Model Program

RENEW (Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education and Work)

The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire
56 Old Suncook Rd. Suite 2
Concord, NH 03301

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Contact Information:
Ms. JoAnne M. Malloy, MSW
Project Director

Program Specification:






Limited Evidence of Effectiveness

Age/Grade Level:

Target Settings:

Target Groups:

High School




Other Participation Criteria:

All Ethnicities

high risk of dropout, already dropped out


RENEW is designed to specifically address the needs of youth with emotional and behavioral challenges, including the need for self-determined planning and service provision, employment and other real-world experiences linked to learning, flexible service provision based on each students' needs, mentoring and positive relationship development, and asset development (linking students to community resources.) The key features of the RENEW intensive model are (a) self determination, reflected in the personal futures planning model, (b) creative and individualized school-to-career services including work-based learning, school-based learning, and connecting activities, (c) unconditional service provision and supports, (d) strengths-based service provision, (e) an emphasis on building relationships and linkages in the community (natural supports), (f) flexible resource development and funding, (g) wraparound team development, and,(h) workplace or career-related mentoring. The RENEW trainings will focus on building competencies in personal futures planning, knowledge of community resources, resource development and community resource mapping, team building and facilitation, counseling skills, secondary transition planning and special education rules and policies, ethics and confidentiality, flexible education programming (internships, independent study, work-study, among others), naturally supported employment, and crisis management. Four goals guide the work of highly skilled RENEW facilitators: (1) high school completion, (2) employment, (3) post-secondary education and training, and (4) community integration.

Program Descriptors Include:
Academic Improvement, Adult Education, Alternative Education, Attendance/Truancy, Behavior Management/Discipline, Career Education, Community Collaboration, Counseling/Advisories/Coaches, Credit Recovery, Family/Parental Involvement, GED, Homeless, Mentoring/Tutoring, Professional Development, Service Learning, Students with Disabilities, Substance Abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Virtual Learning

Strategies for Locating Students:
Phone calls, Home visits, Personalized letters, Materials distributed in public venues, Outreach conducted at locations/events attended by youth, Public events focused on dropout recovery, Current students asked to recruit friends, School or district teams to track students, Collaboration with other schools/districts, Collaboration with social service agencies/community-based organizations, Collaboration with law enforcement

Starting Date: 1996
Students Served Per Year: 50-250
Reenrolled Students with Disabilities: 25% or more
Last Verified: 2010

Risk Factors:

Protective Factors:

Program addresses the following:

Individual factors

  • Has a learning disability or emotional disturbance
  • High-risk peer group
  • High-risk social behavior
  • Low achievement
  • Poor attendance
  • Low educational expectations
  • Lack of effort
  • Low commitment to school
  • Misbehavior
  • Early aggression

Family factors

  • Low socioeconomic status
  • High family mobility
  • Low education level of parents
  • Not living with both natural parents
  • Family disruption
  • Low educational expectations
  • Sibling(s) has dropped out
  • Low contact with school
  • Lack of conversations about school

School factors

  • Race/ethnicity
  • School policies and practices
  • Student engagement
  • Teacher expectations

Community factors

  • Family composition/socioeconomic status

Program promotes the following:


  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Good relationships with parents, peers, and teachers
  • Perception of support from adults and peers


  • Healthy/conventional beliefs and standards
  • Positive/resilient temperament


  • Social competencies
  • Self efficacy


  • Problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility


  • High expectations by community, family, school, and self
  • Optimistic


  • Comprehensive diagnostic systems
  • Early warning systems
  • Personalized instruction and learning
  • Rigorous and relevant instruction
  • Academic support
  • Instruction on behavior and social skills
  • Supportive school climate
  • Development of vocational skills
  • Encourage family involvement/community supports
  • Teach self-determination and self-advocacy skills including student/person-centered planning
  • Eliminate practices that push students out of school
  • Help students to address problems that interfere with learning

Program Resources:

Annual Cost:

The annual cost range of the program is $100,000 - $200,000 or $1000 - $2000 per student.

Funding Sources Include:

Program Staff Includes:

Federal Agencies
State Agencies
Local/City/County Agencies
School Districts

Social Workers
Graduation Coaches
School Administrators

Materials Used:

Supporting / Partner Organizations:

Instructional Texts/Manuals

NH Department of Education, NH Bureau of Behavioral Health, local high schools, community mental health centers

Evaluation Information:

We have noted promising outcomes for youth with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) and at risk youth, using the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) we have noted significant improvement in functioning among students who received RENEW services; among a cohort of 32 students with EBD, we noted that over 90% advanced a grade level or graduated.

How evaluation data was collected:
Data collected and analyzed at school/district level