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Our Mission

To provide every eligible youth in foster care, and probation with independent living training to assist in the transition to a successful and independent life.

Activities

  • Pre-emancipation Life Skills classes:
    Weekly life skills and emancipation planning classes covering education and employment, communication skills, health care, rights and responsibilities, financial literacy, workshops and more.
  • College Tours:
    Visits to college campuses, including meeting with ILSP alums who attend the colleges being toured.
  • Higher Education Application Assistance:
    Individual support and assistance in preparing college applications.
  • Scholarship Application Assistance:
    Workshops and individual assistance in researching and applying for scholarships at all levels of higher education.
  • California Youth Connection (CYC):
    Leadership training and opportunities, including legislative advocacy for current and former foster youth.
    Learn more about CYC »
  • After Care Assistance:
    Individual assessments and case management for emancipated youth and AB12 participants.
  • Holiday Parties:
    Elegant and festive events marking the mid-point of the ILSP year, including the Halloween Havoc, Thanksgiving Dinner, and Holiday party.
  • ILP Graduation:
    Grand celebration of the students’ achievements as they transition to college, vocational training, and the world of work.

History

In 1986, the federal government launched the Independent Living Program to enable state child welfare agencies to meet the needs of youth preparing to emancipate from foster care. The initial federal funding allowed for ILP services to be made available to youth ages 16-18 who were dependents of the county or probation wards placed out of home by the juvenile court on or after their 16th birthday. In 1999, the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act doubled the federal budget for ILP and allowed states to extend services to eligible youth between the ages of 18-21, utilize the funds for room and board for pre-emancipation youth, and to extend Medi-Cal benefits up to age 21. In 2002, the federal government added the Chafee Educational Training Voucher Program, funding former foster and probation youth for up to $5000 per year for higher education up to age 23 if the former foster/probation youth was receiving Chafee support at age 21.

Alameda County was one of the first counties in the state to develop an Independent Living Program, opening its doors in 1987. From its inception, Alameda County ILSP has focused on education, employment, and life skills training. ILP graduates go on to 4 year colleges, community colleges, vocational training programs, and full time employment. Over the years, a number of ILSP graduates have returned to the program as members of the staff.

How can I get involved with ILP?

ILP eligible youth are usually referred to ILP by their child welfare workers or probation officers. If you are eligible for services and have not been referred already, you may walk in and speak to one of our coaches to register for ILP services . Together with the child welfare worker or probation officer, a youth should complete a Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP) prior to referral to ILP, and the TILP should be sent along with the referral form to the ILP office, either via fax (510) 667-7629 or by email to [email protected]. (An additional TILP will be completed with each youth during their time with his or her ILP coach, and the TILP will be updated every 6 months.) Referral forms and TILPs are available in the “Forms” section of this site.

After Care

ILP participants continue to receive supportive services after emancipation. For more information, contact Beyond Emancipation at 510-667-7694. After care services expand to housing options as well. B:E can assist youth in applying for THP+ (post emancipation) housing.