UNH Institute on Disability - RENEW

At a Glance

National Office: 
University of New Hampshire 10 West Edge Drive, Suite 101
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: 603-862-4320
People Served: 
243
Year Founded: 
1987
Tax ID: 
02-0437506

Focus area(s):

Personal & Leadership Development
Mental Health

Description

The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) was established in 1987 to provide a coherent university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. The RENEW Initiative for Youth and Community program (RENEW), developed by staff at the IOD in 1996, is a structured school-to-career transition planning and individualized wraparound process for youth with emotional and behavioral disorders.

Impact and Outcomes

Eighty-nine (89%) of RENEW participants from the first cohort reported improved educational outcomes as measured by high school completion, grade promotion, attendance, and credit accumulation; over 90% were employed, and 50% moved onto career-related post-secondary education.
The APEX (Achievement in Dropout Prevention and Excellence) Project (2003-2009) resulted in a 60% reduction in the dropout rate (6.3% in 2003-2004 to 2.5% in 2008-2009).
During the Community Youth Re-entry Project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education from 1999-2002, 42.9% of youth returned to their neighborhood high school after exiting a juvenile detention center, 38.1% pursued their GEDs, and 19% obtained employment. At the end of the three years, 74.1% were employed.

Mission & Goals

RENEW - which stands for Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education, and Work - builds the capacity of schools, families, systems, and communities to foster positive development, social capital, and the behavioral health and well-being of all youth as they transition from school to adult life. This initiative focuses on vulnerable youth and their families who are challenged by poverty, disability, substance abuse, maltreatment, emotional and behavioral disorders, and other situational difficulties. The mission of RENEW is to implement research, training, policy development, support, and demonstration initiatives that will result in positive environments and supports for vulnerable youth and their families. 

The mission of the Institute on Disability is to advance policies and systems changes, promising practices, education, and research that strengthen communities and ensure full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all persons.

Program

RENEW is a structured school-to-career transition planning and individualized wraparound process for youth and their families who are most at-risk of experiencing poor educational and employment outcomes. RENEW is being provided by schools, community mental health centers, community-based providers, and Institute on Disability (IOD) staff members to youth in New Hampshire and six other states. The model focuses on supporting 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.

Key Features

  • Self Determination
  • Personal Futures Planning
  • Creative and Individualized School-to-Career Planning
  • Employment and Vocational Development
  • Building Family and other Natural and Community Supports
  • Systemic Support and Consultation

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, state education and mental health agencies to develop the systems and infrastructure necessary to implement the RENEW model with fidelity.

Impact

RENEW staff conduct process (formative) evaluations by using a simple enrollment and service reporting framework. Each site project director forms and facilitates project oversight team meetings, monthly staff meetings, and individual RENEW facilitator supervision sessions to ensure that the project staff members are meeting their enrollment and service targets. A simple tracking tool is used to track individual student progress and services accessed. The project director will report monthly on progress on enrollment and service targets, and on outcomes including school and community indicators.

The outcome (summative) evaluation includes tracking individual student progress in the following domains: attendance, completion of assignments and weekly progress reports, employment reports, behavior infractions (e.g. suspensions), credits earned, grades, GPA, and accomplishments such as graduation, job and wages, community service accessed (such as community mental health services, recreational or volunteer activities), obtaining a driver’s license, etc. RENEW staff will also compile case studies of individual student experiences, and the development of innovative services.

RENEW has been implemented with over 300 youth in New Hampshire, approximately 60 youth in North Carolina, and over 70 students in Illinois. Evaluations have been conducted with cohorts of youth, and the results have consistently shown that 50% of students graduated from high school within 2-3 years (with an additional 20-30% remaining in school), a majority of youth experienced significant improvement in behavioral health functioning including reductions in thoughts of self-harm and behavior problems in school, and participants indicated that they felt empowered and hopeful about their prospects to be successful. In the first project over 90% of the youth were employed. The implications of the positive impact of RENEW on high risk youth are significant, including higher rates of employment and college participation, and reductions in public health, welfare, and incarceration expenditures.

