Occupational Therapy ’s Impact: Occupational Exploration and Transitional Youth
Author: Mason Munson, Martha Wegner
This document contains a culmination of items that reflect a yearlong student led community based practice project. As part of Pacific University School of Occupational Therapy’s doctoral curriculum, this service learning course spans from an introductory organizational needs assessment to the final implementation and presentation of findings. The partnering organization, Outside In, is a social service agency located in Portland, Oregon that works to address the dynamic needs of homeless youth (Outside In, 2009). Outside In’s Employment and Education Resource Center (ERC) is a school based program that aides homeless and transitional adolescents to gain access to education and employment. Under the supervision of Pacific
University’s occupational therapy program this project is a continuation of a 2013 student project A Developmental Approach to Work-Readiness (George & Brigden, 2013). This earlier project was developed to reflect a need for occupational therapy services within the ERC. Activity modules were produced to support the needs of youth participants who experienced challenges to graduation from the ERC program. From the foundational work of A Developmental Approach to Work-Readiness, the current project Occupational Therapy’s Impact: Occupational Exploration and Transitional Youth was created. Contained within is a collection of chronological documents that highlight the research and implementation
process of this student driven project:
• An organizational needs assessment created for Outside In to summarize the organization’s services as a whole, the demographics of the targeted population, and implications for practice.
• Two literature reviews developed by the student team members to explore current research in program delivery and skill acquisition in relation to at-risk youth.
• The overview of project implementation outlining the progression of each group piloted and adapted from the A Developmental Approach to Work-Readiness activity binder.
• A power point document used during the final presentation given to the ERC staff and Pacific University project advisor.
Reflected within these works is an innovative and evidence-based project that explores occupational therapy’s role in working with both community partner programs and at-risk adolescents as a whole. As presented, the impact of occupational therapy’s holistic view and client-centered service delivery holds the potential for long lasting positive change for youth during times of critical transition.