Katherine Young, MSW, Director, Social Services
Donna Wheeler, LCSW, Deputy Director
Jeri Scardina, MSW, Deputy Director
Shelley Nilsen, MSW, Deputy Director

929 Koster Street
Eureka, CA 95501

Independent Living Skills Program (ILSP)

Independent Living Skills Program is a voluntary program designed to assist youth in transitioning from the foster care system. All California counties are mandated to provide some form of Independent Living Skills training. Youth who have been in foster care after their sixteenth birthdays are eligible for ILSP services until the day before their 21st birthdays. Youth are referred to the program by their social worker or probation officer.

Humboldt County ILSP is under the direction of the ILS Coordinator and offer three kinds of service:
  • Workshops: These ongoing 2 hour training sessions cover various basic living skills and are presented by community experts. Typical topics have included budgeting, communication skills, safe sex, job retention/interviews, college campus tours, financial aid/EOPS, landlord/tenant issues, and routine car care.
  • Special Events: These day-long events are designed to enhance self esteem and build specific skills. Examples include Independent City (a moving-out-on-your-own simulation game), Class Act (etiquette and grooming), rock climbing, introduction to SCUBA diving, and the ropes challenge course.
  • Individual Services: These include one-on-one assessment and a written Plan for Independence, assistance with financial aid forms and college applications, emancipation information and assistance, job search advising, and preparation for entry into the California Conservation Corps or Job Corps. The Coordinator also assists youth in obtaining their birth certificates, California ID cards and other documents.

To encourage participation, the program provides incentives. To encourage youth to finish high school, eligible youth who are active in the program (meaning have attended at least 6 events) receive a household start-up kit containing brand new dishes, sheets, pots, pans, a phone, and many other items as a gift upon graduation.

The ILS Coordinator prepares an annual narrative report which is available for review. For more information about Humboldt County's Independent Living Skills Program, call (707) 476-4941 or (707) 476-4933.

ILS is located at 550 I St. in Eureka

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