Independent Living Program
Teens age 16 to 18 have the chance to earn up to $1,200 as they leave foster care. By participating in the Independent Living Program, teens can earn money through incentives and activities such as:
- Attending classes or workshops
- Working with Community Resource People
- Receiving their high school diploma or GED
- Other positive behaviors
When they leave foster care, the special funds they have earned are available to help them move out on their own. The funds may be used for items such as:
- Bath towels and mats
- Shower curtain and hook set
- Sheets, blankets, and pillows
- Pots and pans
- Cooking utensils
- Kitchen knives
- Serving bowls
- Iron and ironing board
- Flatware tray
- Beverage container
- Trash cans
- Small TV
- Other housekeeping items
Funds may also be used for personal hygiene items, laundry and cleaning items and food staples. Items such as a CD player and DVD player are considered luxury items and are not to be purchased with this money.
The following activities qualify for the starter kit:
- Attending an Independent Living class offered by or coordinated by a Community Resource Person (up to 75 hours): $3 an hour.
- Completing approved driver's education training: $15.
- Working with a Community Resource Person (age 14 to exit from foster care) (up to $25 a year): $2 an hour.
- Attending a regional workshop (age 14-18): $20 a workshop.
- Attending the Teen Conference (age 16-18): $50 a conference.
- Active participation in Youth Advocacy group (up to 2 years): $40 a year.
- Membership in an Independent Living workgroup (age 15 to exit from foster care): $25 a year.
- Completion of high school diploma/GED: $100.
- Maintaining a job for 6 months or 2 summers (age 16 to exit from foster care): $25 for 6 months.
- Maintaining a checking account with no insufficient checks (age 16 to exit from foster care): $20 a year.
- Making and keeping medical appointments (age 16 to exit from foster care): $10 a year.
- Keeping the Youth Organizer up to date: $50 at exit from foster care.
- Pass high school Life Skill Class ($25)
- Positive legal behavior (no law enforcement involvement): $50 at exit from foster care.
- Completion of exit interview: $20 at exit from foster care.
- Investigation of post-secondary options or access: $20.
- Develop and follow money management with a Community Resource Person: $10 a year.
- Positive progress on a case plan: $10 a quarter.
- Working with a mentor (age 16 to exit from foster care): $25 a year.
- Volunteering (non-court ordered): $25 at exit from foster care.