Independent Living Program

Helping youth develop the skills needed in preparation for adulthood

Independent Living Program

All young people need support, experience, coaching and mentoring in order to prepare for adulthood and to support them once they get there. As many of our young people have had multiple transitions in their lives, these supports may not be consistent or as strong as they are for others. The Independent Living Program (ILP) is a federally and state funded program designed to help eligible youth to develop the skills needed in preparation for adulthood. ILP recognizes the urgency for young people to have lifelong permanent relationships with stable, loving adults. ILP supports and promotes the building of interdependent relationships and permanent connections for the young people served by the program.


Young people between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one who are currently in foster care or who were in foster care sometime on or after their sixteenth birthday are eligible for ILP services. Young people who exited foster care to adoption on or after their sixteenth birthday and youth whose non-related Legal Guardianship occurred after their 8th birthday are eligible for all ILP services except for those related to housing support and certain programs related to financial support for higher education. Youth living with relative guardianship supported by Kin-GAP are eligible for ILP regardless of age at the time of the Kin-GAP order.


 ILP offers a range of services to assist and support foster youth and former foster youth in their transition to independent living.  Services include:

  • One-to-one coaching and case management;
  • Life skills workshops including: nutrition & meal preparation, self-care, developing healthy relationships, budgeting, work & study skills, decision-making, Making Proud Choices (sexual health), and more;
  • Employment Training and Placement, including: Assistance in finding job openings, filling out applications, developing interviewing skills, learning appropriate workplace behaviors, resume writing support, career planning, etc.;
  • Educational Counseling and Planning, including: Educational advocacy, college/financial aid application assistance, essay writing support and transcript analysis;
    • Housing search assistance;
    • Social events celebrating students’ successes;
    • and more!  

Participants receive a stipend upon completing each workshop series.  Stipends are $25 per completed workshop.  There are other incentives, such as a laptop, for participating in workshops and activities. 


Young people are referred to ILP by their Child Welfare Workers.  Together with the Child Welfare Worker, a young person should complete a Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP) prior to referral to ILP.   Contact your Child Welfare Worker for a referral.  

Request for Ward of the Court Letter

The Student Aid Commission and other resource agencies require proof that a young person was in foster care.

In Alameda County, a letter that provides this information is provided to the young person. This letter is called a Ward of the Court (WOC) or proof of dependency letter.

Child Welfare Workers complete a WOC letter for all youth that are still in foster care but are preparing to exit. For youth that have already exited foster care or had their case dismissed (former foster youth), young people can use the WOC form to request another WOC letter by:

  1. (Preferred method) Emailing their request to, or
  2. Completing a request form at the front desk at the ILP office.  For housing contact Sarah Henderson at 510-268-2708 or  For education contact Dr. Amon Porter at 510-667-7688 or


Beyond Emancipation provides ILP services in Alameda County. For more information, visit or call the main ILP number: (510) 667-7696.

California Youth Connection (CYC) provides leadership training and opportunities, including legislative advocacy for current and former foster youth. For more information, visit or email: