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. Or contact IndependentLiving@dss.sc.gov.
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:
- offering an array of services
- tracking how well those services are offered through the NYTD survey
- Ensuring the agency hears the concerns of youth around the state and through the GOALL youth advisory board.
What Services are available?
Independent Living services are described in detail in the Independent Living Guidelines Booklet. IL Funding Requests may be submitted via fax to 803-898-7641. Click here for instructions on completing the funding request.
Independent Living Guidelines Booklet
To apply for IL Funding, click here.
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
- financial management
- emotional support
- assured connections to caring adults for older youth in foster care
Who is Eligible?
- All youth in foster care or aftercare placement 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 reunified with family or 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.
Living in an Inspired World: Voices and Visions of Youth in Foster Care
Drawing from the data acquired from the Voices and Visions of SC Youth in Transition research study, Living in an Inspired World: Voices and Visions of Youth in Foster Care consists of 365 days of inspirational messages for youth throughout the world. The intention of this book is to affirm that youth in foster care, and all youth, are competent, capable catalysts of change. Most importantly, we are reminded that we can be masters of our own destiny and that inspiration can lead the way.
©2017 by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). All rights reserved. Neither this book nor any part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Please understand that under no circumstances may CWLA materials be appropriated and distributed for the purpose of personal or material monetary gain. For information on this or other CWLA publications, contact the CWLA Publications Department at www.cwla.org/pubs or CWLA Headquarters, 727 15th Street NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005.