Independent Living Program (ILP)

Illustration of youth jumping off the ground

The Independent Living Program was authorized by the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-169). The ILP provides training, services, and benefits to assist current and former foster youth in achieving self-sufficiency prior to, and after leaving, the foster care system. In California, each county has the flexibility to design services to meet a wide range of individual needs and circumstances, and to coordinate services with other Federal and State agencies engaged in similar activities.

Who is eligible?

Youth are eligible for ILP services from age 16 to the day before their 21st birthday, provided one of the following criteria is met:

  • The youth was/is in foster care at any time from their 16th to their 19th birthday.
  • The youth was placed in out-of-home care by a tribe or tribal organization between their 16th and 19th birthdays.
  • The youth is a former dependent who entered into a kinship guardianship at any age and is receiving/received Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments (Kin-GAP) between the ages of 16 and 18.
  • The youth is a former dependent who entered into a Non-Related Legal Guardianship (NRLG) after attaining age 8 and is receiving/received permanent placement services.

What are the services offered?

Some of the services provided through ILP include:

  • Daily living skills
  • Money management
  • Decision making
  • Building self-esteem
  • Financial assistance with college or vocational schools
  • Educational Resources
  • Housing (Transitional Housing)
  • Employment

How to Access Services

The youth’s social worker or probation officer will refer foster youth to the county ILP Coordinator.  Former foster youth can contact the child welfare office/probation department in the county they are residing in or the county they exited foster care from.

To find your local ILP coordinator or probation officer please contact the TAY Policy Unit at TAYPolicy@dss.ca.gov.

CDSS Notifications Pertaining to ILP

All County Letters

All County Information Notices

Independent Living Program Annual Narrative Survey Report

The Independent Living Program Annual Narrative Report is sent out for completion to all counties. The information requested in the report is required by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, consistent with provisions specified in their annual program instructions (PI). The PI requests details specific to each county’s ILP and transitional housing programs.

The ILP narrative report is completed and submitted to the California Department of Social Services (CDSSS) electronically via Salesforce, an online customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Maintaining all ILP Report outcomes in the CRM tool assists CDSS and the Transition Age Youth (TAY) Policy Unit track trends, analyze data, compare data from year to year, and streamline communication with counties over results. Additionally, having access to all ILP Report data will ensure CDSS has the most up-to-date deliverables on county efforts regarding ILP services. The information gathered through the ILP Annual Narrative Report is used to complete California’s federal Annual Progress and Services Report and the Federal Children and Family Services Plan. The information collected may also be shared with counties and stakeholders, when sharing best practices.

Each county welfare department assigns a point of contact, who is granted a license and receives a unique username and password to access the ILP report on the CRM tool. For county-specific information regarding the  ILP narrative report, refer to the 2021 ILP Narrative Report Contact List.

CDSS Notifications Pertaining to the ILP Narrative

Contact Us

Transition Age Youth Policy Unit
744 P Street, MS 8-13-78
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-7465
TAYPolicy@dss.ca.gov

For more information: Contact Your County

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