Independent Living Program-Orangewood (ILP)

About This Program

Target Population: Foster youth ages 16 to 21, can be teen parents

For children/adolescents ages: 16 – 21

Program Overview

ILP, developed by the Orangewood Foundation, provides workshops, special events, support services, and case management to foster youth between the ages of 16-21 to help prepare them for the transition to independence. Each month ILP focuses on one of four key areas:

  • Education
  • Career
  • Relationships
  • Daily Living

Program Goals

The program representative did not provide information about the program’s goals.

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Independent Living Program-Orangewood (ILP).

Essential Components

The essential components of the Independent Living Program-Orangewood (ILP) include:

  • The Orangewood Foundation runs ILP, under contract with the Orange County Social Services Agency. In addition to ILP, many programs designed to serve the transition aged foster youth population (i.e., housing, scholarships, mentors, drop-in center, Independent Living Specialists, youth leadership opportunities, etc.) are available.
  • ILP workshop topics and take home activities are related to four main subjects: Education, Relationships, Daily Living, and Career. Examples of workshops include job search, financial aid, transitional housing, college tours, and healthy relationships (for foster youth with children of their own).
  • Youth can earn ILP Dollars by participating at ILP workshops, certain Special events and completing take home activities. The money they earn is tracked in the program's database and held for them in their Orangewood bank account to make purchases. They are allowed to purchase a maximum of one $50 dollar gift card each month. Gift cards are mostly available for grocery stores, clothing stores, and multipurpose stores. They can also use their money to pay rent, bills, etc. This system does not give them immediate financial gratification (i.e., it can take up to two weeks to get the funding after submitting a request) and allows them to save money. Staff can also discuss money management with youth when they request purchases.
  • Workshops are provided during nights and weekends to accommodate for youth school/work schedules. Specialized ILP workshops are also offered monthly for young adult foster youth between the ages of 18-21.
  • Peer Mentors help teach the youth independent living skills. Peer Mentors assist throughout each workshop by utilizing small discussion groups to go over curriculum developed by the supervising ILP Coordinator. Peer Mentors are former foster youth who have aged out of the foster care system. The Peer Mentors are also positive role models for the youth and are able to establish a strong rapport and credibility with them.
  • Feedback forms are utilized at each workshop to gauge impact and interest.
  • All of the program's workshops, events, youth attendance, client ILP Dollars, feedback forms, peer mentor attendance, etc. are inputted in the program's client database.
  • Food is provided at each workshop and event; ILP holds special events throughout the year, such as Independent City, College and Career Fair, ILP Graduation, Belle of the Ball, ILP Holiday Party and Boys2Men:
    • Independent City: A mock city where foster youth simulate living independently. They can "get" a job, develop a budget, "rent" an apartment, sign up for utilities, learn about the importance of credit, and learn about educational opportunities may affect their income.
    • ILP Graduation: All high school graduates (diploma or GED) are recognized with a ceremony. All ILP eligible youth are welcomed to celebrate with dinner and dancing.
    • College and Career Fair: A collaboration of local agencies and colleges, led by Orange County Foster Youth Services, hosts an annual event at a local college campus to expose foster youth to educational opportunities and various careers. Youth are invited to visit booths and learn from representatives about various colleges and professions. The foster youth also attend a tour of the hosting college.
    • Boyz2Men –ILP eligible young men only and they must RSVP prior to event! Young men have an opportunity to attain professional guidance towards obtaining a job. This event is filled with working male professionals who individually mentor the youth for the day; by providing job seeking advice during the career development workshop and also advice on dress attire. The young men will be suited head to toe and ready for the job hunt.
    • Belle of the Ball –ILP eligible ladies only. This event helps young women get ready for prom with a personal shopper who will help them find the right dress for the evening. A hand bag, jewelry, pair of shoes, and other goodies are also provided for free! The young women can get a one-on-one makeover with a professional make-up artist and learn why beauty starts within.
    • Holiday Party – The ILP eligible youth adults share a dinner and celebrate the holidays with the program staff. The evening includes games, dinner, raffles prizes, and dancing.

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Independent Living Program-Orangewood (ILP) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Youth aging out of foster care
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: This program involves the caregivers or other support systems in the individual's goals: Caregivers are encouraged to attend workshops and events so that they may have a better understanding of what the youth is learning and have an opportunity to reinforce those lessons in the home. Furthermore, for those youth participating in case management, ILP Coordinators are encouraged to engage caregivers for case plan development so the youth’s needs and strengths are properly addressed and incorporated.

Recommended Intensity:

Multiple 3-hour workshops are held on periodic Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings.

Recommended Duration:

There is no recommended duration/number of workshops for the whole program. Foster youth may come to any workshop they wish to attend as long as they are between the ages of 16 to 21.

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider


Independent Living Program-Orangewood (ILP) includes a homework component:

Homework assignments are passed out at workshops and can be distributed independently of workshops. They are accessible online within the Independent Living Program page of the Orangewood Foundation website. They are non-mandatory assignments, and youth receive monetary incentives for completing homework. Completed homework assignments range from $1 to $12.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Personnel needed:

  • Program Supervisor (1.0 FTE)
  • Four Independent Living Specialists (4.0 FTE)

Facilities needed:

  • Training Center (60-person capacity) with A/V, chairs, and tables
  • Manuals and Training

    Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

    Program Coordinator: Bachelor's degree in sociology, social work, education, or related field; one to two years of experience in the human services field, and fluent in English and Spanish.

    Program Supervisor: Master's degree in social work, psychological counseling, or related field; and one to two years of progressive casework experience in public or private organization.

    Manual Information

    There is not a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

    Training Information

    There is training available for this program.

    Training Contact:
    Training Type/Location:

    Via phone consultation.

    Number of days/hours:

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

    Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

    Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Independent Living Program-Orangewood (ILP).

    Additional References

    No reference materials are currently available for Independent Living Program-Orangewood (ILP).

    Contact Information

    Michelle Estrada
    Title: Program Assistant
    Agency/Affiliation: Orangewood Foundation
    Phone: (714) 619-0208

    Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: May 2024

    Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2016

    Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: September 2006