IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
June 27, 2013
Mr. Menendez introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To amend the Public Health Services Act to provide research, training, and navigator services to youth and young adults on the verge of aging out of the secondary educational system, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as
Assistance in Gaining Experience,
Independence, and Navigation Act of 2013
Amendment to the Public Health Service Act
Part R of title III of the Public Health Service Act ( 42 U.S.C. 280i et seq. ) is amended by inserting after section 399CC the following:
Grants for research, training, and navigator services for youth and young adults
The Secretary, in consultation with the Coordinating Committee established under section 399CC and the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living, shall award a grant to a research organization to—
comprehensive meta-analysis on the existing empirical, peer-reviewed research
on the topic of youth and young adults with an autism spectrum disorder or
other developmental disabilities as such individuals age-out of the
school-based support system (referred to in this section as
conduct research on the existing infrastructure for transitioning youth, including access to health care, continuing education and vocational training programs, supportive and community-based integrated housing, accessible transportation services, and public safety and community integration programs (including first responder training); and
develop a comprehensive strategic plan (in accordance with paragraph (2)) for the establishment of a Transition Navigator grant program to provide transitioning youth with a comprehensive and interdisciplinary set of support services.
The strategic plan developed under paragraph (1)(C) shall include—
proposals on establishing best practices guidelines to ensure interdisciplinary coordination between all relevant service providers (including first responders), the transitioning youth, and their family, and in conjunction with the transitioning youth's Individualized Education Plan as prescribed in section 614 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ( 20 U.S.C. 1414 ), to maximize the transitioning youth’s self-determination;
comprehensive approaches to transitioning, including—
services to increase access to, and the successful integration and completion of, postsecondary education, peer support, vocational training (as defined in section 103 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ( 29 U.S.C. 723 )), self-advocacy skills, and competitive, integrated employment;
community-based behavioral supports and interventions;
community-based integrated residential services, housing, and transportation;
nutrition, health and wellness, recreational, and social activities; and
personal safety services that consider the specific needs of transitioning youth who are at risk of becoming involved with public safety agencies or the criminal justice system;
culturally and linguistically competent and sensitive service delivery models; and
proposals which seek to—
increase the effectiveness of such practices to provide successful transition services;
increase the ability of the entity to provide supports and services to underserved populations and regions;
increase the efficiency of service delivery to maximize resources and outcomes; and
ensure access to all services identified as necessary to transitioning youth of all capabilities.
Grants awarded under this subsection shall be for a period of 2 years.
Transition navigator training grants
The Secretary, in consultation with the Coordinating Committee established under section 399CC and the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living, shall establish a Transition Navigator Grant Program to award multiyear training initiative grants to establish and carry out a collaborative, interdisciplinary training and services initiative, that is based on the data and best practice guidelines developed under subsection (a), to train transition navigators to provide transitioning youth with the services and skills necessary to lead an independent, integrated life.
To be eligible for a grant under this subsection, an entity shall—
be a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service or a comparable interdisciplinary entity capable of fulfilling the scope of activities described in section 153 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 ( 42 U.S.C. 15063 ); and
prepare and submit an application to the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (3).
To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, an entity shall submit to the Secretary an application demonstrating the capacity to successfully train an interdisciplinary group of service providers on the best practice guidelines contained in strategic plan under subsection (a). The application shall include additional information, including—
the number of trainees, students, or providers expected to be trained under the grant, and in what timeframe;
the interdisciplinary scope of faculty, staff, mentors, and community-based trainers affiliated with the applicant;
the ability to provide training services to a culturally diverse set of students and in a culturally competent, culturally sensitive manner; and
the ability to train providers in underserved areas and to serve underserved populations.
Grant period and annual evaluation
Navigator training grants awarded under this subsection shall be for a period of 3 years. The Secretary may renew a grant for an additional 3-year period based on the results of the evaluations submitted under subparagraph (B).
A grantee under this subsection shall submit to the Secretary an evaluation of progress made during each grant year in achieving the purposes for which the grant was awarded. Such evaluation shall include an analysis of—
any performance metrics required by the Secretary;
the grantees recruitment of students into the program; and
the recruits’ cultural diversity and the interdisciplinary nature of their interests or background.
The Secretary shall enter into a contract with a third-party organization with expertise in program evaluation for the conduct of an evaluation of the success of grantees under this subsection in meeting the goals of the strategic plan submitted under subsection (a)(2) and their grant application.
A third-party organization that enters into a contract under subparagraph (A) shall monitor grantees under this subsection and report back to the Secretary with a longitudinal analysis of the effectiveness of the program carried out by the grantee. Such analysis shall include an examination of—
whether and to what extent the training regime sufficiently met the goals of the strategic plan under subsection (a)(2);
whether and to what extent graduates of the training program are successfully working to provide services to transitional youth in an effective, comprehensive, and appropriate manner; and
the long-term efficacy of the program and the strategic plan on increasing and sustaining transitional youth’s—
enrollment in, and completion of, postsecondary education or vocational training programs;
participation in integrated, competitive employment;
continued access to peer support;
continued access to, and benefitting from, community-based behavioral supports and interventions;
consistent access to community-based integrated residential services, housing, and transportation; and
continued access to nutrition, health and wellness, recreational, and social activities.
Activities carried out under a grant under this subsection shall supplement, not supplant, existing programs and activities designed to provide interdisciplinary training to services providers aimed at serving transitional youth.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section , such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2021.