Independent Living Program

​​​​​​​​Overview

For the purposes of all Indpendent Living Program (ILP) services eligibility, foster care is defined as placement in foster family homes, relative care, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, childcare institutions​ and pre-adoptive homes.​

ODHS Child Welfare offers five programs for helping youth and young adults achieve independence:

  1. Independent Living Skill-Building Program - 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. 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 for transitioning to living interdependently in the community).​
  4. Chafee Housing Program - Provides money for housing, based on need.​
  5. Chafee Education and Training Grant (ETG) - Provides funds for college or training programs.


​How to Begin

  • 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 who was discharged from substitute care at the age of 14 and you have been in a child welfare substitute care of a state or Tribal Nation program for at least six months after the age of 13, you are eligible. You must access services prior to the age of 24. There are two options for accessing ILP services as an alumni of foster care:
    • If you are under the age of 18 you must contact the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline (ORCAH) at 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).​ Request to open a Family Support Services (FSS) ILP case. Your parent(s) or a legal guardian must agree to the Voluntary Services request. This option is also available to young adults through age 23, if you you want an ODHS caseworker and need services beyond those available through ILP.
    • If you are age 18 or older, you have the option to self-refer to a local Independent Living Program office for Aftercare Support services. With this option you will NOT have an ODHS child welfare caseworker. You will work solely and directly with the ILP Provider.

To be eligible for ILP Chafee Housing, you must be discharged from state or Tribal Nation substitute care and custody on or after your 18th birthday. There are additional requirements involved should you choose to participate in the Housing program.

ILP Skill-Building Eligibility

ILP Skill-Building is available to you if you are still in foster care or as a former foster youth who meets the eligibility criteria and requests services. 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 ODHS or Tribal foster care
  • Are age *16 or older (*currently age 14 for the following districts who are piloting this program: 1,2,3,4,9 and 11. Services statewide beginning 7/1/2022)
  • Left child welfare substitute care placement at age 14 or older with at least 180 days (six months) of placement services after age 13
  • Are under age 24
  • Are in need of ILP services to become self-sufficient and independent


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 ODHS care, or a former foster child who left child welfare substitute care placement at age 14 or older, with at least 180 days (six months) of placement services after age 13.

How to get services

ILP Discretionary Funds are available to young people currently in foster care. Work with your ODHS or Tribal Nations caseworker to access the funds.

Foster Care Alumni who are not currently connected to Child Welfare or ILP services, may access funds by completing a funding application at: www.FosterClub.com/ORHelp.  A FosterClub Young Adult Navigator (peer navigator) will reach out to assist you with ensuring you have submitted all necessary information and will determine how much funding you may access to help meet your needs.

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 for transitioning to living interdependently in the community​. If you meet all the eligibility requirements below you may be able to receive Independent Living Housing Subsidy services.

Eligibility

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

To qualify, the youth must: 

  • Be age *18 or older (exceptions may be granted in some cases for 16-17 year-olds with a detailed explanation and review by the Youth Transitions Program Manager)
  • Currently be in the legal care and custody of ODHS child welfare
  • Have at least one previous substitute care placement
  • Have an ODHS 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 towards educational goals
  • Be currently enrolled in skill building services, including financial literacy

How to get services

The youth must go before a screening committee to determine readiness and appropriateness. Your ODHS 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 $1,000 per month (based on monthly need) to live independently for a maximum of $12,000, or age 23, 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 Chafee Housing funds and Chafee Education and Training Grant funds (see below) at the same time unless room and board is not included in a school's cost of attendance. If room and board is not included, 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 24
  • Left child welfare substitute care placement at age 18 or older with at least 180 days (6 months) of placement services after age 13
  • Was discharged from ODHS or Tribal Nation custody after turning age 18
  • Have a ODHS-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 towards educational goals
  • Are currently enrolled in skill-building services, including financial literacy

How to get services

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


Chafee Education and Training Grant (ETG)

The Chafee ETG​ assists qualified youths with college, university or training program expenses. A youth may receive up to a maximum of $5,000 per academic year. The amount is based on need and funds available. Youth must be accepted and enrolled in a post-secondary education or training program in order to receive funds. Youth may access the program for up to five years, or prior to the term in which the youth turned 26, and they must reapply every year. Youth must also complete and submit the Chafee ETG application and be making satisfactory progress/be in good standing with the school .

Youth may not access both the Chafee Housing funds and Chafee Education and Training Grant funds at the same time unless room and board is not included in a school's cost of attendance. If room and board is not included, 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.