Tracking the Progress of Youth & Young Adults: Improving Program Effectiveness

090617 Version

Another major factor related to Transition to Independence Process (TIP) Model™ implementation and sustainability is having meaningful data on the progress and outcomes of the youth and young adults being served. We work with sites to achieve this goal based on their resources and needs (e.g., a site’s capacity related to features such as: electronic health record system, IT personnel, evaluators, current data collection).

TAPIS Progress Tracker 5.0 System

The Transition to Adulthood Program Information System (TAPIS) is a transition assessment process for tracking the progress and outcomes of youth and young adults (14-29 years of age) in their efforts to advance into adulthood roles. This TAPIS Progress Tracker instrument is often used by sites that are adopting the TIP Model™.

TAPIS Tools: The Progress Tracker and Goal Achiever

The TAPIS Progress Tracker is designed to inform transition personnel on the progress of young people transitioning into adulthood roles and to provide aggregated data for continuing program improvement purposes. The assessment is completed by the Transition Facilitator (or whomever knows the young person best) to establish a baseline for the 90 days prior to intake and for each 90-day period thereafter (i.e., Baseline form and Quarterly form).

The TAPIS Goal Achiever is the youth driven component, which allows for the youth or young adult to work with the TIP Transition Facilitator on setting his/her own individualized goals -- and tracking the progress on each goal and associated steps in achieving them. The paper version of this is the TIP Model™ “Futures Planning” form that is used with the young people. The electronic version of the Futures Planning is referred to as the TAPIS Goal Achiever.

Options for Use of the TAPIS Tools

  • Dr. Clark and/or some of the other TIP Model™ national Consultants or Assessors can assist a site in planning for how to utilize the TAPIS Progress Tracker and Goal Achiever at their site, based on their needs and technical resources.
  • Some sites have the capability to build the TAPIS Progress Tracker into their own electronic record system, and even providing its transition personnel access to the TAPIS Tools on their laptops or iPads in the field. This is an ideal approach.
  • Some sites are mandated to complete specific instruments, for example, the CAFAS, or the CANS and ANSA (Child and Adolescents Needs and Strengths; Adult Needs and Strengths Assessment). In such cases, we work with the site on what additional data information is needed for them to track the quality of their services and progress and outcomes of their young people. This may involve the TAPIS Goal Achiever or relevant variables from the TAPIS Progress Tracker. We appreciate your interest in improving the progress and outcomes of youth and young adults with emotional/behavioral difficulties.
  • We appreciate your interest in improving the progress and outcomes of youth and young adults with emotional/behavioral difficulties.


The TAPIS Progress Tracker and Transition to Adulthood Assessment Protocol (TAAP) were developed by the TIP Institute and selected colleagues for evaluation use within two federally-funded research projects. Several lessons from these efforts have fed into the development of a fifth generation instrument (TAPIS Progress Tracker 5.0).

Identification of TAPIS Progress Tracker Indicators. Literature searches were conducted at two points in time to identify variables or “indicators of progress” that might impact future functioning of young people with EBD. Following each of these efforts, focus groups were conducted with various stakeholders (e.g., young people, parents of transition-age youth, case managers, transition facilitators, teachers, social workers, psychologist/psychiatrists, and program supervisors) from across the country to get their input on which variables would indicate progress or difficulty within each transition domain (or sub-domain) over time. Based on these findings and extensive review by TIP Institute members and other selected colleagues, we established the transition domains/sub-domains and the progress indicators. The methods for administration, primary source of data, and the items for collecting the indicators have varied over the five generations of instruments.

Theoretical Underpinnings of the TAPIS Progress Tracker. The TAPIS Progress Tracker does not yield an overall score; rather a young person’s assessment findings on each item and domain (and sub-domains) are tracked for progress or difficulty over time. The theoretical underpinnings of the TAPIS Progress Tracker are based in “communimetrics” (Lyons, 2009). This theoretical framework of instrumentation places an emphasis on the face validity of items and not on composite total scores or sub-scores. Thus, with “communimetrics” the focus is on the meaningfulness and usefulness of the assessment information rather than on the psychometric features of the combined scores.

For example, the emphasis at the individual level might be on tracking Sasha’s connections with natural social supports in her life as tracked over time under the Social Support Connections sub-domain and her productive involvement in Employment and/or Education. At the program level a query could yield a report that aggregates the proportion of young people who have been in the program at least 9 month as to their involvement in employment or post-secondary education in contrast to their pre-program “productivity” involvement.

Meaningful Information on Young People’s Progress & Your Program. The TAPIS Progress Tracker is designed to assist Transition Facilitators in their working with young people and their informal and formal key players -- as well as supervisors being able to better manage a program and continue to improve the responsiveness and effectiveness of the transition program to young people and their families.

The TAPIS Progress Tracker should not be used in a paper version – without electronic skip functions it is too cumbersome. The TAPIS Progress Tracker and Goal Achiever need to be user-friendly for personnel at the direct service level as well as at the program level, and allow for easy reporting and the querying of the data that is relevant to personnel at different levels (e.g., Transition Facilitator can access a report on Angela that illustrates progress over time and assists in planning for relevant supports and services. A Program Manager can access a report that aggregates the progress of all of the young people or a particular subset of them regarding the proportion who are either in postsecondary education/training and/or employed). The Goal Achiever is an electronic version of the TIP Model™ “Futures Planning” form for establishing the young person's individualized personal goals and tracking his/her progress on these.

Access to the TAPIS Progress Tracker and Goal Achiever

  • Regarding possible use of the TAPIS please contact Dr. Hewitt B. “Rusty’’ Clark.
  • Dr. Clark can provide permission for the use of these instruments and consult on how these might be incorporated into your electronic record system.
  • TAPIS is also available on a secure website that is provided by Mosaic Information Solutions Network.

About Mosaic Network

Mosaic Network is an international evaluation, technical assistance, and data and reporting systems provider with more than 18 years experience with complex multi-site human service and education initiatives. Mosaic’s Grant Evaluation and Management Solution (GEMS) is a web-based data system for grant tracking, program administration, case management, reporting and evaluation. Mosaic partnered with the TIP Model™ developers to incorporate their TAPIS Progress Tracker and Goal Achiever tools into an online data management system for programs seeking an off-the-shelf, empirically-supported instrument.

Regarding the use of the Mosaic TAPIS Progress Tracker and Goal Achiever web-based version, please contact:

Nancyann Rutledge
Mosaic Network
5266 Hollister Ave, Suite 123
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
Office: (805) 692-0992 x236

TIP Model™ Website:

Hewitt B. "Rusty" Clark, Ph.D., BCBA
Senior Clinical Consultant, Stars Training Academy
199 Dali Blvd., #905
St Petersburg, FL 33701

Dr. Clark is also Professor Emeritus, Department of Child & Family Studies, University of South Florida

Joseph Solomita, LCSW
Managing Director, Stars Training Academy -- Purveyor of the TIP Model™

Stars Behavioral Health Group (SBHG)
1501 Hughes Way
Long Beach, CA 90810

Tel: (310) 221-6336, 109
Fax: (310) 221-6350

Download Links

FILE: TAPIS Progress Tracker 5.0 OVERVIEW Disseminate Website