In this section…
- DHS Independent Living Program
- Independent Living: A Brief History
- Independent Living Philosophy
- Independent Living Matrix
- Assessment and Service Planning
- Educational Opportunities
- The University of Oklahoma National Resource Center for Youth Services
- Youth Development Funds
- Independent Living Youth Contingency Funds
- Incentive Payments
- “Yes I Can” Alumni Network
- Fifty Things You Can Do to Help Youth Prepare for Independent Living
Oklahoma has one of the premier Independent Living programs in the United States. The information presented here is meant to serve as an introduction to this program and to present resources that may be used when working with youth in your care. A program is only as good as its people, so a successful outcome for these young people is only possible with the day-to-day work that you, as a resource parent, do with them. Teamwork is the key, and you are encouraged to work in partnership with all the other professionals in the child welfare system and the community on behalf of the youth placed in your home.
The IL program seeks to ensure the successful transition of youth ages 16 to 21 from out-of-home care to independent adulthood by assisting them in planning for their futures and by enhancing their individual strengths and abilities.
The goal of OKIL is to fulfill the purposes of the following state and federal laws:
- The Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Act
This federal law was enacted to assist young people in out-of-home care with the skills needed for self- sufficiency and successful adult living. Administered locally by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, this act focuses on education, job and career planning, and support services for youth who left care at age 18. This act also requires that services complement the youth’s own effort to achieve self-sufficiency as they transition from out-of- home care to adulthood.
- The Oklahoma Foster Care Independence Act
This state law was enacted to support the federal Chafee Act to provide tuition waivers and Medicaid coverage to eligible former foster youth.
Continue to DHS Independent Living Program