What is the program?
The Independent Living Skills Program provides youth, who are currently in or have been in foster care, one-on-one independent living skills training and case management services at no cost to them.
Youthnet began this program in 2000 with a philosophy of a mentor based program individualized to each youth and is community based. All program participants have individualized plans. Each youth is assessed and a plan is developed from the assessment. The Independent Living Skills Program assists each youth in meeting their individualized goals.
Youth receive hands on training in self-sufficiency skills such as obtaining housing, creating and managing a budget, career and education planning, engaging in safe and healthy relationships and securing employment. While the primary goal is safe housing and financial literacy (in an effort to decrease homelessness), these youth will also be connected to service learning opportunities and receive assistance in the application process for secondary or vocational education.
These skills are also taught in monthly workshops by volunteers from the community sharing their “expert” knowledge and held at our office in Mount Vernon.
Who does it serve?
- Youth 15 years old or older (through 21 years of age) in
- Skagit County
- Whatcom County
- Island County
- San Juan County
- Snohomish County
- Currently in or have previously been in foster care for at least 30 days after their 15th birthday
- Other at-risk youth by county, private, or tribal contracts
What services are provided?
The IL/TL program supports youth with assistance in the following areas:
- Skills to succeed and live independently on your own
- Finding safe transitional and/or permanent housing
- How to get and keep a job (including resume assistance and job referral)
- Money management and budgeting
- Transportation needs
- Obtaining a GED and educational planning past high school
- Bridging of healthy connections to biological and extended families
- Building a support network and develop Interpersonal skills
- Community resources
- Resources for parenting and pregnancy prevention
What does it take to get started?
- Referrals are initiated by social workers and youth
- A Youthnet staff member will set up an appointment
- The Casey Life Skills Assessment will be completed
- Youthnet staff members assist in creating a one-year goal plan
- Meet monthly with the Youthnet staff member to accomplish the outlined goals
To enroll, contact Youthnet at 360-336-1610
Independence for Washington State Foster Youth – Washington State’s website about the Independent Living (IL) program can help you get the skills you need to succeed in life on your own.
Casey Life Skills – Free and easy to use tools to help young people prepare for adulthood. The life skills assessments provide instant feedback. Customized learning plans provide a clear outline of next steps, and the accompanying teaching resources are available for free or at a minimal cost.