Transition Age Youth

Services and Support for Transition Age Youth

The AFS Transition Age Youth (TAY) programs at AFS offer a broad range of services to a diverse population. Some clients have significant mental health issues due to the trauma they have experienced often including histories of neglect and abuse. Services are culturally appropriate, highly individualized, flexible and creatively responsive. AFS helps young people cope with immediate practical issues like employment, education, and financial literacy as well as deeper, emotional life issues like drug use, mental health issues, homelessness and sexual exploitation.

While youth can remain in foster care until they are 21 years old, many former foster youth face significant challenges later in life. AFS is committed to creating permanent, safe and stable connections for all clients. Supportive services include programs to help youth through the challenges of emancipation. These services provide the social, emotional and practical skills and resources necessary to become independent young adults. AFS has three TAY Programs:

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.

Life Skills

  • 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.

Educational Assistance

  • Identify and secure resources for the client including financial aid for college or vocational education.

Career Assistance

  • 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.

  1. Safety: allows for physical and emotional security.
  2. Supportive Relationships: provides guidance along with emotional and practical support.
  3. Meaningful Youth Involvement: increases sense of belonging and responsibility, while also providing opportunities for leadership and decision-making roles.
  4. Skill Building: teaches a wide variety of skills and allows youth to experience a sense of growth and progress.
  5. 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

Due to traumatic life events, often accompanied with many physical moves from place to place, many young adults exiting foster care are significantly isolated and lack personal support networks. The AFS Lifelong Connections Project teaches Transition Age Youth (TAY) the skills necessary to identify, cultivate, and sustain lifelong relationships that are essential in developing a healthy and stable life. Individuals and families willing to stay involved in the lives of TAY on an ongoing basis are their “Lifelong Connection.” These connections have become critical to TAY’s support system as they address social, emotional, health, employment, school, and housing issues. An average of 90% of eligible TAY participate in LCP.

LCP Goals & Objectives

  • Develop and manage at least one lifelong connection for participating TAY
  • Increase TAY stability and independence in their communities
  • Reduce incidents of formal crisis intervention by having lifelong connections provide mentorship and support during the TAY’s journey to independence
  • Teach positive adult relationship skills