Independent Living Plus
A supportive bridge into adulthood for youth aging out of foster care
It’s one of the most pivotal transitions in life – from youth to adulthood. For those coming out of foster care without the support of a family or guardian, the moment is critical. In Independent Living Plus, youth live in homes on the DABSJ campus, a safe place with specialized support, as they pursue jobs and education.
Independent, But Not Alone
In Independent Living Plus, youth ages 16-19 have the freedom to pursue their goals through school, work, and more – but they don’t have to do it on their own. While living in a community setting with peers, they also have access to an on-site coach, therapy, medical/psychiatric support, and all the amenities of the DABSJ campus. Each youth guides their own plan with the support of the DABSJ team. It’s their voice, their choices, their dreams, built on their strengths. We honor their life experience, identities, and trauma narratives – because this is care provided with them, not for them.
Each resident has had abuse and neglect in their past, which brought them into foster care. The statistics are staggering for this vulnerable group. But the system doesn’t have to write their futures. At the end of their time in Independent Living Plus, youth will move on, empowered with the skills and tools they need to live independently.
Life at DABSJ
Our campus provides the best of both worlds with 36 acres of serene woods just minutes away from a major commercial area and schools. The houses are a comfortable place to call home, featuring communal and private spaces. Youth in Independent Living Plus are free to come and go to work, school, and social activities – while still having the benefit of a nurturing, therapeutic environment around them.
ILP supports youth ages 16-19 who are in the care of MDHHS or WMPC in Kent County. They must have demonstrated the ability to care for themselves with additional support, and a desire to engage in ILP programming which includes individual and group life skills coaching and activities.
If you are a teen interested in Independent Living Plus, you can ask your worker to refer you. All ILP referrals must come from an MDHHS or agency foster care case worker.
To refer a youth to the program, contact us or send referral documents to ILPreferrals@dabsj.org