About the Program
The Independent Living Services program (ILS) serves young women between the ages of 16 and 18. They are involved in the child welfare system and are having a tough time being successful in the community due to mental health concerns, behavior issues or trauma. Youth are given the opportunity to enhance their skill sets through individual skills training with their case manager and therapeutic groups. As youth progress through the ILS program phase system and fulfill responsibilities, they have the opportunity to have community time, access to a cell phone and increased independence.
Youth can stay in the ILS program for up to two years. The young women served live in skilled therapeutic foster homes with the goal of transitioning to permanency or living safely on their own in the community.
- One-on-one case management and individualized service plans.
- Frequent contact and consistent monitoring by staff, based on individual supervision needs.
- Individual and group counseling.
- Service coordination addressing mental health and drug and alcohol needs.
- Skill building in areas such as self-care, relationships, and daily living.
- Educational coordination for girls seeking their GED or working towards their diploma.
With the support of the skills trainer, the case manager, and the foster family, girls can make positive choices about their lives in a caring and supportive environment.
The Role of Foster Parents
Foster parents are an integral part of the service planning team and help girls develop important skills including, but not limited to, following routines, completing homework, engaging in healthy relationships, and pro-social recreation. Foster parents also provide support in court proceedings and medication management. Foster parents are rigorously trained in parenting special needs children and love and logic approaches to youth. They are supported by a team of Boys & Girls Aid staff members, as well as the case managers who work directly with the youth served.