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Next Level @ Pete's Place

Child and Family Services (CFS) opened a new program to house foster youth ages 16-19 and provide independent living skills to help them transition to a successful young adulthood. The new home will be in the former Pete’s Place building, previously our shelter for runaway and homeless youth next to Goodwill Inn.


The goal of this brand new Independent Living Plus (ILP) program is to support those teens who have the motivation, potential, and beginning skill set to work toward living on their own after reaching individual goals. While in the program, youth will become proficient in financial literacy, daily living, self-care, housing and money management, civic engagement, transportation, positive work habits, effective studying skills, career and educational planning, substance abuse prevention, accessing mental and physical health services and other important general community services.


Staff will provide the stability and safe environment for learning those skills. Others on the team include their foster care caseworker, other supportive persons in their life such as family members or friends, their Guardian Ad Litem, and volunteer supports from the community.


“We are so excited for the opening of Next Level,” said Gina Aranki, CFS Executive Director. “It will be a unique and wonderful way to support these youth as they begin to prepare for living successfully on their own. And the community is behind them, too! Many individuals and groups have helped over the last two months with providing supplies, clothing, food, cleaning and painting to get us ready to open the doors March 18. Several have offered to help teach various life skills, including cooking, menu planning, and budgeting.”


Child Welfare Director Aprille Sutton added, “This is a dream come true! For most of my 23 years working in foster care, I have seen the need for a place like this to help our older teens who are often not the ones that a new foster parent will want to take in. It takes a special caring adult to help teens transition to adulthood and we still need those folks! It is our hope that all teens who successfully complete the CFS Next Level Program will become happy, healthy, productive, and self-sufficient members of their community.”















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