Transitional Age Youth
Transition Age Youth Programs
AFS's Transition Age Youth (TAY) programs cater to various groups, ensuring a comprehensive suite of services tailored to each individual. Many of these young adults have grappled with considerable mental health challenges stemming from past traumas, including histories of neglect and abuse.
- Cultural Sensitivity: All services are designed to be culturally relevant and appropriate.
- Individualized Approach: We recognize each client's unique challenges, providing bespoke and flexible solutions.
- Holistic Support: AFS addresses not only immediate practical concerns, like employment and financial literacy, but also profound emotional issues, encompassing drug use, mental health challenges, homelessness, and instances of sexual exploitation.
- Challenges Post-Foster Care: While youth can remain in foster care until they are 21 years old, many former foster youth grapple with substantial obstacles in their later years. AFS is unwavering in its commitment to forging permanent, safe, and stable connections for every client.
- Supportive Services: AFS aims to pave the way for a smooth transition from foster care to independent adulthood. Our services provide these young adults with the emotional, social, and practical tools essential for self-reliance and growth.
AFS proudly offers three distinct TAY programs, each meticulously designed to cater to our youth's diverse needs and aspirations.
ILSP teaches young adults between 16-21 years-old the necessary skills to make the difficult transition to adulthood. AFS has managed the Marin County Independent Living Skills Program (ILSP) serving TAY clients since 1988. Services end on client’s 21st birthday.
Individualized case management and real-world exposure are central to the ILSP experience. Skills assessment, collaborative input and regular meetings with the youth allows ILSP case workers to help clients achieve goals such as educational, employment and independent living success.
- Caseworkers help each youth acquire proper identification (Social Security card, driver's license, birth certificate).
- Financial education and planning are taught to clients by caseworkers or special workshops.
- Teaching clients about health education, nutrition and overall wellness, including access to health insurance.
- Identify and secure resources for the client including financial aid for college or vocational education.
- Career assessment helps clients create their best employment plan, prepare a resume, search for jobs learn interviewing skills.
Housing & Transportation Assistance
- Assist youth in obtaining affordable housing & reliable transportation.
- Clients learn to manage responsibilities such as paying rent, utilities, auto maintenance and keeping insurance up to date.
- Communicating effectively with peers, colleagues, supervisors and instructors.
The Transitional Housing Program Plus (THP+) is for young adults who exited foster care on or after their 18th birthday and are not yet 24 years of age (25 in counties that have opted to extend services per SB 1252). Engagement is the cornerstone of this housing and employment program as these young adults navigate the many obstacles during their transition from foster care to their own apartments. Supporting participants to create and develop healthy relationships with employers, landlords, therapists, relatives, and friends is central to this transition. In 2007, AFS opened Marin’s first THP+ for TAY.
The Community Network for Youth Development highlights five programmatic features integrated into Marin Transition Housing Program Plus (MTHP+) services to help young adults achieve successful long-term outcomes.
- Safety: allows for physical and emotional security.
- Supportive Relationships: provides guidance along with emotional and practical support.
- Meaningful Youth Involvement: increases sense of belonging and responsibility, while also providing opportunities for leadership and decision-making roles.
- Skill Building: teaches a wide variety of skills and allows youth to experience a sense of growth and progress.
- Community Involvement: allows youth to gain an understanding of the greater community and how to make an impact in their community.
Beginning in 2021, AFS will provide housing and comprehensive support services to eligible18-21 year-olds who are participating in extended foster care, which was established by Assembly Bill 12, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act.
AFS Lifelong Connections Project for Transition Age Youth (TAY)
Many young adults leaving foster care face profound isolation due to traumatic experiences and frequent relocations. They often lack the foundational support networks that are crucial during transitions.
The AFS Lifelong Connections Project empowers these Transition Age Youth (TAY) with the vital skills to recognize, nurture, and maintain enduring relationships crucial for a well-rounded and stable life. These enduring ties, referred to as their "Lifelong Connection," involve dedicated individuals or families who consistently present themselves in the TAY's life. Such connections are pivotal as TAY navigates challenges related to social integration, emotional well-being, health, employment, education, and housing. Remarkably, about 90% of eligible TAYs engage in the LCP.
LCP's Core Aims
- Foster Lifelong Ties: Ensure each participating TAY cultivates and maintains at least one enduring connection.
- Promote Stability: Enhance TAY's ability to navigate their communities independently and confidently.
- Mentorship Over Intervention: Prioritize mentorship and support from Lifelong Connections, reducing the need for formal crisis interventions.
- Skill Building: Equip TAY with the capabilities to establish and sustain positive adult relationships.