Progress Tracking of Youth and Young Adults: Improving Program Effectiveness

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. A TIP Model Assessor or Consultant provides technical assistance to a site regarding data that they may already be collecting and other progress indicators that might be relevant for understanding the progress of young people over time. Some sites already have their own electronic record system or are mandated to complete specific instruments, for example, the CANS and ANSA (Child and Adolescents Needs and Strengths; Adult Needs and Strengths Assessment). An Assessor works with the site evaluation and leadership personnel to understand the strengths and limitations of their current data system as related to this population and make recommendations for inclusion of other variables or instruments (e.g., TAPIS Progress Tracker).

We appreciate your interest in improving the progress and outcomes of youth and young adults with emotional/behavioral difficulties.

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 system 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.

Options for Use of the TAPIS Tools

  • The TAPIS Progress Tracker and Goal Achiever are available through an online data management system developed in partnership with Mosaic Network.
  • Some sites have the capability to build the TAPIS Progress Tracker into its own electronic record system, and even providing its transition personnel access to the TAPIS Tools on their laptops or iPads in the field.

TAPIS Roots

The TAPIS Progress Tracker and Transition to Adulthood Assessment Protocol (TAAP) were developed by the NNYT Team 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 NNYT team 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.

Accessing Relevant Information

The TAPIS Progress Tracker is designed to assist you in your 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 can be used online using Mosaic’s GEMS system. The web-based data system is tailored to be user-friendly for personnel at the direct service level as well as at the program level, and allows 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 a web-based TIP Model “Futures Planning” form for establishing the young person's individualized personal goals and tracking his/her progress on these.

About Mosaic Network

Mosaic Network is an international research, evaluation, technical assistance and data and reporting systems provider with more than 16 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.

Access to the TAPIS Progress Tracker and Goal Achiever

  • Regarding permission to use TAPIS please contact Dr. Hewitt B. “Rusty’’ Clark.
  • Regarding the use of the Mosaic TAPIS Progress Tracker and Goal Achiever web-based version, please contact:
    Dr. Julie Tarr, Ed.D.
    Vice President for Strategy and Development
    Mosaic Network, Inc.
    5266 Hollister Ave., Ste. 123
    Santa Barbara CA 93111
    Tel: (805) 456-6840 x221 / jtarr@mosaic-network.com / Website: www.mosaic-network.com

TIP Model Website: www.TIPstars.org

Hewitt B. "Rusty" Clark, Ph.D., BCBA
Director, National Network on Youth Transition, SBHG
11507 Cerca del Rio Place
Tampa, FL 33617
Email: RClarkTIP@gmail.com
Dr. Clark is also Professor Emeritus, Department of Child & Family Studies, University of South Florida

Joseph Solomita, LCSW
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, ext. 109
Fax: (310) 221-6350
Email: jsolomita@starsinc.com

DOWNLOAD FILE: TAPIS Progress Tracker 5.0 OVERVIEW Website 022216