Several initial steps were taken in the development of the TEAM program.
- Underwent a thorough literature review to identify best practices and evidence-based intervention
- Assessed current needs and existing resources for accessibility and utilization
- Conducted in-depth stakeholder interviews with individuals with ASD, caregivers and community members
- Collaborated with local agencies to identify areas for partnership/collaboration
- Established connections with local schools and health professionals for recruitment pathways
- Researched community service opportunities for future event planning
TEAM participants are recruited from a number of different sources, including but not limited to clinicians at Boston Medical Center, educators and staff from local school districts, and members of community-based programs like the Boys and Girls Club. Autism Program staff are often alerted to an individual (mentor or mentee) that may be a good fit for the TEAM program and will then reach to that youth and their family to discuss the program in greater detail and invite them to complete an application. Participants and families also access the application online and may apply to the program without previously being referred or recruited by a clinician or community partner. Participants and their families have historically represented not only the greater Boston community, but also cities and towns up to 30 miles north, west and south of the city. Recruitment largely happens during the spring and summer leading up to the start of the TEAM year in September, with an application deadline typically around September 1. However, applications are accepted at any time after the start of the program for the following year.
Click the box below to download the mentor and mentee application.
TEAM leverages partnerships with a number of community programs and agencies to assist in participant recruitment, as well as the development and execution of monthly events. Community partners also provide important insight into any program impact on participants and work with us toward shared goals to best support these transition-aged youth. The TEAM program could not operate without the generosity and support of our community partners.
Our current community partners include:
- Horner Family Foundation
- Boston Medical Center
- Boston Public Schools
- Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester
- Boston Public Library
- Mass Audubon Society
- Waypoint Adventures
- Boston Red Sox
- Franklin Park Zoo
- MIT Museum
- Museum of Science
- Boston Bowl
- Flour Bakery
- Whole Foods Market
TEAM, in line with the greater Autism Program, is entirely grant and philanthropy funded, engaging the BMC Office of Development in exploring grants and philanthropic donors as needed. TEAM aims to keep operating costs as low as possible, seeking charitable donations of food and admission fees, as well as sponsorships of entities like sports arenas, rec centers, museums, and other venues willing to host the monthly events.
See below for an example of a yearly TEAM budget.