Category Archives: Legal Issues

Nemours Develops Transition Video Series for Youth with Special Health Care Needs

A new video series for youth with special health care needs has been launched by Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.  The series focuses on transition to adulthood for youth who face taking charge of their own medical care along with seeking employment and living independently.

 The transition from adolescence to independent young adulthood can be an especially challenging time for those with special health care needs. A great deal of planning and forethought is needed to help these patients move from pediatric to adult health care providers, from education to employment and from their family home to independent living when possible.

To help patients, families and caregivers understand the many important issues they face prior to and during this period of transition, Nemours has developed a series of videos now available on YouTube. The videos, made possible by a grant from NYMAC, cover four main areas:




Medical Self-Management

Read the article here (published on PR Web, January 21, 2014)


Transition for Students with Disabilities in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems

Students with disabilities are over represented in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems.  This training webinar (December, 2013) provides information on the laws and regulations for providing transition services for students with special needs in both systems, as well as strategies, tools and action steps for practical application.

The presenting organization is the Juvenile Law Center,which is “the oldest non-profit, public interest law firm for children in the United States. Founded in 1975 by four new graduates of Temple Law School in Philadelphia, Juvenile Law Center has become a national advocate for children’s rights, working across the country to enforce and promote the rights and well-being of children who come into contact with the justice, child welfare and other public systems.”


More resources are available at the Juvenile Law Center’s website.

Educational Power of Attorney

As youth with disabilities transition to adulthood, consideration is sometimes given to guardianship.  This is a confusing concept to many, and often it is uncertain as to whether the youth is in need of some type of legal advocacy in their adult life.

A 2011 post at the Special Needs Alliance website by Barbara Hughes addresses a concept for higher functioning students that may be a good fit:  the Educational Power of Attorney.

When individuals with disabilities reach the age of 18, they are legally considered to be adults and in charge of their own education decisions. At this point, some will need to have parents or another adult appointed as guardian, to handle all or most of the decision-making. On the other hand, high-functioning individuals with disabilities who are continuing their schooling will not need a guardian but may still need help investigating their options and navigating the education bureaucracy. How can high-functioning young adults with disabilities keep their parents involved and legally permitted to participate in education decisions when guardianship is not appropriate? There’s an innovative alternative which can answer that need: an education power of attorney.

This tool can be very empowering for individuals with disabilities. It enables them to concentrate on learning by freeing them from potentially stressful activities such as filling out forms or standing in a real or “virtual” line to register for classes. The young adult determines who will be the agent to act on his behalf, as well as the scope of the agent’s potential actions, while retaining the authority to revoke the power of attorney at any time.

Read more here.