Services for Transition-Aged Youth

The resources below outline the services that are available only to transition-aged youth (TAY). However, TAYs also have access to most of the youth resources offered by DCFS and its partners. Take a look throughout the Youth pages on this website to see the wide variety of resources you may be eligible for, including CalFresh, Immigration assistance, and more.

Foster Youth Resources

 

Independent Living Program

As a TAY, you may be eligible for support and services through the DCFS Independent Living Program (ILP). ILP offers transitional housing options, educational support and financial aid options, college readiness programs, and access to free technology and transportation. See the sections below for more details on these programs.

An ILP Transition Coordinator will need to verify your eligibility, however you may be eligible if one of the following applies to you:

  • You were/are in a foster care placement at any time from age 16 – 18
  • You were/are under a legal guardianship with a relative and received/are receiving KinGAP services between the ages of 16 to 18 years of age
  • You were/are in a non-related legal guardianship that was granted by the dependency court on or after your 8th birthday.

To find out if you are eligible for ILP services, call the DCFS Youth Development Services Division at (877) 694-5741 or email us at youthds@dcfs.lacounty.gov and include your name, date of birth, and contact information.

Independent Living Program

Emergency Support

If you are a transition-aged foster youth experiencing an emergency and find yourself in need of immediate support, there are services across Los Angeles County that can provide you with assistance to obtain, food, transportation and other critical needs, as necessary. You are also entitled to receive emergency housing placements as needed. These programs exist to help you avoid the stress, unhealthy physical habits, possible exploitation or other negative ramifications that can come from managing your life without a safety net.

 

Emergency Shelter & Homeless Services

If you are experiencing homelessness, you may call the Child Protection Hotline at any time at (800) 540-4000 to report your need for services and help. You may also make a report of abuse or neglect.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 24 and are homeless or at risk of being homeless, the Youth Development Services Division (YDSD) has a transitional housing program that can help.

LAHSA Transitional Housing Program

 

The Village Family Services

The Village offers multiple behavioral health programs and services that work together to set youth on a successful path as they transition out of foster care. Their programs take an individualized approach to helping set youth up for success by offering the tools and support network they need.

Their Transition Age Youth Drop In Center offers training and support services for youth transitioning to an adult living situation. Activities include job search support, tutoring, life-skills training, housing referrals, transportation assistance and many other programs.

Village Family Services     Transition Aged Youth Drop-In Center

 

Youth Moving On Peer Resource Center

The Youth Moving On Peer Resource Center offers a one stop shop for youth transitioning into adult living — ensuring basic needs are met, and providing necessary peer-led support for a successful transition. The Peer Resource Center can be a one stop shop for any necessary services and support, and offers access to other resource programs as well as therapy, tutoring, clothing, hygiene products and school supplies.

Youth Moving On

 

Los Angeles LGBT Center

No organization offers a wider range of services for LGBT and questioning youth than the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Whether you are one of the thousands of LGBT young people experiencing homelessness in LA, you are looking for an adult mentor, you are not feeling safe at school, or you just want a fun and welcoming space to connect with others your age, they can help. Learn more about the Los Angeles LGBT Center and other resources available to LGBT youth.

LGBT Youth Resources

Extended Foster Care

If you are 18 years of age and currently in a foster care placement, you may be eligible for Extended Foster Care under AB12. That means you can take advantage of all the services and benefits DCFS and the Probation Department have to offer including support, funding and housing placement.

You may also be eligible for re-entry up to your 21st birthday if you leave foster care after age 18.

To be eligible for extended foster care, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Completing high school or equivalent
  • Attending college with at least half-time enrollment
  • Working at least 80 hours a month (paid employment)
  • Participating in a program to obtain employment
  • Unable to participate in one of the above due to a verified medical issue

You also have to:

  • Be in an approved placement
  • Meet with your CSW/DPO at least once a month
  • Sign a mutual agreement and participate in your case plan
  • Agree to continued court supervision

If you are under a KinGAP or Non-Related Legal Guardianship, you still might be eligible for extended benefits. Your CSW or Deputy Probation Officer (DPO) can give you all the details. If your case is closed, you can ask your ILP Transition Coordinator.

Extended Foster Care

Housing

In addition to living with a resource family, there are other placement options for youth depending on your age. The housing is in a variety of settings including residing with a roommate in an apartment, house or condo with or without an adult on site. Or living independently in a college dorm.  The Youth Development Services Division has a series of housing programs that can help in the shift from foster care to living on your own.

Whether you are eligible for a specific housing program may depend on your age, and whether you are currently or formerly in foster care.

Housing for 16 and 17 Year Olds with Open Foster Care Cases

If you are a foster youth between the ages of 16 and 17 and on track to graduate from high school or have already completed high school, you can learn what it’s like to live in your own apartment or house before becoming an adult. The ILP Transitional Housing Placement Program (THPP) provides you an opportunity to live on your own while getting support from your social worker and THPP staff.

