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INDEPENDENT LIVING

ChildNet's Independent Living Services help youth ages 13-17 who are in foster care and youth ages 18-23 who were formerly in foster care to successfully manage adult responsibilities.

The highly specialized services aim to ensure a smooth transition to self-sufficiency for our young adults. Independent Living offers our 13-17-year old teens life skills training, career preparation, educational support and financial assistance.

The Florida Legislature recently passed the Nancy C. Detert Common Sense and Compassion Independent Living Act (Detert Act), which gives youth 18 and over the choice to remain in foster care until age 21 (22 if they have a documented disability) so that their goals pertaining to education, employment, self-sufficiency or housing can be achieved.  The Detert Act, whose theme is My Future Choice, became effective January 1, 2014 and created three distinct programs: 

  • Extended Foster Care (EFC) give young people the option to remain with foster parents, live in a group home or within a supervised living arrangement, such as a college dormitory, transitional independent living housing or rented apartment, as well as provide a support network to assist these young people with transition to adulthood.
  • Post Secondary Education Support Services (PESS) is for youth formerly in foster care who have obtained their high school diploma or GED and are interested in continuing their education.
  • The AfterCare Program is for youth who have opted-out of EFC and are not participating in PESS but are in need of services. 

My Future Choice provides youth 18 and over a broad array of services including but not limited to financial assistance to participate in educational and vocational training, employment services and financial assistance to secure housing. As our teenagers grow into adulthood, we work to provide them with the skills and resources they need to excel.

Contact the Assistant Vice President of Adoption and Youth Services by phone at 954.414.6000 ext. 3816 or e-mail at tkennedy@childnet.us for more information on Independent Living Services.

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