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The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services provides Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Program (CFCILP) services through its Office of Independent Living. The Office of Independent Living also oversees administration of Extension of Foster Care, which is Tennessee’s way of implementing the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 and Tennessee’s Transitioning Youth Empowerment Act of 2010. This division is charged with building a network of appropriate supports and services for youth transitioning out of care and for those likely to remain in care.
The primary focus of Tennessee’s service network is helping ensure ongoing connections with caring adults and the development of productive individuals within communities. A wide range of services are available statewide for youth and young adults to assist them with achieving success in the following areas: Education, Housing, Employment, Transportation, Life Skills, Finances, Social Skills, Communication Skills and Health. Specific supports and services are available to youth in foster care ages 14 and up and to those young adults accepting voluntary Extension of Foster Care Services ages 18-21.
For more information on services available to youth and young adults through the Office of Independent Living, click here.
DCS uses Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Program funds to staff Independent Living Program Specialists (ILPS) within each region across the state. The DCS ILPS work directly and collaboratively with Family Service Workers, resource parents, contracted providers, youth in foster care, and young adults who have exited foster care. They are responsible for local program coordination, service delivery, community resource development, and on-going consultation to agency staff, foster parent, youth and young adults. Although the primary function of the ILPS is to provide support and technical assistance to staff and resource adults, they also provide direct services and support to youth and young adults through life skills training classes, administration of the Independent Living Allowance, and support of statewide youth leadership boards (Youth 4 Youth).