Background & Staff
In 1996, several researchers, and practitioners developed the Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education and Work (RENEW) as the model for a three-year RSA-funded demonstration project for youth with severe emotional/behavioral health issues. The project showed promising result for youth who typically have very poor post-school outcomes. Positive outcomes included high school completion, grade promotion, attendance, and credit accumulation, work experience, and career-related post-secondary activities. In addition, through self-reported measures of activities and satisfaction, students realized enhanced community functioning and participation. In 1999, Gail Cormier and her colleagues formed a non-profit corporation called the Alliance for Community Supports. Gail became the Executive Director of the corporation and the work of RENEW continued within the Alliance with positive results.
In 2006 Gail Cormier became the Executive Director of NC Families United where she continues to lend her expertise to the model both in North Carolina and Nationally. The RENEW model continues to hold promise as an evidence based practice for young people in North Carolina as in New Hampshire where RENEW was first developed and implemented. In 1996, Gail recognized RENEW as the conceptual model for wraparound (child family teams) supports aligning with the principals of system of care (citation here). The nationally recognized RENEW model is used effectively in school settings and other sites in New Hampshire, Illinois, and North Carolina. As long advocated, RENEW was recognized as a best practice for wraparound supports (citation). As a master RENEW specialist, Cormier uses her expertise and foresight to mentor emerging experts in the field of transition aged youth throughout North Carolina.
Offer RENEW Transition Mentoring Services to young adults ages 14-26 who are struggling with mental illness or who have co-occurring disabilities in planning for life as:
- an adult by facilitating a more comprehensive approach to transition that adheres to System of Care;
- Provide oversight to the planning and implementation of the Annual Seven-Session Youth Leadership Development Series and the statewide implementation of Youth M.O.V.E. North Carolina;
- Engage cross-system agencies, youth and their family members in an interactive workshop called Transition Ready which examines how services change for emerging young adults who struggle with mental wellness issues, particularly when transitioning from child to adult mental health services.
What RENEW is, What RENEW is NOT:
RENEW is…. based on the philosophy that all youth can succeed with the proper supports treatments and services. The RENEW model elements are consistent with the research that shows that students who build protective factors engage in fewer problematic behaviors (Costa & Jessor, 1999).
RENEW can be an important practice that meets the needs of individuals in a wide variety of service contexts such as:
- Community Mental Health Providers
- School Counseling & Special Education
- Vocational Programs
- Housing Support Programs
- Juvenile Justice Services
RENEW is NOT…
- A clinical mental health or medical service
- A counseling service
- Vocational rehabilitation service
- A school or classroom program