Independent Living Services is provided to youth currently in foster care beginning at age 13 and continues through age 23.  Youths, ages 13-17, currently in foster care are assigned a Primary Case Manager who assures integration of all services provided to the youth, and an IL Case Manager who coordinates delivery of individualized life skills services based on the child’s strengths and areas of needs.

Young adults formerly in foster care are assigned an IL Case Manager who provides support in accessing community resources, completing EFC, PESS and Aftercare applications, navigating the educational system, exploring scholarships and grants, and amongst other traditional case management responsibilities, facilitates training on a variety of topics to expound upon developmental and skill building information and activities previously delivered while in foster care.

Within a month of the foster youth’s 13th birthday, the Primary Case Manager completes a referral to Children’s Home Society (ILS subcontracted provider) and an IL Case Manager is assigned. The youth and the IL Case Manager work together to complete an assessment that identifies the youth’s areas of strength and those that require strengthening. An individualized plan is established that specifies goals and objectives to achieve educational and developmental tasks.

Youths are encouraged to participate in field trips that are geared towards social development and life skills workshops on financial literacy, time management, interpersonal relationships, stress management, sex awareness, parenting skills, health and hygiene, etc.  Experts from within the topic being discussed serve as co-presenters; this may include young adults formerly in foster care.

In addition to the above supports that continue through age 18, at age 16 an Intensive Services Plan is developed to ensure critical core tasks are accomplished prior to the youth’s 18th birthday. These include:

  1. Participation in a DATE  course (Drug and Alcohol) specifically allocated for foster teens who are interested in obtaining a driver’s licensing
  2. Establish a bank account
  3. Complete an initial budget and reviewed it at least once within a six month period
  4. Compose  a grocery list, purchased the items, prepared a meal and cleaned up
  5. Attend a resume writing class and composed a resume
  6. Complete an interviewing skills class and participated in a mock interview
  7. Complete a transition plan that outlines the intended living arrangement upon reaching age 18, along with supports and available services.

Helpful Resources:

Keys to Independence Drivers’s License Pilot Project