Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

 

 

Independent Living Worker Information

All children and youth need to learn basic life skills in order for them to become successful adults. The state recognizes this and requires certain things from those serving youth.

For example, when a 14 year old has been in care for at least six months, an assessment and plan gets developed. If a youth is 15 or older when entering care, the assessment and plan gets developed as part of the case plan. Assessments and plans continue to occur as long as the youth is in care.

The youth then receives services to help them develop and master skills. Plans and services focus on:

  • High school education
  • Post-secondary education or training
  • Career exploration, planning and employment
  • Safe and stable housing
  • Home maintenance
  • Transportation
  • Health and medical
  • Healthy relationships
  • Financial self-sufficiency
  • Identification/use of community resources and support systems
  • Identification and/or development of life long connections to supportive adults (permanency)
  • Needed documents (birth certificate, social security card, State ID, immigration papers, etc.)
  • The youth’s goals for the future

The plans should include measurable goals and objectives. The activities should be experiential, whenever possible. Child welfare agencies are responsible for these plans and services. For more information, view the Wisconsin Child Welfare Independent Living Coordinators map to find out who to contact in your county.

Young adults age 18 and older (up to 21 in most cases) can also receive services if one of the following applies:

  • They have aged out of foster care
  • An adoption or court-ordered guardianship for the child happened after the age of 16

In most cases, Transition Resource Agencies (TRAs) are responsible for providing these services. For more information, view the Independent Living - Transition Resource Agency Contact Information map to find out who to get in touch with in your region.

Statutes, Standards, Policies

Statutes

State Statutes are laws created by the Wisconsin State Legislature all agencies must follow. Chapter 48 is the Children's Code in Wisconsin.

Standards

The Ongoing Services Standards provides a framework for the ongoing case process. The standards focus on safety, permanence, and well-being for children and their families served under Wisconsin Statute Chapter 48 and Chapter 938.

Policy Memos

Child Welfare Policy Memos - This is a searchable table of all active memos related to Wisconsin Child Welfare.

WICWA

Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act provides information on the required responsibilities for Indian child welfare practices in Wisconsin.

Resources & Training

Independent Living Resource Guide provides many helpful links for Independent Living professionals assisting the youth of Wisconsin.

Independent Living Program Eligibility provides a list of service types available by age.

The Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) requires that those serving youth in out-of-home care:

  • Help youth make the transition to self-sufficiency through needed services
  • Help youth receive the education, training and services necessary to obtain employment
  • Provide personal and emotional support to those aging out of care
  • Help youth prepare for and enter postsecondary training and education institutions
  • Provide financial assistance for housing, counseling, health, transportation, employment and education to youth ages 18-21
  • Make available vouchers for postsecondary education and training (Education and Training Vouchers)

Supporting the Transition to Adulthood (online training)

  • Provides an overview of Wisconsin’s independent living regional model
  • Clarifies roles and responsibilities of those supporting youth in transition
  • Provides recommendations and resources for effective partnerships

Independent Living Youth Services Regions provides the independent living youth services available by region.

Contact Information

Independent Living Policy Coordinator

Phone: (608) 422-6990
Email: DCFILCoordinator@wisconsin.gov