The CHOICES Independent Living team is committed to teaching any and all Independent Living life skills to young adults in the program. Independent Living is a voluntary program for youth 17-21 that are aging out of the foster care system. This program is designed to teach young people the necessary life skills that will help them live a safe and productive life prior to emancipating themselves from the foster care system.
The population of youth in this program is one of the most vulnerable populations in America. Threats to their wellbeing and success include homelessness, human trafficking, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancy, incarceration, and brokenness.
CHOICES has three main areas of focus for our young adults in Independent Living: education, vocation, and mental health stability. It is our goal to help our young adults understand the importance of personal accountability, responsibility, and self-awareness.
Life Skills & Beyond
The CHOICES Independent Living team is committed to teaching any life skills to young adults in the program. Each youth receives weekly contact with their Independent Living Specialist in their apartment. During this time we are able to check on the safety of each youth and develop skills in areas they specifically need assistance.
We also host monthly group meetings to focus on a specific life skill in Dayton and Cincinnati. This is a chance for us to host experts from different areas and for the young adults to gather as a group to support one another.
CHOICES is committed to championing the success of our young adults until the completion of the program. Each young adult has unique needs and goals; this program is individualistic in helping them move forward to success.
The community is a huge support to this program in helping provide job leads for our young people, renting apartments for this program, sponsoring adopt a teen gifts, and providing funds for Camp Kern. It is important that our young adults feel included in CHOICES and their own communities.
The actual transition from CHOICES Independent Living to the real world is what we help youth prepare for in this program. Upon successful completion of the program, the youth can continue to reside in the apartment if the lease is in their name. The youth may also keep all the furniture and household goods provided at placement. They also have the opportunity to accumulate money in a savings account by abiding by the rules of the program and helping to pay their bills. If they successfully complete Independent Living they will receive any money that has been saved during their time in the program.
We have a saying in these parts, “Once a CHOICES Independent Living youth, always a CHOICES Independent Living youth.” And we mean it! Our staff remains in contact with many youths and can offer connection to community resources as needed.
CHOICES provides services available through Bridges, a post-emancipation support program in Ohio that extends housing and other supportive services to eligible former foster youth. These young adults are eligible to apply and participate at the age of 18, until they reach the age of 21.
Bridges is administered by the Ohio Department of Job and Family services, through a grant agreement with the Child and Family Health Collaborative of Ohio
Our organization is participating in the Collaborative’s Bridges Service Provider network within the State of Ohio to support young adults in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and independence.
If you are interested in Bridges Services you can apply on their website https://bridgestosuccess.jfs.ohio.gov