Camelot's Independent Living program is responsible for the coordination and implementation of Independent Living Services to teens and young adults as they transition from the foster care system to living independently. The goal of the Independent Living Program is to prepare the young people in our program for adulthood and self-sufficiency. We accomplish this by assisting them with their educational, housing, and employment needs.
Young people transitioning from the foster care system often face challenges with living independently while juggling the demands of school, work, and meeting their financial needs. These young people strive to succeed and with the assistance of Camelot’s Independent Living Program, they develop individual plans to help each person meet their personal goals for success!
Due to the circumstances that lead children to be placed in the foster care system, they often fall behind in school while adjusting to being separated from their family and healing from the trauma this causes. As older teens prepare to transition from the foster care system, Camelot’s Independent Living Program provides support and guidance to help them complete their education. These services assist transitioning youth to:
- Graduate High School
- Attend Post-Secondary/College/Technical School
- Earn Certifications
Housing is one of the most immediate needs for youth transitioning from the foster care system. The Independent Living Program at Camelot collaborates with housing partners and host homes who provide safe and secure housing options for the young people who participate in our program.
The state of Florida has extended foster care eligibility to the age of 21. Camelot Community Care partners with the Child Welfare system to administer this program. Current and former foster youth have a variety of services available to nurture their success. In the past, youth did not have the option to remain in foster care after their 18th birthday. Now, through Extended Foster Care, they have the flexibility they need to transition into adulthood at a pace that suits their individual circumstances.
A valuable part to of Camelot’s Independent Living Program are the life skills and training opportunities offered to the young people participating in the program.
- Life skills sessions include:
- Employment programs or vocational training
- Budget and financial management
- Housing education and home management
- Health education and risk prevention
- Family support and healthy marriage
- Room & board and financial assistance
Employment outcomes show that youth transitioning from the foster care system may struggle with finances and maintaining employment. Camelot Community Care’s Independent Living Program works with each participant to identify employment interests that will lead to better financial stability. Camelot also works collaboratively with community partners to provide workforce development, career planning, and skill-building.
Historically, employment outcomes for youth transitioning from the foster care system are low. Participants in Camelot’s Independent Living Program are more successful in finding and maintaining employment from the support received through our program.
- Each year more than 1,200 young people benefit from the Independent Living Program
- More than 75% of participants ages 19-22 have a high school diploma or GED
- Camelot has been awarded a grant to provide rental assistance to qualified participants of the program
- More than 99% of program participants have stable housing each month
- Youth participants are provided advocacy opportunities to have their voices heard to improve services for future foster youth.