Independent Living Program-Lighthouse

Scientific Rating:
NR
Not able to be Rated
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
High
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Independent Living Program-Lighthouse has been reviewed by the CEBC in the area of: Youth Transitioning Into Adulthood Programs, but lacks the necessary research evidence to be given a Scientific Rating.

Target Population: Youth of any race or gender between the ages of 16-19, who are aging out of the child welfare or juvenile justice systems and cannot return to live with their families; can include youth with developmental delays or teen parents with their child(ren)

For children/adolescents ages: 16 – 19

Brief Description

The Independent Living Program, developed by Lighthouse Youth Services, is designed to provide referrals and case management support to enable older youth to complete their education, gain employment, obtain housing, participate in life-skills training, get mental health counseling and other support services, and move toward becoming responsible and productive members of the community. These youth could be aging out of the child welfare or juvenile justice systems, at risk of homelessness, or unable to return to biological families.

Program Goals:

The goal of the Independent Living Program-Lighthouse is:

  • Provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to live self-sufficiently

Essential Components

The essential components of the Independent Living Program-Lighthouse include:

  • Housing:
    • Apartment acquired
    • Security deposit paid
    • Lease signed (by agency)
    • Monthly rent paid
    • Apartment furnished
    • Basic supplies purchased
  • Financial Support:
    • Weekly allowance
    • Utilities paid
    • Phone bill paid
  • Life-Skills Training:
    • Assessment of living skills
    • Chance to earn "nest egg"
    • Completed one-on-one visits
  • Emotional Support/Guidance:
    • On-call 24 hours a day
    • Ongoing informal counseling
    • Bi-weekly meetings with social worker
    • Crisis counseling
    • Weekly support groups
  • Case Management/Planning:
    • Frequent meetings with referring agency caseworkers
    • Referrals to community services-employment assistance
    • Planning for termination
  • Outreach:
    • Year-round self-sufficiency workshops
    • Foster parent training
    • Training and consultation
    • Training materials development

Child/Adolescent Services

Independent Living Program-Lighthouse directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Emancipating from the foster care system

Delivery Settings

Not Specified

Homework

Independent Living Program-Lighthouse includes a homework component:

The youth have 12 life skills packets to complete while in the program.

Languages

Independent Living Program-Lighthouse does not have materials available in a language other than English.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Apartments for youth
  • Money (for rent, moving costs, deposits, etc.)
  • Phones
  • Household furnishings
  • Staff office
  • Insurance

Minimum Provider Qualifications

Bachelor's degree; some are licensed social workers and a few have LISWs, which refers to a Master's of Social Work graduate who has passed an advanced licensing test

Education and Training Resources

There is not a manual that describes how to implement this program; but there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
  • Natalie Schwab
    Lighthouse Youth Services
    phone: (513) 487-7130
Training is obtained:

Via phone consultation

Number of days/hours:

Informal training/consultation is available to those who are interested.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Child Welfare Outcomes: Not Specified

Show relevant research...

Kroner, M. J., & Mares, A. S. (2009). Lighthouse Independent Living Program: Characteristics of youth served and their outcomes at discharge. Children and Youth Services Review, 31, 563-571.

Type of Study: One group pretest-posttest design
Number of Participants: 455

Population:

  • Age — 16-20 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 64.4% African American and 35.6% Other
  • Gender — 56% Female and 44% Male
  • Status — Participants were foster youth preparing for emancipation.

Location/Institution: Department of Children’s Services in Hamilton County, Ohio

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The study examined the characteristics on entry of youth in the Independent Living Program-Lighthouse during a six-year period, as well as their outcomes upon exiting the program. Youth were assessed at intake using the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAS) scale and classified into six risk factor groups: Mental health and substance abuse, teen parenting, delinquency, learning disability, social adjustment, and other risks. The average treatment duration was just under 10 months. At discharge, 60% had completed high school/GED program, 31% were employed, and 33% were independently housed. There were significant differences in outcomes across subgroups. Clients who presented with four or more clinical risk factors were less likely to have completed high school/GED program, less likely to be employed, and less likely to be independently housed than those who presented with fewer risk factors. Those staying in the program for less than 6 months were more likely to complete high school, but less likely to be employed and to be independently housed than those remaining in the program longer. Clients entering the program at ages 19–20 years showed significantly better outcomes than younger clients. Female clients were more likely to be living independently at discharge, while no other gender or racial/ethnic group differences in outcomes were found. Limitations included unknown validity and reliability of the measures used due to retrospective compilation, as well as potential confounding variables.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Kroner, M. J., & Mares, A. S. (2011). Living arrangements and level of care among clients discharged from a scattered-site housing-based independent living program. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 405-415.

