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Independent Living Program
The Independent Living Program (ILP) provides workshops, special events and support services to foster youth between the ages of 16-21, to help prepare them for emancipation. ILP focuses on four key areas: Education, Career, Relationships, and Daily Living. Annually, over 600 young people attend ILP workshops and educational events. These young adults go on to live on their own more confidently and better prepared for the challenges that adulthood brings. Giving these youngsters a helping hand today breaks the cycle of abuse tomorrow by providing hope for a better future.

ILP participants can:
  • Receive life skills instruction on the four key areas with the help of volunteer experts from the community and former foster youth called Peer Mentors
  • Attend a variety of workshops held several times each month at locations throughout Orange County
  • Attend our annual "Independent City" special event: As a mock city, the event serves as a dress rehearsal for foster teens, presenting them with decisions and situations they will face once they emancipate (or "age-out") of the foster care system at age 18. Local businesses provide volunteers to lend a hand with activities, such as opening a checking account, finding an apartment, arranging for daycare for make-believe children (in the form of hard boiled eggs!), and shopping for groceries within a budget. It is great fun for the young people and a touching experience for the volunteers.
  • Attend other special events such as college tours, Fitness Day, and end-of-the-school-year celebrations for students and graduates.
  • Earn “OCF Dollars” for attendance, participation and completion of ILP homework assignments. OCF dollars can be used to purchase items such clothing, food, furniture and other household items

»»If you are a current or former foster youth interested in learning more about ILP, or to register for a workshop please visit our new Orangewood youth site at www.ocf4you.org for more information.

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