Child & Family Services' Independent Living Skills program helps youth transition into life as independent adults. The program is voluntary and free for youth who hope to better their lives and learn more about navigating the adult world in which we live. Meet some of the youth we have impacted.
Jason aged out of foster care when he turned 18. The staff at Child & Family Services provided support throughout his foster care journey, worked with him in the Independent Living Skills program, and later helped him get settled in an apartment – complete with furniture and all the necessities.
The day after he moved into his apartment, Jason lost his job, which was a requirement for retaining his housing. Our friends at Bill Marsh were contacted, as the young man had car-detailing experience, and Bill granted him an interview.
He landed the job, and was very appreciative for all that CFS had done for him.
Jason recently visited us at Child & Family Services – all dressed up and looking very professional. His team remembered him well and were excited to see the progress he has made. Now 3 years later, this same young man has received a promotion and is now working to assist customers in obtaining fair rates on their car insurance. He is very passionate about his new job, and is committed to helping others and “giving back,” through volunteer efforts including helping right here at CFS.
Ryan, at 14 years old, was the youngest member of the Child & Family Services’ Independent Living Skills program. He was a permanent ward of the court and was extremely timid and withdrawn due to deep grief, loss, and abandonment issues. He was unable to even share his name with the other members of the group when they introduced themselves in their first session.
He began to open up with help from the group's facilitator, who suggested that he use notes to express his feelings about what the group was doing, or about specific members of the group. Other teens in the group wrote him notes in return, and this was how they talked with Ryan until several sessions had passed and he finally felt he could begin to trust the group and open his voice. The program has built his confidence. So much so that Ryan was able to ask a girl to the school dance, which would have been impossible prior to his experience in the Independent Living Skills program. Ryan believed that his success was a result of giving and getting affirmation from the others in his group.