MD PROMISE: A New Website and New Opportunities for Maryland Youth
The state of Maryland is one of six grantees receiving funding for five years from the
U.S. Department of Education
to develop, implement, and evaluate a service model that promotes positive outcomes for children and their families who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The project is a partnership between the Maryland Department of Disabilities and several state agencies along with community stakeholders. The study, called MD PROMISE, completed recruitment of 2,000 eligible youth and families to participate in February, 2016. Youth assigned to the enhanced services group receive support to help them achieve better outcomes, such as graduating from high school ready for college and a career, completing postsecondary education and job training, and obtaining competitive employment in an integrated setting. As a result, these child SSI recipients may achieve long-term reductions in reliance on financial benefit programs.
A core component of MD PROMISE is the idea that one of the best predictors of future financial independence is paid work experience as a youth. With this in mind, paid work experiences are a primary focus of the initiative. These opportunities come with the support of assertive case management and an individualized job development plan along with other interventions. As of mid July, 550 Maryland youth have benefited from paid work experiences through MD PROMISE and 706 have accessed unpaid job opportunities.
Jade Gingerich, Director of MD PROMISE, commented on the accomplishments of the initiative by noting, "One of the keys to the success of MD PROMISE has been our focus on community. We have achieved a 91% engagement rate of those enrolled which is extremely high for a project of this type. From the beginning, we designed PROMISE to meet youth and families where they are. Our case managers are from the communities they support. In addition, our front line staff do their work in the neighborhoods instead of out of an office. This allows us to provide real time response to the needs of each participant and each community."
MD PROMISE is continuously searching for ways to better engage with PROMISE youth, families, and potential employers. They have found technology to play a key role in meeting this goal. MD PROMISE unveiled a new website in mid July. The website features PROMISE success stories and updates on the project. Transitioning youth and their families may also find useful information to guide them during this important life change. We invite you to visit the new site, learn about the strides made through MD PROMISE, and read further about resources for youth in Maryland.
Check out the new MD PROMISE website here: