YABPa Youth Advisory Board
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Staff Resources / ILP

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The Independent Living Program, or ILP, is a Title IV-E, federally-funded, state-administered program to prepare foster care youth, ages 14-21, for their transition from foster care to adulthood. IL services are intended to assist youth in developing skills they need to become productive and healthy adults.

Staff Home|About ILP|History of ILP|Chafee Education and Training Grant (ETG) Program

Staff Training

In Person



110: Foundations: Mod 2: Engagement Skills* 6 6
202: Adolescent Suicide: Assessment and Intervention** 6 6
202: Engaging Older Youth – Supervisor* 6 6
202: The Casey Life Skills Assessment* 3 3
202: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth in the Child Welfare System* 6 6
202: Planning with Youth in Transition: Tips, Tools and Techniques* 3 3
202: Critical Thinking: Strategies for Understanding Older Youth in Care* 3 3
202: Truancy: Prevention and Intervention* 6 6
307: Engaging Latino Families* 6 6
307: Valuing Diversity* 6 6

*We are currently not running in person trainings. If/when you want to register, you will need to contact your county Training Liaison for information on when and where the workshop is being offered.
**Adolescent Suicide is currently the only workshop being delivered virtually. Please contact your county training liaison for information on when this workshop is being offered.

The Anchor Program
Children and youth staff and youth advocates will have an opportunity to learn about the Anchor Program, hosted by BU. We will discuss what youth with experience in foster care stand to gain by learning more about themselves, their post-high school goals, and what BU has to offer these potential college students. Attendees will receive an overview of the program schedule, learn about the application process, and have time to ask questions. Feedback provided by staff/advocates will be shared with the Anchor Program planning committees to continue our efforts to create a worthwhile and fun experience for our participants.

A Successful Transition: Practices to Improve Permanency Outcomes for Older Youth
Youth Fostering Change (YFC), a project at the Juvenile Law Center, offers youth who are currently or formerly involved in the child welfare system, the opportunity to evaluate the system and implement a campaign for reform. Each year, Youth Fostering Change youth advocates select a reform issue, develop a strategy to address it, and implement their project by bringing it to local, state, or federal stakeholders.

This past year, Youth Fostering Change worked to create Tools for Success: A Toolkit for Child Welfare Professionals. Tools for Success includes challenges Youth Fostering Change faced trying to gain permanency in foster care and their recommendations to improve permanency outcomes for children and youth in the foster care system. The toolkit is designed with social workers, caseworkers, attorneys and other professionals who support youth in their cases and planning to achieve permanency.

Allegheny County: Service Array for Transition-Age Youth
Participants will:
  • Be introduced to the creation of IL services in Allegheny County.
  • Receive an overview of specific services currently available to older youth.
  • Learn how the county has progressed in achieving equity.
  • Understand how the county engages youth and gathers youth feedback.
Consolidated Appropriations Act Webinar

County TOC - IL Site Visit Overview
The webinar will provide an overview of the independent living site visit process for both new and seasoned staff. The session will review the purpose of site visits, program requirements, expectations and updates for the 2020-2021 site visit cycle including the new electronic pre-site visit questionnaire, the 90 Day Follow Up visit and technical assistance and support available through CWRC.

Discovering the SWAN Permanency Toolkit
The SWAN Permanency Toolkit is a comprehensive permanency resource at your fingertips!  It includes information on a variety of permanency related topics, downloadable material, links to more resources, and an especially user-friendly section on the Acts, Laws, and Bulletins relevant to child welfare. This training will demonstrate how to navigate the toolkit while exploring the valuable content it holds.

Fostering for the Future: Making College a Reality for Pennsylvania Foster Youth
Data tells us that the majority of foster youth aspire to go to college, yet they attend at less half the rate of their peers. In this webinar, participants will learn about the challenges foster youth face in accessing college, as well as obstacles to retention and completion. Exciting and innovative practices and programming in Pennsylvania and across the country will be presented.
Fostering Youth to Independence (FYI) Webinar
Now, more than ever, affordable and safe housing is a great need for youth aging out of foster care. The good news is that HUD just issued new policies that expand the FYI program to more counties in Pennsylvania and across the country. The FYI program couples a Housing Choice Voucher provided by the housing authority with supportive services provided or arranged by the child welfare agency for youth aging out of foster care for up to 36 months. Youth between the ages of 18 and 24 are eligible. 
Fostering Independence Waiver Program Webinar
Fostering Independence Waiver Program Webinar DHS/OCYF, in conjunction with PHEAA Representatives, will discuss the Fostering Independence Waiver Program, referred to as "FosterEd." This which was established with the passing of Act 16 and provides tuition and mandatory fee waivers to Pennsylvania resident youth who are, or have been, in foster care and are eligible for the Federal Chafee Education and Training Grant Program. This program is set to begin in the fall semester of 2020.
Increasing Affordable Housing for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care in PA
This is the second webinar in series of webinars that aim to help counties bring affordable housing options to youth aging out of the child welfare system. In this second webinar, we will focus on The Foster Youth to Independence Program. This is a new HUD program that allows Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), in collaboration with child welfare agencies, to access rental assistance through vouchers for youth who are or have aged out of foster care and are between ages 18 and 24. To get this program in your community, child welfare agencies need the collaboration of eligible housing authorities. In this webinar we will provide information and tips to help child welfare agencies establish partnerships with housing authorities so that the FYI program can benefit youth in your county. We will also hear from Courtney Lewis, Kemberly Stevenson, and Charles Keenan about their work to bring the FYI program to Allegheny County.
Independent Living Site Visit Overview
The webinar will provide an overview of the independent living site visit process for both new and seasoned staff. The session will review the purpose of site visits, program requirements, expectations and updated for the 2021-2022 site visit cycle including the electronic pre-site visit questionnaire, the 90 Day Follow Up Visit, and technical assistance and support available through CWRC.
Introduction to Pennsylvania Permanency Roundtable Project
Dr. Tammy Hendrix and Jon Douglas from the Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) discussed the importance of permanency for all youth placed in out-of-home care and how PRTs can be used to expedite legal permanency and increase permanent connections for youth. Participants learned about the benefits, purpose, values, and phases of PRTs in addition to the PRT implementation process.
National Youth in Transition Database 2020
In partnership with PA OCYF and CWRC, Public Consulting Group, Inc. will discuss the nuances of the PA NYTD program as it relates to Baseline & Follow Up Surveys and Independent Living / Served Population Data. Attendees will be presented with program statistics from the federal, state, and regional perspectives. In addition, there will be a “peer presentation” on strategies to remain connected with youth after foster care. Lastly, there will be a system demonstration to offer useful insights for managing data entry and reporting in the GetNYTDPA.org system.
Older Youth OCMI
The SWAN Older Child Matching Initiative is a state-funded grant that offers free child specific recruitment services to youth 10 years of age or older who have a primary goal of adoption and are legally free, unless the court that determines dependency will not terminate parental rights until an adoptive resource has been identified. This training will provide background information on OCMI and review the requirements for eligibility, services that are provided, and the role of the OCMI recruiter. The presenters will also provide step- by-step instructions on how to make a referral, as this can now be conveniently completed in the SWAN portal. Some statistics and success stories will also be highlighted. In a nutshell, participants will leave with a full understanding of OCMI and which youth on their caseload could benefit from this free service.
Older Youth Collaborative Webinar Series: Supporting the Mentoring Relationship
In part 1 of the Older Youth Collaborative Webinar Series on Mentoring youth in the system, experts went over the information necessary to start a mentoring program and how to recruit and screen mentors. In part 2, the same experts from Project Hope of Adams County and the Adolescent Initiative Program of Tabor Children's Services will explore how they prepare their mentors so that they are ready for this role of a lifetime! Other topics explored are matching, recruitment of male mentors, boundaries, and closing the mentor relationship.
Older Youth Collaborative Webinar Series: How to Develop and Sustain a Mentoring Program
Studies in resilience and trauma all say the same thing: Youth need special people in their lives who love them unconditionally and can walk alongside them through life. Developing a mentoring program is one way to support youth in this way. The theories and frameworks are well known, but what about actually putting dreams into practice? Tabor Mentoring Services in Bucks County and Project Hope in Adams County partner together to provide a general overview on how to develop and sustain a mentoring program. Each program will be sharing their practical knowledge, and on the ground experiences from pitching the idea to screening mentors.
Older Youth Collaborative Webinar Series: Cross-System Collaboration and Transition Planning Part 1
This session provides a model for improving collaboration between Permanency and Independent Living workers. Then, greater coordination of cross-system providers to further achieve permanency and successful transitions into adulthood is explored. The development and primary goal of the Lackawanna County Independent Living Collaborative will be discussed with methods to develop a greater cross-systems collaboration that leads to better outcomes for youth in transition.
Older Youth Collaborative Webinar Series: Cross-System Collaboration and Transition Planning Part 2
Collaboration is often overlooked when discussing permanency and transition for Older Youth. Independent Living workers often work across systems to provide transition services, yet sometimes run into barriers building teams. It is key that Independent Living workers, Permanency workers, and Cross-Systems Partners understand each other’s role and how to work together to achieve the outcomes of youth having positive, supportive adults in their lives and transition successfully into adulthood.
Permanency Roundtable Panel: What is it? Why Do I Want It? and How Do I Get It?
Relationships Matter
When young people who have faced serious challenges, such as being in the child welfare, juvenile justice or mental health system, tell the story of how they made positive changes in their lives, they often talk about a relationship with a worker as a critical part of that positive change. This webinar highlights findings from the Center for the Study of Social Policy's new report, Transformational Relationships for Youth Success, that explores powerful relationships and will include real life examples from interviews with youth, staff and organization leaders. You will learn about:
  • what workers actually do to form transformational relationships with youth

  • how those relationships help youth change
  • ways to apply these ideas to your work with young people
  • recommendations for what public agencies and organizations can do to support relationship building
SSI Overview for Older Youth
This session will provide practical tips about how youth can access Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Presenter will cover SSI eligibility, tips for successful applications and appeals, addressing reductions in benefits caused by working or living arrangements, and policies benefitting youth in foster care and youth in vocational rehabilitation programs. This session is intended to provide useful tools that youth, their families, and providers can apply immediately to increase access to SSI benefits as youth transition to adulthood.
Unpacking the No
You believe in and are committed to permanency for all children regardless of age; yet still you struggle to make this happen for older youth. This workshop will delve deeper into how to help older youth achieve permanency. What are older youth really saying when they say "No" to permanency? What is required in a relationship with older youth to develop the trust needed to have them believe permanency is possible? Who are the other players in the permanency plan for older youth and how do you ensure that all are committed to permanency? This workshop will provide information and insight into developing a successful relationship with youth and helping them look beyond their initial fears. Additionally, it will look at techniques and strategies for ensuring that the entire team is committed to achieving that permanency.
Youth Fostering Change: Uplifting Youth Voice in Dependency Court
Youth Fostering Change, a project at the Juvenile Law Center offers youth who are currently or formerly involved in the child welfare system the opportunity to evaluate the system and implement a campaign for reform. Each year, Youth Fostering Change youth advocates select a reform issue, develop a strategy to address it, and implement their project by bringing it to local, state, or federal stakeholders. Last year, Youth Fostering Change began to focus their campaign efforts on empowering youth in dependency court, specifically by removing barriers to their attendance and active participation. Pennsylvania law requires all youth in foster care to attend regular court hearings, but many of our youth advocates identified having very different experiences in court. Youth Fostering Change advocates have reflected on how not attending or participating in their own hearings caused major disruptions in their housing and education, and how confusing and intimidating court hearings were, in the rare event they were encouraged to go. As a result, major decisions were made about young people’s lives without either their presence or input.
Webinars are live events that have been recorded and uploaded along with handouts/material for later viewing. Credits are not offered for viewing previously recorded webinars.




Foundations: Self-Care 2 2
Foundations: Intro to Interviewing 1 1
Foundations: Education Advocacy 2 2
Foundations: Child Development 2 2
Foundations: Mod 2: Engagement Skills 2 2
Foundations: Mod 6: Permanency and Concurrent Planning    
CAST II Module 8: Substance Use – Addressing Substance Use as a Risk Factor for Child Maltreatment: A Micro Perspective 3 3
CAST II Module 7: Substance Use – As a Risk Factor for Child Maltreatment – A Macro Perspective 3 3
Independent Living Services: An Overview: Module 1: Purpose and Policy: Support Session 2 2
Independent Living Services: An Overview: Module 2: Adolescent Issues: Risk and Resiliency 2 2

Online courses in ELearn are self-paced allowing users to begin and stop as needed. Credits are offered for these courses. http://www.pacwrc.pitt.edu/ELEARN.htm

If you have questions regarding training related to older youth, please contact Meghan O’Hare meo43@pitt.edu