Over 3 million young people in the U.S. have an emotional or behavioral challenge that impairs their ability to do well in school, at home, or in the community, resulting in their long-term disadvantage and significant costs to our education, human services, justice, and healthcare systems. RENEW is a structured school-to-career transition planning and individualized wraparound process for youth and young adults with emotional and behavioral challenges. Developed in 1996 by staff at the Institute on Disability (IOD), RENEW is being provided by schools, community mental health centers, and community-based providers to young people throughout the U.S and in Denmark. The model focuses on engaging each youth to design and pursue a plan for the transition from school to adult life. RENEW has substantially increased the high school completion, employment, and post-secondary education participation rates among our most vulnerable youth.

RENEW Overview

Transition Supports for Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges


Key Features

  • Self-Determination
  • Personal Futures Planning
  • Creative and Individualized School-to-Career Planning
  • Strengths-Based Approach
  • Unconditional Care
  • Building Family and other Natural and Community Supports
  • Wraparound
  • Systemic Support and Consultation


  • Improved educational outcomes (increased graduation rates, post-secondary education participation)
  • Increased employment rates
  • Improved functioning in school and in the community
  • Reductions in behavior problems in school and in the community (including reduced juvenile justice involvement)
  • High youth satisfaction rates
  • Increased youth self-determination and self-efficacy skills
  • Studies from various cohorts (projects) support these outcomes

Available Services

Staff at the IOD provide training and coaching to individuals and groups in community-based agencies and schools to implement the RENEW model, including a comprehensive facilitator’s manual, a set of tools to use with youth and teams, implementation assessments, and process and outcome data collection instruments. The IOD also works with schools, community-based providers, and state education and mental health agencies to develop the systems and infrastructure necessary to implement the RENEW model with fidelity. Consultation also includes assistance with how to use Medicaid and school-based resources for implementation of RENEW.