Foster Youth

County and State Services

Independent Living Program (ILP & ILSP)

ILP means "Independent Living Program." It is a federally funded program that can offer supplemental services and/or funds for foster youth 16-21 of age currently or formerly in the foster care system and differs among each county. ILP eligible youth are able to attend ILP classes at a community college or an Enhancement Program near his/her home. Transportation and food may be provided. Services may include:

  • Career Exploration
  • Vocational Training
  • Job Placement and Retention
  • Daily Living Skills

Educational Funds may assist Transition-Age Youth with:

  • Fees for college preparation tests
  • School related fees
  • School books and supplies
  • Auto insurance
  • Transportation and parking
  • Housing
  • Clothing for work uniforms and job interviews

Contact: Your County ILP Coordinator (.pdf)

Medi-Cal Health Insurance

Foster youth who emancipated from foster care on their 18th birthday can have Medi-Cal health insurance until they turn 21, regardless of how much money they have or whether they are working or not. Contact the case worker to find out what is needed to continue health coverage after age 18.

Contact Hotline: (916) 636-1980 or visit the Medi-Cal Web site.

Transitional Housing Placement Plus Program (THP-Plus)

The Transitional Housing Placement Plus (THP-Plus) program provides affordable housing and comprehensive supportive services for up to 24 months to help former foster care and probation youth ages 17 to 24 make a successful transition from out-of-home placements to independent living. The program is administered by the California Department of Social Services, which distributes THP-Plus funds to counties. The county department of social services then provides the services directly or contracts for services with nonprofit THP-Plus providers. Twenty-two counties have this program which allows some foster youth 17 or older to learn self-sufficiency skills while living in an apartment in the community and being supervised by the youth's case worker and a care provider.

Contact: THP-Plus

Foster Youth Services (FYS)

Foster Youth Services (FYS) was established to support the education needs of foster youth in K-12. FYS provide support services to help youth transition through their educational journey while in care.

FYS programs are located in 57 of 58 counties and provide local higher education agencies a natural bridge to partners who address the K-12 challenges facing foster youth.

Contact: California Department of Education

Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI)

Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI) was developed by the CA Community College Chancellors Office (CCCCO) to provide a system-wide framework to support former foster youth by designating a FYSI Liaison at all 110 California Community Colleges. The FYSI produced a manual and resource guide to educate the Liaisons on how to work with students from foster care. The CCCCO hopes to build networks of community college programs and identify community partners.

The goal of the initiative:

  1. To engage community partners and community colleges to work in partnership
  2. To help colleges understand the needs of foster youth
  3. To build a network of existing community college programs

Contact: Ellie Zellmer - (916) 327-5892, CCCCO

College Support Implementation Framework

Casey Family Programs' College Support Implementation Framework provides descriptions of developmental models from how colleges can effectively support their students coming from foster care. Essential Elements of Support (developed by HEY) are key indicators as a starting point to address the barriers to implementation.

The Framework provides a rationale for each of the Essential Elements and indicators of successful implementation along with a developmental continuum (beginning, developing, and maturing programs). The Framework is intended as a set of recommended targets rather than a "How to" guide. For free copies of this publication and other related materials, log onto the Casey Family Programs homepage.

Contact: Casey Family Programs