Here are the projects that are currently happening in the Independent Living Program. These are projects that are funded or directly affiliated with the Office of Children's Services. There are lots of other programs that serve young people who are aging out of foster care that do not receive funding through this program. Check out Resources and Links to get information on those.
Independent Living Funds are available through the Office of Children's Services for youth in custody and those who were in custody on or after their 16th birthday but have not yet turned 21, who need support as they prepare for the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency. Independent Living Funds can be used to help youth gain the skills, experience, and materials they will need to become self-sufficient adults. More about this
Education & Training funds available to eligible foster youth and eligible former foster youth for the cost of post secondary education and training. More about this.
The Alaska Center for Resource Families (ACRF) provides training and support to foster parents of youth of all ages in Alaska. They have some special support to foster parents of youth preparing to age out of foster care. They have a wealth of materials and resources for helping build life skills and prepare youth to live self-sufficiently. They host Foster Parent Training seminars throughout the state that include special tracks for preparing young people to live on their own. They also offer support to foster parents who are using the Casey Life Skills Assessment (more on that below).
Casey Life Skills Assessment not exactly funded through OCS (its free), the agency has adopted the Casey Life Skills Assessment as a standard part of our case plan. Every young person who turns age 16 in foster care will take the assessment, and life-skills goals will be adopted into the transition plan. Many workers and programs are using the assessment more frequently and at other ages as well.
The assessment is very simple to take, takes only a few minutes to complete, and automatically provides an individual report of life skills. It is designed to be taken by both youth and someone familiar with the youth, so that each person's perceptions about the young person's life skills can be compared.
The Casey Life Skills Assessment web site also offers a fantastic resource for developing a case plan from the results of the assessment, and a great resource for foster parents looking for ideas to develop specific life skills. Go directly to their site at http://caseylifeskills.force.com/