Independent Living

Most young adults need support and guidance to be successful as they begin to establish themselves in the community. The DSS Independent Living Program works to provide these youth with the assistance they need to thrive. The program implements the services outlined in the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP). Click here to learn more.  

 

What is Independent Living?

Independent living is the process of developing the skills necessary to balance life’s responsibilities—all of the essentials that go along with school, work, and bills.

The Independent Living program helps young people in foster care, or formerly in foster care successfully manage adult responsibilities by:

 


What Services are available?

Independent Living services are described in detail in DSS booklets for youth and for adults.


Youth in foster care, and formerly in foster care, may be eligible for services that help with activities and programs including, but not limited to help with:

  • daily living skills
  • education, including postsecondary and adult education
  • employment
  • financial management
  • housing
  • emotional support
  • assured connections to caring adults for older youth in foster care 

 


Who is Eligible? 

  • All youth in foster care ages 13, up to midnight on their 21st birthday, are eligible for all Chafee funds and Education and Training Vouchers (ETV).
  • Youth who left foster care, on, or after age 18, are eligible for all Chafee and ETV funds up midnight on to their 21st birthday.
  • Youth who are currently in post-legal placement are eligible for all Chafee funds, EXCEPT housing assistance. These youth are also eligible for ETV funds while in post-legal placement.
  • All youth adopted on, or after, age 16 are eligible for all Chafee funds, EXCEPT housing assistance. These youth are also eligible for ETV funds.
  • All youth in legal guardianship/kinship care on, or after, age 16 are eligible for all Chafee funds, EXCEPT housing assistance. These youth are also eligible for ETV funds.


These services are not meant to replace permanency planning. The greatest support for youth transitioning from foster care to adulthood is a caring adult.

During the process of planning for the youth’s transition to adulthood, caring adults should be identified and contacted to either establish or strengthen that connection.