Transition for Youth to Adult Supports

For families and youth nearing the age of 21

The New Jersey Children's System of Care serves youth until their 21st birthday, with a few exceptions. While services and interventions are designed to be delivered early and to maximize the strengths and abilities of the youth and families we serve, we recognize that a substantial number of the youth we serve will require ongoing supports as adults.

Even if you or your child is not currently accessing CSOC services, the links below can be useful for needed resources after the age of 21.

Discuss transition with your service providers

Your service providers should provide treatment or supports with an honest discussion and constant attention to preparing for transition or discharge, whether this is changing to a different type of service or “aging out” into adult services.

If you receive care management, preparing for discharge and transition should be an ongoing conversation, and a smooth transition identifies the right combination of ongoing services, new supports, resources, and informal or community connections that will help your child and family succeed. Your FSO may also be of assistance with transition.

Resources and links

Behavioral health and substance use

New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS)
DMHAS is the state mental health authority (SMHA) and the Single State Authority on Substance Abuse (SSA) that plans, monitors, evaluates and regulates New Jersey's mental health and substance abuse prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery efforts.

For more information about transitioning to adult services for behavioral health and substance use, visit the DMHAS website. You can also directly access the DMHAS' Directory of Mental Health Services (PDF).

NJMentalHealthCares is New Jersey's behavioral health information and referral service. They provide callers information and connections to behavioral health services, including: legal, housing, employment, rehabilitation, inpatient and outpatient, self-help and more. Their professional staff also provides supportive counseling, psycho-education, advocacy and telephone case management.

For substance use, you can also contact Reach NJ at 1-844-ReachNJ. The Reach NJ helpline offers 24 hour a day, focused on addiction. It serves as a one-stop shop to simplify the process for those seeking help. Addiction is a disease. Don't suffer, don't wait. You are not alone - help is within reach.

Crisis hotlines

New Jersey Hopeline1-855-654-6735
The Hopeline is New Jersey's 24/7 peer support and suicide prevention hotline. The specialists at the NJ Hopeline are available to provide confidential phone counseling, support and referrals to local resources to help youth and families get through difficult times.

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline — 988
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since its inception, the Lifeline has engaged in a variety of initiatives to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention.

Additional behavioral health and substance use resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) — 1-800-950-6264
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI is an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need. NAMI's New Jersey affiliate can be reached at 1-732-419-8050.

SAMHSA National Helpline — 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's Treatment Referral Routing Service Helpline provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information in English and Spanish about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention and recovery.

Intellectual/developmental disabilities

New Jersey's Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) provides public funding for services and supports that help New Jersey adults ages 21 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities live as independently as possible. Services and supports are available in the community from independent providers, and in 5 state-run developmental centers.

Get more information on DDD.

Individuals who are 18 or older and were previously determined eligible for developmental disability services through the NJ Children's System of Care can complete the Short Application for Eligibility (PDF) for adult services through DDD.

The New Jersey Division of Disability Services (DDS) also publishes an annual resource directory with a wealth of information for individuals with disabilities and their families or caregivers.

County resources

Official county government websites are listed below to assist you.





Cape May

















Additional resources

NJ 211
NJ 2-1-1 can help you find solutions to personal needs by informing you of resources in your community like day care facilities, shelters, affordable housing units, social services, employment training programs, senior services, medical insurance, and more.

NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid - 1-800-701-0710
New Jersey's publicly funded health insurance program - includes CHIP, Medicaid and Medicaid expansion populations. That means qualified NJ residents of any age may be eligible for free or low cost health insurance that covers doctor visits, prescriptions, vision, dental care, mental health and substance use services and even hospitalization.

NJ Helps
The NJ Helps Services Home Page is designed to give consumers a “one-stop” shopping resource for the wide range of programs, information and services provided by the Department of Human Services and its partners, to assist individuals, families and communities in throughout the State of New Jersey.

New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency (HMFA)
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) is dedicated to increasing the availability of and accessibility to safe, decent and affordable housing to families in New Jersey. In some cases, this may mean working with traditional affordable housing developments, serving New Jersey's most needy families. In other instances, it is working with First-Time Homebuyers, senior citizens, and/or the disabled in our special needs communities. In every situation, HMFA is committed to make quality housing available at costs affordable to New Jersey residents.

Educational and vocational resources

NJ STARS - (609) 584-4480
NJ STARS is a scholarship program exclusively for New Jersey residents that covers the cost of tuition at New Jersey's 19 community colleges. Students who rank in the top 15 percent of their high school class at the end of either junior or senior year may be eligible. Students must complete a rigorous series of high school courses as a first step toward eligibility, as determined by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education in consultation with the New Jersey Commissioner of Education.

State of New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund
The New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund was created by law in 1968 to ensure meaningful access to higher education for those who come from backgrounds of economic and educational disadvantage. The Fund assists low-income New Jersey residents who are capable and motivated but lack adequate preparation for college study.

At YouthBuild programs in the United States and across the globe, young people learn construction skills to help build affordable housing and other community assets such as community centers and schools.

Employment resources

New Jersey Career Connections – Youth Services
If you are a youth ages 16 to 24, start planning your path. Services are available to eligible youth in the areas of career awareness, skills assessment, and career counseling through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development's One-Stop Career Centers.

New Jersey Career Connections – One Stop Career Centers
New Jersey's One-Stop Career Centers provide a multitude of services such as job search assistance, training and education assistance, specialized services, and on-site resource rooms (PCs, telephones, etc.).

New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
The mission of the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) is to enable eligible individuals with disabilities to achieve an employment outcome consistent with their strengths, priorities, needs, abilities and capabilities.

State of New Jersey – State Employment and Training Commission

State of New Jersey – Job Training Resources

Job Corps – 1-800-733-5627
Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. For eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life.

Please note: PerformCare posts these links for informational purposes only. These external web sites are maintained by organizations over which PerformCare and the New Jersey Children's System of Care exercise no control. PerformCare and the NJ Children's System of Care expressly disclaims any responsibility or endorsement for the content, the accuracy of the information and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised by these third-party websites. PerformCare and the NJ Children's System of Care do not control, endorse, promote, or have any affiliation with any web site listed unless expressly stated herein.