Preparing Foster Youth for Independent Living: Collaboration Between County Independent Living Programs and Community-Based Youth-Serving Agenciesedit
Independent living programs (ILPs) serve as the primary vehicle to prepare foster youth for adulthood, although many agencies serve these youth. Few studies have examined how well these programs collaborate to meet youth needs. This exploratory qualitative study of an ILP in an urban county presents data from a survey of county employees (n = 10), and interviews with ILP employees (n = 11) and staff of community-based partner agencies (n = 11). Analysis of themes suggests that although ILP meets the needs of some youth effectively, challenges exist in the collaboration between ILP and other agencies. Three challenges emerged related to the vision of ILP, sharing of information and resources, and the general stress of the work. These findings are used to inform ILP policy and practice.