Independent Living Program

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Oregon Independent ​Living Program

The ODHS Independent Living Program (ILP) partners with various youth organizations and communities to provide opportunities that assist youth who are or were in foster care to become independent adults. Youth age 14 or older may be eligible for a variety of these events and activities. Supervision and transportation for all events will need to be determined prior to registration. For additional details regarding the individual events see the information below:

Annual Summer Teen Events

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Regional Events 
 
Spring Break Camp (specific to Willamette Valley counties)
Some of the Independent Living Programs have joined forces for a free, four-day overnight Spring Break Camp for youth involved with some of the Willamette Valley ILPs. This camp is intended to be four fun-filled days of activities designed specifically for independent living youth working on socialization skills and team building, along with "life learning" activities. Youth cook all of their meals and workshops are set up to work on important life skill topics. This trip is supervised and chaperoned by ILP workers and older (18+ college) ILP youth acting as Youth Camp Leaders throughout the week. Spots are limited so please keep in mind that we are requesting that the youth participating be youth who really want to be there are will be actively involved in all parts of the camp. For more information, please contact Shannon Simich at 503-623-3310.

Camp Makuala (specific to Tillamook, Clatsop and Columbia counties and outlying areas)
Camp Makuala is a four-day, three-night camp for youth involved with the Independent Living Programs in Tillamook and outlying areas. The camp is held every year in the summer and is located along the Trask River. Days and evenings are filled with fun activities and youth learn important life skills needed to become healthy, independent adults. Campfires, a beach day, some recreational activities such as swimming and basketball at the local YMCA and a tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory are just some of the activities on the agenda, and youth also learn to cook their own meals while there. Youth are supervised by the Independent Living Program Providers and adult volunteer staff. Contact Lydia Sterba for more details at 541-440-0852.


Partner Events 

The Oregon Foster Youth Connection (OFYC), a program of Our Children Oregon, hosts a biennial, four-day Policy Conference where current and former foster youth (14-25) unite to discuss their ideas for improving foster care. Youth choose topics during registration and then spend two and a half days working with other youth to come up with concrete, real-life recommendations. On the final day, youth present their ideas to Oregon Department of Human Services' staff, legislators, direct service providers and community members during an inspiring luncheon. The conference includes evening activities including a talent showcase and field games. For more information, contact Our Children Oregon at 503-236-9754.

OFYC Biennial Advocacy Convening (Years when Oregon's legislature is in session)
This conference is a follow-up to the Policy Conference and is a chance for youth to take their concrete recommendations straight to legislators. Youth spend two days solidifying their recommendations, learning about the legislative process and practicing talking points that support their recommendations. On the final day, youth go directly to the capitol to meet with legislators in small groups for a change to speak up and be heard. For details, contact Lisa McMahon of Our Children Oregon at 503-236-9754.

OFYC's COVID-19 Foster Youth Resources: COVID-19 has changed a lot of things for a lot of people. OFYC understands the additional impact on current and former foster youth and has developed a ​list of youth-focused resources.