Growth Plan

Economic Model:

The annual projected RENEW budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 is approximately $110,000, $150,000 in FY 14, and $152,000 in FY 15. The Institute of Disability (IOD) has linked RENEW to community behavioral health efforts in New Hampshire and North Carolina and is marketing to other states. The Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) awards System of Care grants to 15-20 states per year (typically $45,000,000 per year). System of Care grants are designed by individual states, but the values and principles center on family-driven and youth guided care for children and youth with serious mental health concerns, children at-risk of developing serious mental health disorders, and on developing community-based options. RENEW is currently part of System of Care grant-funded projects in New Hampshire and North Carolina.

IOD staff continues to aggressively pursue federal, state, foundation, and corporate funding opportunities and has established relationships with the New Hampshire Department of Education, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Endowment for Health. The IOD looks forward to leveraging Social Impact Exchange support to encourage matching grant giving.

The pricing model for RENEW training and consultation costs are:

  • $1,500 per day per trainer, plus the cost of travel and materials: one trainer for groups of 20 or fewer, two trainers for groups of 20-60 people.
  • $100 per hour for consultation and coaching support- individually negotiated.
  • To build long-term sustainability, the IOD recommends that every state a school district build a Tertiary or RENEW Oversight Team.
  • The total start-up costs for schools in Year One is between $9,400 and $13,000 depending on size of the project and numbers of participants.

Growth Plan:

The IOD will expand RENEW services as follows:

1. Numbers of states implementing RENEW: The IOD will increase the number by four per year in FY 2014 and FY 2015

2. Number of schools implementing RENEW: The IOD will increase the number by 16 per year in FY 2014 and FY 2015

3. Numbers of Facilitators trained in RENEW: The IOD will increase the number of individuals trained and implementing RENEW by 32 in FY 2014 and 32 in FY 2015.

4. Numbers of youth who receive RENEW: The IOD will increase the number of youth who receive RENEW by 64 in FY 2014 and 64 in FY 2015.

In order to implement the growth plan, the IOD will link RENEW to educational reform within states by working with state level Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) networks. PBIS is a multi-tiered framework for improving school climate and culture, with an emphasis on positive youth development at the high school level. RENEW fits within the framework at the “tertiary” level of support for youth with the greatest needs and who are at the highest risk for school failure. PBIS is being implemented in one form or another in every state. These states use their federal special education discretionary dollars and school improvement funds (through “No Child Left Behind”) to pay for PBIS training and consultation. States and districts may also have “Safe and Health” student funds and/or dropout prevention grants that can be used to pay for RENEW training and consultation. Current states that are contracting with the IOD to provide RENEW services through PBIS networks are:

  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wisconsin

 

The IOD has plans to implement RENEW services in Montana and California – through PBIS.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
University of New Hampshire 10 West Edge Drive, Suite 101
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: 603-862-4320
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

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Locations in the following states:

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Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2014

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$25,000
Government Funding: 
$635,000
Contributions from Individuals: 
$0
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$125,000
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$0
Other Revenue (Description): 
Local organization support such as the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire.
Total Revenue: 
$785,000

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$512,000
Occupancy: 
$32,000
Travel & Entertainment: 
$42,000
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$500
Telephone & Communications: 
$2,500
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$184,000
Other Expenses (Description): 

Marketing/advertising, conferences/business meals/meetings, educational materials, equipment, graphic design, service providers, subcontracts, supplies, training, tuition, F&A. 

Other Expenses (Description): 

Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$773,000

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$12,000

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2013

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$125,000
Government Funding: 
$425,000
Contributions from Individuals: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$123,372
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$0
Other Revenue (Description): 
Local organization support.
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$673,372

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$445,000
Occupancy: 
$30,000
Travel & Entertainment: 
$36,000
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$500
Telephone & Communication: 
$2,500
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$138,000
Other Expenses (Description): 

 

Marketing/advertising, conferences/business meals/meetings, equipment, graphic design, miscellaneous, service providers, subcontracts, supplies, training, tuition, F&A. 

 

Total Expenses: 
$652,000

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$21,372

Major Funders

Endowment for Health

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

New Hampshire Department of Education

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

School Contracts (10)

U.S. Department of Education