The Youth Voice

A diverse group of five college students, including a young woman in a wheelchair, sitting together and laughing during a meeting in a campus library

Youth with special healthcare needs have a major role in shaping their future and improving support for others.

The Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) is the state’s designated organization to serve Illinois children and youth with special healthcare needs and their families. One of our priorities in this role is strengthening support for the transition to adulthood for all Illinois youth.

We are committed to partnering with youth and their families to help them be well-prepared and have a smooth transition. We also believe youth should have a strong voice in this process to share what matters most to them.

Our goal is to help amplify and strengthen the youth voice in several ways.

Our Youth Advisory Council gives youth a platform to freely share their input to promote more successful transitions to adulthood.

Our care coordination teams help youth and their families develop transition plans focused on a youth’s goals, abilities, strengths, desires and interests. We’ve also developed Transition Tools and other resources to help youth gain greater confidence and independence as they navigate changes and choose their path.

We also help plan and sponsor the annual Illinois Statewide Transition Conference to help youth and their families gain more resources, skills and information to plan for adulthood.

Learn more and read about some of our participants’ personal stories:

  • Youth Advisory Council – A diverse, youth-driven group that aims to develop more youth-focused ways to help individuals and families with transition planning, resources and services.
  • Transition Tools – Resources to help youth learn and practice new skills and become more confident and independent as they prepare for adulthood.
  • Transition Stories – Stories highlighting youth and their families’ partnership with DSCC to plan and prepare for adulthood.