Independent Living Program (ILP) – ILP is designed to assist youth who are current and formerwards and dependents of the court, ages 16 to 21, in achieving independence and selfsufficiency through the following fundamental service components of the program:
1. Permanence and Connections for Independence – a lifelong connection with at least one family member or supportive adult;
2. Education – quality education commensurate with their abilities and aspirations, including, but not limited to, high school graduation, vocational training, and post-secondary opportunities;
3. Employment – work experience and training opportunities that prepare them for and place them in living-wage employment and careers and money management;
4. Youth Development – opportunities to develop daily living skills, critical thinking skills, coping skills, and healthy psycho-social development; and,
5. Housing – access and support to locate and maintain safe and affordable housing.
Annually, the Santa Clara County, through DFCS and JPD, serves between 350 and 450 ILP eligible youth. Of the youth actively participating in ILP in FY 14-15, 55.3% are of Latino/Hispanic descent 13.8% of whom are Spanish speaking monolingual; 17.3% Caucasian; 16.3% African American; 5% Asian Pacific Islander and 1.9% American Indian. A high concentration of active ILP youth resides in the following zip code areas: 95020, 95111, 95112, 95127, followed by 95136, 95118 and 95122; although this data is a reflection of a single point in time. Placement changes occur daily and may alter the stated demographics. As required by law, ILP services must, at a minimum, provide a comprehensive range of age and culture appropriate services and activities to eligible youth.
In addition, ILP services should reflect the Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP) of the youth. The TILP is a written service delivery plan for in-care-youth that identifies the youth’s current level of functioning, emancipation goals and the specific skills needed to prepare the youth to live independently upon leaving foster care. The plan is mutually agreed upon by the youth and the social worker/probation officer. The Supportive Transitional Emancipation Plan (STEP)-TILP is a similar document but used for youth who have aged out from the foster care system.
Youth engaged in ILP services will have an individualized TILP that focuses on the fundamental components of ILP. The TILP includes appropriate skill-development services as defined by Section 31-525.8 California Department of Social Services Manual of Policies and Procedures (CDSS MPP) for Independent Living Program Core Services:
1. Education, including: skills development, assistance and referrals to obtain literacy skills, high school diploma/GED, post-secondary education, and experiential learning;
2. Career development, including: assistance and referral to obtain career exploration, work readiness and responsibility skills, employment development, employment experience, vocational training, apprenticeship opportunities, job placement and retention;
3. Assistance and referrals to promote health, including, but not limited to: mental health (e.g. Behavioral Health Services Department Wellness Program), substance abuse prevention, smoking cessation, and sexual, reproductive health and nutrition education;
4. Daily living skills, including: information on and experiences and training in financial management and budgeting; personal responsibility skills; self-advocacy; household management; consumer and resource use; survival skills; and obtaining vital record;
5. Financial literacy resources, including but not limited to: information and referrals regarding applicable financial assistance programs; and
6. Housing information, including: training and referrals about transitional housing programs; federal, state and local housing programs; and landlord/tenant issues. The goal of the TILP is to assist youth with identifying personal goals to ensure appropriate skills are gained to provide a solid, comprehensive foundation for youth’s transition out of the foster care system.
The HUB – The HUB is a community youth center aimed at providing services and activities to support current and former foster and probation youth between the ages of 15 to 26 in Santa Clara County to achieve independence and self-sufficiency. The center was founded by former foster youth with the support of the County to enable the youth to experience growth, feel empowered and safe, be encouraged to accomplish their goals, and be confident as youth leaders.
The HUB is designed to serve as a one stop center for the youth for services and resources related to housing, education, employment, reproductive health education, basic medical care, mental health services, and independent living skills development through a variety of drop-in and appointment services. The HUB also provides a safety net and community support for youth throughout their transition into adulthood. These resources and services are provided by the following co-located partners of the center:
1. ILP Provider;
2. Law Foundation of Silicon Valley;
3. Silicon Valley Children’s Fund;
4. First Place for Youth;
5. Teen Force;
6. Work 2 Future;
7. Planned Parenthood;
8. Santa Clara County Public Health Department;
9. Santa Clara County Department of Behavioral Health Services; and
10. Santa Clara County Office of Education .
Youth are always welcome at The HUB for these services, or to just have a safe place to connect and have a meal. The HUB is located at 591 N. King Road, Suite #1, San Jose, CA 95133. Hours of operation are from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Weekend and after-hours use can be accommodated for workshops and special events. The HUB is under the direct oversight of the DFCS.