Brevard Family Partnership and our partners provide independent living (IL) services to youth and young adults in the foster care system. These services prepare the youth for adulthood and life after foster care. It is a requirement that youth aging-out of the system (those turning 18 years old without returning to the care of their parents or being adopted) have the basic life skills to function successfully on their own. Training includes but is not limited to: financial literacy training, household management, educational and career planning.
Once a youth ages-out of the foster care system, there are several services that he or she can access if certain requirements are met. These services include: transportation, housing and housing assistance, as well as emotional support.
Independent Living and Road to Independence
Many children in Brevard age out of foster care without reunification or finding a permanent home. Rather than leave these children cut-off and alone, Brevard Family Partnership taps state, federal and foundation resources to provide them with critical tools for a successful transition to adulthood.
Children from 13 until 18 years-old are eligible to receive life skills assessment and training. Youth participate in opportunities for experiential learning, in preparation for their transitions from care to independence. An average of 90 children are part of BFP’s Independent Living population. Crosswinds Youth Services provides assistance and manages IL services for these young adults.
Extended Foster Care
Following recent legislation to improve the opportunities for success for youth in foster care, beginning January 1, 2014 youth turning 18 years of age may continue to remain in extended foster care until the age of 21.
Road To Independence
Eligible youth from 18 until 23 years-old can receive financial assistance to support educational attainment including High School or College degree programs, and Vocational Training. Nearly 40 young adults receive Road to Independence assistance, in Brevard County.
Transitional and emergency supports are also available to eligible youth to assist in establishing independence and to prevent homelessness.