/or addiction issues. In Simcoe/Muskoka, these youth would be better served if agencies that work with them shared a common approach within an integrated system of care. To develop such a common approach, collaborative members chose to implement the Transition to Independence Process (TIP) model. This is the first time it has been implemented in Canada.

This issue of Evidence in Action looks at the Simcoe/Muskoka’s implementation of the TIP model. Evidence in Action profiles knowledge generation, exchange, and implementation activities across Ontario.

What is the initiative?

Transition domains of the TIP Model

Members of the Simcoe/Muskoka Service Collaborative, part of the System Improvement through Service Collaborative (SISC) initiative, (www.servicecollaboratives.ca) determined there was a lack of services addressing the important life goals of transition-age youth with mental health and/or addiction issues.

In Simcoe/Muskoka, these youth would be better served if agencies that work with them shared a common approach within an integrated system of care.

To develop such a common approach, collaborative members chose to implement the Transition to Independence Process (TIP) model. This is the first time it has been implemented in Canada.

What is the TIP Model?

TIP is a model that is community-based and supported by evidence. It was developed by Dr. Hewitt ‘Rusty’ Clark for service providers working with transition-age youth with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The system guidelines and core practices give service providers the tools to help support youth during their transition to adulthood as they work towards their goals related to school, housing, jobs, and personal well-being, or what the TIP model calls the “transition domains”. More information about the TIP model can be found at www.tipstars.org.

What is the Evidence for the TIP Model?

Six published studies have shown that youth whose service providers use the TIP model as part of their practice have positive improvements in the following areas:

  • Employment;
  • Completion of education goals;
  • Justice system involvement;
  • Use of intensive mental health/substance abuse services;
  • Use of public assistance. 

The model is designed not only to improve outcomes across the transition domains, but also to ensure that the TIP guidelines and practices are sustained over time.

Important components of the model are the development of locally-based trainers and the use of fidelity assessments to ensure the model is put in place as it was intended. These components make sure the quality of the practice continues to improve and that youths’ outcomes continue to improve.

The TIP Model in Simcoe/Muskoka

Due to the large geography of the Simcoe/Muskoka region, the TIP model is being implemented in several phases. The sites chosen for the initial phase of training and implementation are Barrie and Midland/Penetanguishene. The second phase will include service providers from Muskoka District and Francophone and First Nations, Métis and Inuit service providers from across the region.

The first phase of training, held in February and March 2013, involved service providers who work with youth and program supervisors from various sectors (mental health and addictions, developmental services, youth justice, probation, education, child welfare, employment, and social assistance). Participants gave positive feedback and most indicated that the model would build on their current work with transition-age youth and that the core practices would enhance their skills.

Nine TIP-trained agencies are now integrating the model’s system guidelines and core practices into their programs for transition-age youth. Some of the core practices were adapted to meet specific client needs, such as youth with developmental disabilities, and translated to French for Francophone youth.  

Simcoe/Muskoka Service Collaborative members have worked together to develop structures to support agencies as they put the TIP model into practice and to promote the sustainability of an integrated system of care for transition-age youth. This includes the development of a regional Transition-Age Youth System of Supports Partnership that will provide guidance and monitoring, support agency coordination and collaboration, facilitate a TIP model Community of Practice, and provide ongoing support for youth and family engagement initiatives.

What are the expected outcomes?

The overall goal is to develop an integrated and sustainable system of care for transition-age youth, using a common framework across sectors and building on existing community-based initiatives.

The intended impacts in Simcoe/Muskoka are for these youth to have the following outcomes:

  • Achieve their goals across the transition domains;
  • Increase capacity for resilience;
  • Improve relationship with family and peers;
  • Less use of social services.

For the system of care in Simcoe/Muskoka, the intended impacts are:

  • Better collaboration and coordination between agencies;
  • Enhanced youth engagement and family engagement initiatives;
  • Sustainability of the TIP model implementation.

Evaluation of these outcomes for the initial phase of implementation is ongoing and expected to be completed in March 2014. Results from this evaluation will inform other phases of implementation and will be communicated more broadly to other communities interested in using the TIP model to improve outcomes for transition-age youth.

For more information on the TIP model contact:
Dr. Hewitt B. "Rusty" Clark
Director, National Network on Youth Transition for Behavioral Health
www.tipstars.org

For more about the Simcoe/Muskoka Service Collaborative visit.

Author: Alexandra Harrison

Sign up for our Newsletter