Independent Living

Your Rights in Foster Care
6. Getting Out of Foster Care: Your Permanency Plan

Independent Living

If the plan is for you to go out on your own when you leave your foster home, your goal is independent living. You can have this goal only if you are 14 or older.

Agencies have to make sure that kids get "independent living skills." You must be in high school, a G.E.D. program, or vocational training. This means you are learning a job or a skill that will lead to a job.

You also must take group classes in independent living skills at least 2 days a year. (Most agencies give more classes than that.)

The classes should teach you things like how to:

  • look for a job
  • find an apartment
  • budget your money
  • shop, cook, and clean house.

If you have questions, ask your social worker to explain your independent living plan or to show you your agency’s policy manual about independent living.

Some agencies have group homes called independent living group homes. They are usually for older kids (16 and up) who are in school and/or work.

You should also get money every month if your goal is independent living and if you are participating in the agency's independent living program.

This money is called a stipend. You get it either once a month or spread out over the month. A stipend is different from allowance.