You will learn life skills to help you live on your own when it’s time to leave foster care, and you will receive a monthly allowance to pay for food, clothing, cleaning supplies, recreational activities, personal care and other miscellaneous items.

THPP fact sheet     Email THPP Staff

 

Housing for 18-21 Year Olds with Open Foster Care Cases

Transitional Housing Placement Program – Non-Minor Dependents (THPP-NMD)

If you’ve decided to stay in foster care after your 18th birthday under AB12, but are not sure where you want to live, you can live in an apartment or house in the community while getting support from your social worker and THP-NMD staff. You will learn the skills to live on your own when it is time to exit care.

THP-NMD offers high-level independent living classes to provide you with the training and skills necessary for exiting care and living independently, or for remaining in care and transitioning to a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP). It also helps you exit care with the skills and financial means to move toward independence.

For additional information, including if you are from a county other than Los Angeles and want to be placed in THP-NMD, or if you are from Los Angeles and want to be placed in THP-NMD in a different county, please contact THP-NMD staff. If you are a probation youth, please email probation staff.

Transitional Housing Placement for Non Minor Dependents

Supervised Independent Living Program (SILP)

A Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) is a flexible, non-licensed foster care placement available to non-minor dependents (NMDs) participating in the Extended Foster Care Program. It is intended to provide NMDs the opportunity for highly independent living experiences while they receive foster care payments and Supportive Transition services. SILP placements are for NMDs who are developmentally ready to live independently and in a less restrictive environment.

Talk to your CSW or your ILP Transition Coordinator to find out more about the Supervised Independent Living program and whether it is right for you.

 

Housing for 18-24 Year Olds at Risk of Homelessness

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Transitional Housing Program provides youth with an opportunity to live in an apartment in the community of their choice while getting support from a team of individuals who will help with independent living skills.

In this program, transitional youth learn the skills to become self-sufficient by the completion of the program. Youth will be provided employment and education support, budget planning, meal planning and basic living skills. Your DCFS and/or probation case must be closed prior to entering this housing program.

LAHSA Transitional Housing Program

Healthcare

As a former foster youth, you may be eligible for free health care up to your 26th birthday. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires states to provide youth under 26 with free health care if they were in foster care at age 18. This ensures that former foster youth can access the health care services they need, including:

  • Doctors office visits
  • Vision exams
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Mental health services and counseling
  • Dental care

Former foster youth qualify for free Medi-Cal coverage if they were in foster care in any state at age 18, currently live in California, and are under the age of 26. If you do not meet the above criteria, you may still qualify for Medi-Cal through the regular application process.

Transition Aged Youth Healthcare

Additional Health Resources

As a foster youth, you have access to health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment resources and services in addition to those listed above. Learn more about Foster Youth Health.

Foster Youth Health Resources

Transportation

Driver’s License

Getting your driver’s license is an exciting experience! Depending on your age, there are several steps you need to take to get licensed to drive in California. Applying for a permit or license costs $35, so be prepared to pay the fee when you apply.

How to Get Your Driver’s License

Public Transit

Current and former ILP eligible foster youth age 18-21 may apply for a free annual Transit Access Pass (TAP)/Metro Card through the county’s Youth on the Move Program. ILP eligible current and former foster youth residing outside of Los Angeles County may contact their ILP Transition Coordinator for assistance with transportation.

Youth on the Move

Education

College Prep

College can be the ticket to a fulfilling life and a great career. It dramatically increases career options, and college graduates earn substantially more money throughout their lifetimes. There are free programs available to foster youth throughout Los Angeles County, from SAT prep and college readiness courses, to financial aid and scholarships to help make college an affordable option for you.

Preparing for College

 

Vocational Training & Apprenticeships

Current and former foster youth can receive many services at California One-Stop Career Centers in their community, including but not limited to paid and unpaid work experience, occupational skills training, summer employment, and help with GED and other high school alternatives.

Vocational Training & Apprenticeships

Technology

If you need a laptop or cell phone, there are several resources that can help!

iFoster

iFoster may provide laptops and cell phones to eligible foster youth ages 16-24. Learn more information about the iFoster Program, and speak to your social worker about getting enrolled.

iFoster Program

DCFS Independent Living Program

ILP eligible youth attending a post-secondary education program may request assistance with purchasing a laptop.  Contact your ILP Transition Coordinator for details.

Independent Living Program

Employment Opportunities

If you are a current foster youth in Los Angeles looking for employment, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is committed to ensuring your self-sufficiency by connecting you to volunteer opportunities, internships, job-training programs, vocational schools, entry-level employment and military service.

Jobs & Internships

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Child Protection Hotline

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Toll Free within California

(800) 540-4000

Outside of California

(213) 639-4500

TDD - Hearing Imparied

(800) 272-6699