Independent Living Program

 For the purposes of all ILP services eligibility, foster care is defined as placement in foster family homes, relative care, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, child care institutions, and pre-adoptive homes.

DHS Child Welfare offers five programs for helping youth achieve independence:

  1. Independent Living Skill Building Program (ILP) - Provides training and classes to prepare youth to live independently.
  2. ILP Discretionary Funds - Flexible funding for various needs to assist youth to achieve goals for transition.
  3. Chafee Education and Training Grant Program (ETG) - Provides funds for college or training programs.
  4. Independent Living Housing Subsidy Program - Subsidy to help with housing for up to *30 months (after 12 months, the amount of assistance gradually decreases for the next 18 months, for a total of 30 months support to transition to living independently).
  5. Chafee Housing Program - Provides money for housing, based on need.

How to Begin

See complete list of services and eligibility requirements

ILP Eligibility & Services Matrix​

  • If you are a youth still in foster care, contact your caseworker. Your caseworker will help you through the process.
  • If you are a youth no longer in foster care, visit your local DHS Child Welfare office and request “Voluntary Services.” You will then go through the intake process and be assigned a caseworker who will help you. If you are under the age of 18, your parent(s) or legal guardian must sign the Voluntary Services request. If you are over 18 you can sign for yourself. You are not eligible for services once you are age 21 except for the Educational Training Voucher (ETV).

Benefits of a Permanent Family brochure​

ILP Skill-Building Eligibility

ILP Skill-Building is available to you if you are still in foster care. It provides training and classes for daily living and educational assistance to prepare youth to live independently. These services are contracted out to local non-profits, for-profits or tribes.

Daily Living Skills - Money management, household maintenance, transportation, legal issues, health, community resources, housing options, personal hygiene, employment readiness.

Educational Assistance - Tutoring, homework/study groups, college tours, financial aid/scholarship applications.

Eligibility

You qualify if you:

  • Are currently in DHS or Tribal foster care
  • Are age 16 or older
  • Left child welfare substitute care placement at age 16 or older with at least 180 days (six months) of placement services after age 14
  • Are under age 21
  • Are in need of ILP services to become self-sufficient and independent
  • Have an open case with DHS Child Welfare.

How to get services

Referrals for services are made by your DHS caseworker.

ILP Youth Transition Funds Eligibility​

Funds are intended to assist youth obtain items or services needed to meet goals for transition

Eligibility

Youth qualify if they:

  • Are age 14 or older and in DHS care, or
    • ​A former foster child who left child welfare substitute care placement at age 16 or older, with at least 180 days (six months) of placement services after age 14.
  • Have an open ILP Life Skills training service 

How to get services

Your DHS caseworker or ILP provider can access the funds for you.

Chafee Education and Training Grant (ETG)

The Chafee Education and Training Grant assists qualified youths with college, university or training program expenses. A youth may receive up to $5,000 per academic year. The amount is based on need and funds available. Youth must be accepted and enrolled in a postsecondary education or training program in order to receive funds. Youth may access the program for up to 5 years, or until the month of their 26th birthday, whichever comes first, and must re-apply every year.  Youth must also complete and submit the Chafee ETG application https://www.oregonstudentaid.gov/chafeeetv.aspx​ and be making satisfactory progress/be in good standing with the school​.

Youth may not access both the ETV funds and Chafee Housing funds at the same time unless room and board is not included in a school's cost of attendance, then the youth may be able to simultaneously access both programs. 

Eligibility and services

For eligibility requirements and how to apply see the Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) Website.

Independent Living Housing Subsidy Program

The Independent Living Housing Subsidy Program provides up to $795 per month (based on monthly need) for 12 months, after which the amount will gradually decrease for the next 18 months, for a total of 30 months support to transition to living independently. If you meet all the eligibility requirements below you may be able to receive Independent Living Housing Subsidy services.

Eligibility

Non-DHS youth are not eligible for the Independent Living Housing Subsidy Program. Youth must be in the care and custody of DHS.

To qualify the youth must:

  • Be age 16 or older
  • Currently in the legal care and custody of DHS child welfare
  • Have at least one previous substitute care placement
  • Have a DHS approved plan consisting of 36 hours of activity per week (work, education, volunteer activities, or combination of the three)
  • Be a high school graduate or actively working to complete high school or a GED
  • Be currently enrolled in ILP skill building services
  • Not live with his/her biological or legal parent(s)

How to get services

The youth must go before a screening committee to determine readiness and appropriateness. Your DHS caseworker or ILP worker will be able to help you with this.

For information about types of housing see the: Housing Options Guide Document-Procedure Manual

Chafee Housing

Chafee Housing services provide up to $795 per month (based on monthly need) to live independently for a maximum of $7,000, or age 21, whichever comes first. Services vary from state to state so if you plan to leave Oregon, check with a state prior to moving to see if they offer Chafee Housing.

You may not access both the Educational and Training Voucher (ETV) and Chafee Housing funds at the same time unless room and board is not included in a school's cost of attendance, then you may be able to simultaneously access both programs.

Eligibility

You may be eligible to receive Chafee Housing if you meet the following:

  • Are at least age 18 but not yet 21
  • Left child welfare substitute care placement at age 18 or older with at least 180 days (6 months) of placement services after age 14
  • Was discharged from DHS or Tribal custody after turning age 18
  • Have a DHS-approved plan consisting of 36 hours of activity per week (work, education, volunteer activities or combination of the three - must include at least four hours of paid employment)
  • Are a high school graduate or actively working to complete high school or a GED
  • Are currently enrolled in ILP skill-building services
  • Do not live with your biological or legal parent(s)

How to get services

The youth must go before a screening committee to determine readiness and appropriateness. Your DHS caseworker or ILP worker will be able to help you with this.