Offered for all youth in foster care ages 15 and older, the goal of the Independent Living program is to help youth make the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency. Through collaboration with community agencies, the department provides support services including independent living skills classes, education, vocation, career planning and transitional housing opportunities.
Youth participate in the Ansell-Casey assessment tool that assesses their educational status, job readiness, social development, money management, and daily living skills. This assessment informs a youth-driven plan that assists youth in obtaining goals they have set to move towards self-sufficiency, while a team of people support youth in their efforts to achieve their goals.
Additionally, the program provides assistance to youth formerly in foster care who have attained the age of 18 years while in foster care but who have not reached the age of 21. Department staff focus on assisting former foster youth to attain economic self-sufficiency by providing goods and services such as job training, housing assistance and educational assistance.