Young People with Disabilities

MDRC develops and evaluates programs to help young people with disabilities increase their economic self-sufficiency as they make the transition from school to work.

The Latest
Issue Focus

STRIVE International engaged MDRC to help the organization improve a new program model aimed at increasing educational attainment and employment of young adults involved in the juvenile justice system. This Issue Focus describes the partnership and offers advice to organizations implementing new programs on how to build evidence of effectiveness.


Children’s Institute, Inc., combines clinical mental health and other supportive services to meet the holistic needs of children affected by trauma. This report describes the implementation of the service model and includes an in-depth fidelity study of its Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy services.

Key Documents

The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating promising strategies to help youth with disabilities become as economically self-sufficient as possible as they transition from school to work. This report offers six overall implementation lessons to help policymakers and administrators develop, fund, and provide interventions for youth with disabilities.


Built on a research review and consultation with youth policy experts, this paper makes the case for developing a menu of approaches for the heterogeneous population of disconnected youth, building knowledge about mature programs (to better understand whether they work, for whom, and why), and creating new programs that address areas of unmet need. This framework may be particularly relevant for the Administration’s newly proposed Youth Innovation Fund.


The Youth Transition Demonstration identified and tested service strategies, combined with waivers of certain Social Security Administration program rules to enhance work incentives, to help youth with disabilities maximize their economic self-sufficiency as they transition to adulthood.