Independent Living

Moving youth in foster care toward independent adulthood.

In partnership with the Alabama Department of Human Resources

The Independent Living program provides youth preparing to exit foster care with resources, education, community, and connections to support them in their transition. Youth are connected to helpful educational resources, namely Fostering Hope and the Alabama Education and Training Voucher Program (ETV).

Year-round activities are designed to increase their independent living skills and develop positive peer relationships. 

Training topics include:
  • Career counseling 
  • Educational coaching
  • Budgeting
  • Healthy decision-making
  • Managing responsibilities
multicultural young adults working together
Youth have a seat at the table.

The Independent Living team is intentionally comprised of experienced social workers, individuals with lived experience in the foster care system, and a youth panel of program participants known as the DREAM Ambassadors.

This team model ensures our programming is comprehensive and impactful.

Program Services

DREAM Ambassadors

DREAM Ambassadors have the opportunity to be the voice and face of foster care in Alabama. Their goals are:

  • To make a difference in the lives of Alabama’s foster youth.
  • To be a mentor to youth in foster care.
  • To promote leadership skills in Alabama’s foster youth.
  • To educate and promote current foster care policies.
  • To advocate for policy change or improvements in the current foster care system.
  • To educate foster youth on the positive benefits of being in foster care.

Youth 17-19 years old currently in foster care in Alabama can apply.

young woman holding microphone
multicultural youth hugging each outher


Each summer, we host two camps for up to 200 Independent Living youth ages 14-20. At camp, the youth build self-confidence, teamwork skills, positive peer and adult connections, and independent living skills.

Networking Conference

Each spring, we host a statewide Independent Living Networking Conference to educate and connect professionals who work with youth in foster care. Alabama Department of Human Resources staff, Independent Living partners, and professionals such as residential providers, Independent Living contract providers, and private professionals come together to learn how to better support youth in foster care and make helpful connections.

young women leaders talking at a conference
multicultural youth hugging each outher


ILConnect facilitates the community of Independent Living youth, county workers, providers, and foster parents across Alabama. It’s a place for youth to share resources and ideas with each other, as well as see what resources and events are available for them.

IL youth and alumni can get plugged in via the IL Connect app!