group of people with the words working together

About Us

MD Transitioning Youth with Disabilities provided enhanced and coordinated services and supports to Maryland youth between the ages 14 -16 who received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Such services and supports included:

  • Transition planning
  • Financial planning and benefits management
  • Employment and post-secondary education preparation activities
  • Social and health linkages (for example, self-advocacy, youth development activities, health and wellness information)

All services and supports were customized to the individual youth and services provided by Maryland PROMISE were also extended to family members.

The primary goal of the state initiative was to assist youth recipients achieve better post-school outcomes, including graduating from high school readiness for college and a career, completing post-secondary education and job training, and obtaining competitive employment in an integrated setting. The underlying premise of Maryland PROMISE was that improved coordination between services can improve outcomes for youth on SSI and their families. Maryland PROMISE’s goals included improving the life outcomes of youth on SSI and decreasing their reliance on the program, as well as reducing the federal government’s cost.

The state of Maryland was one of six grantees to receive 5–year funding from the U.S. Department of Education to develop, implement, and evaluate a service model that promotes positive outcomes for children who receive SSI. The study, called MD PROMISE (Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income) recruited 2,000 eligible youth and families to participate in the study. Half of those youth enrolled receive services to help them achieve better outcomes. A comparison was made between the group receiving enhanced PROMISE services and those who received the typical services within their communities. The U.S. Department of Education and its federal PROMISE partners intended to use the findings and results from Maryland and the other grantees to inform public policy and to build an evidence base for improving post-secondary education and employment outcomes of child SSI recipients and their families.

PROMISE was a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Within the State of Maryland, MD PROMISE was a partnership between the Maryland Department of Disabilities, TransCen, Inc., and Way Station, Inc.

Download Maryland PROMISE Transition Resource Guide Here

MD PROMISE Transition Resource Guide

Lessons Learned

Promising Practice Brief #1
Work Experience

Promising Practice Brief#2
Service Funds

Promising Practice Brief #3
Making The Match

Promising Practice Brief #4
Work Incentives

Promising Practice #5
Delivering Community-Based Services: Strategies for Managing Field-Based Transition Staff

Promising Practice #6
Collaborative Strategies

PROMISE Evaluation Brief #7
Intervention on Fidelity

PROMISE Evaluation Brief #8
Association of Competency-based Training on MD PROMISE Employment Specialist Job Performance and Job Tenure

PROMISE Evaluation Brief #9
Engaging Youth in Transition Services

PROMISE Evaluation Brief #10

Defining the Nature of Families’ Goals during Participation in Maryland PROMISE

PROMISE Evaluation Brief #11

Pre-ETS Service Receipt


Stories of Engaging Youth

MD PROMISE Webinar: Yes, Your Youth Can Work

Helping Families Understand Benefits

MD PROMISE Webinar: Working Together Interagency Coordination

Coordination and Collaboration


How to Plan a Quality Work Experience (Part 1)


How to Plan a Quality Work Experience (Part 2)


Monitoring & Supporting Field-based Staff


Maryland Department of Disabilities Logo with the Maryland flag.

Responsible for overall project management, information and data management, and fiscal management.

The Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD)  is a state agency that works to address barriers for people with disabilities in education, employment, housing, health and behavioral health and transportation. MDOD is charged with unifying and improving the delivery of services to people with disabilities by working collaboratively with all state government agencies.

Transcen burgundy and blacklogo. Career and workforce development.

Responsible for providing training, technical assistance, and monitoring how accurately the program is implemented (fidelity monitoring).

TransCen, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving educational and employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Its mission is to establish a collaborative relationship among government, education, private agencies, advocacy groups and employers to facilitate the development, implementation and evaluation of model efforts that increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

blue and black way station logo. Part of the sheppard pratt health system

Responsible for providing lead case managers and family employment specialists.

Way Station, Inc. is a non-profit behavioral health organization that provides a broad range of services in a variety of settings to meet the needs of children, adolescents, adults, and families. It is dedicated to providing compassionate and quality behavioral health care, housing and employment services to adults with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance addictions; children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral challenges; and veterans with service needs.

United States of America Department of Education circular logo of an an acorn sprouting into an oak tree, with the sun behind.

Program sponsor and funder.

PROMISE is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), the U.S. Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

The DOE awarded cooperative agreements to states to implement the PROMISE initiative. The DOE’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.

Full Circle red and yellow circle logo. Employment solutions.

Responsible for benefits counseling and management to youth and families.

Full Circle Employment Solutions   is a community program dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities become financially independent through employment opportunities. It strives to reduce barriers to employment through employment and benefits counseling.

green square logo. Maryland CASH campaign. Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope.

Responsible for delivering financial education classes and financial coaching (one-to-one assistance to pursue personal financial goals) to youth and families.

The Maryland CASH (Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope) Campaign™   is a state-wide network of organizations that promote financial stability for working families. Its coalition includes Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) partners that provide free tax preparation services, promote access to high-quality financial services, and offer financial education and coaching.

round university of maryland logo. College of Education: Center for Transition and Career Innovation

The CTCI does not provide direct services to youth with disabilities or their families, but individuals can use the website to learn more about best practices.

The Center for Transition and Career Innovation (CTCI) was created to serve as a resource for state and location administrators, researchers, practitioners, educators and families by building partnerships, conducting research, delivering training, and disseminating products in order to improve academic and career outcomes of students and youth with disabilities.