Virtually all youth not connected by age 25 begin the process of disconnection much earlier, usually before age 19. In our society, almost all youth require support until they have connected successfully with the labor force, which generally does not occur until their mid-twenties. Most young adults experience detours on the road to economic independence, including periods of unemployment and periodic interruptions in their education. In this paper, we address several issues relevant to developing such a system of services. We begin by identifying those groups of youth at highest risk of long-term disconnection.
This is critical for developing policies and programs and for deciding how to target such rograms. Research indicates that those youth who are unable to make a successful ransition differ in important ways from other out of school/unemployed youth.