Type of Study: One group posttest design
Number of Participants: 367

Population:

  • Age — Mean=17.88 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 62% African American, 31% White, and 7% Other
  • Gender — 55% Female and 45% Male
  • Status — Participants were youth emancipating from foster care.

Location/Institution: Cincinnati, Ohio

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Note: This study uses a subsample from the Kroner & Mares, 2009 study.  Administrative data and reviews of client records were used in this study to look at the choice of housing option and the change in level of care of 367 young adults who emancipated from the Lighthouse Independent Living Program during the five-year period 2001–2006. Given a range of housing options at the time of discharge, over half (55%) chose an independent living arrangement, including 41% who lived in their own place, either alone (28%) or with a roommate (13%). Only 21% decided to live in someone else's home, including just 7% with one or both birth parents, 10% with some other relative, and 4% with a non-relative. Over one in ten (11%) of youth were discharged from independent living to a more restrictive living arrangement (a.k.a., higher “level of care,” including a residential treatment program, group home, foster care, or supervised independent living program) (11%). The whereabouts of 13% of the youth were unknown after discharging from the program.  The outcomes of this study suggest that, when presented with a choice of housing options, most of this county's emancipating foster youth would prefer to live on their own, rather than to return to live with their families of origin. The study also suggests that many youth who participate in a scattered-site housing-based independent living program can succeed in leaving care with affordable housing in place and avoid immediate homelessness. Limitations of the study include no control group.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Kroner, M. J., & Mares, A. S. (2011). Lighthouse Independent Living Program: Predictors of client outcomes at discharge. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 1749-1758.

Type of Study: One group posttest design
Number of Participants: 385

Population:

  • Age — 16-20 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 70% Non-Caucasian and 30% Not specified
  • Gender — 58% Female and 42% Male
  • Status — Participants were youth emancipating from foster care.

Location/Institution: Cincinnati, Ohio

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The study examined clinical risk factors and their association with client outcomes at discharge among emancipating foster youth who entered the Lighthouse Independent Living Program during the period 2001–2005. Youth remained in the program for an average of 10 months. At the time of discharge, 58% had completed high school, 32% were employed, and 38% were living independently; 11% had achieved all three outcomes. Those with mental health problems were only half as likely as others to have attained all three outcomes. Parenting youth were only half as likely to have completed high school or to be employed as others. Those with delinquency issues were only one-fourth as likely as others to be independently housed at discharge. Finally, older youth and those remaining in the program longer showed more favorable outcomes. Limitations of the study include no control group.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

The following studies were not included in rating Independent Living Program-Lighthouse on the Scientific Rating Scale...

Mech, E. V., Ludy-Dobson, C., & Hulseman, F. S. (1994). Life-skills knowledge: A survey of foster adolescents in three placement settings. Children and Youth Services Review, 16(3/4), 181-200.

The study compares life-skills knowledge among youth placed in foster boarding homes, group homes, or institutions and transitional apartments (Independent Living Program - Lighthouse). Researchers administered the Life Skills Inventory to assess readiness for independent living, including dealing with rental arrangements, finances, shopping, meal preparation, job seeking and holding, nutrition, alcohol and drug use, contraception, health, consumer rights, and household management. Results showed that adolescents in scattered site apartment placements (Independent Living Program - Lighthouse) scored highest, followed by youth in foster family placements. Note: This study is not used in the rating of the program, as it is unclear whether the Independent Living Program - Lighthouse was used in its entirety. Lighthouse is not mentioned in the methods section of the paper and there is no description of the subjects receiving the components of the Independent Living Program - Lighthouse program such as assessment, case planning, case management, education, and/or skill building.

References

Kroner, M. J. (1999). Housing options for independent living programs. Washington, DC: CWLA Press.

Kroner, M. J. (1988). Living arrangement options for young people preparing for independent living. Child Welfare, 67(6), 547-561.

Kroner, M. J. (Ed.). (2001). Moving in: Ten successful independent/transitional living programs. Eugene, OR: Northwest Media.

Contact Information

Name: Natalie Schwab
Agency/Affiliation: Lighthouse Youth Services
Website: www.lys.org/services/life-skills-and-housing-options-for-young-adults-17-24
Email:
Phone: (513) 487-7130
Fax: (513) 475-5689

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: January 2015

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: September 2010

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: September 2006