Independent Living Program – ILP

What is I.L.P.?

Life after foster care can be challenging and confusing. The Department’s Independent Living Program (ILP) helps youth develop knowledge, skills, and connections to make a successful transition to living on their own.

Visit the newly redesigned page dedicated to the Independent Living Program

Overview of Services for Youth in Transition from Foster Care

The Department of Human Services (DHS), Social Services Division, Child Welfare Services Branch (CWSB), provides services, through our independent living program (ILP), to assist and support foster youth, age 12-18 years, under DHS placement responsibility due to abuse and neglect and former foster youth, 18-21 years of age, with their transition from foster care to adult self-sufficiency.

The Department’s ILP uses both State and Federal funds in accordance with Public Law 106-169, Sec. 477 – John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program.

Purchase of Services (POS) Contracts for ILP Services

CWSB has POS contracts statewide to provide services and support to help the youth develop skills and knowledge, make connections with resources and access transitional living arrangements.  Services provided for youth include individualized assessment and service planning based on the needs, strengths and goals of the individual.

For youth 12-15 years of age, the focus is on age and developmentally appropriate skills provided primarily through group process with a focus on communication, self-identity, peer pressure and decision-making.

For youth 16 – 21 years of age, ILP services are provided in individual and group sessions. The focus is on skills that include assisting the youth with obtaining a high school diploma, career exploration, vocational training, job placement and retention, budgeting and financial management skills, substance abuse prevention, preventive health activities and making connections with community resources such as employment programs, Department of Health (prevention programs), housing (Section 8) and financial assistance.  The ILP POS programs also support transitional living apartments and providers are authorized to spend up to 10% of the total contract on housing support for former foster youth

The current ILP POS providers and contact number are:

Oahu – Hale Kipa – 589-1829 x 202 or 205

Hawai’i – Salvation Army Family Intervention Services

Hilo – 959-5855 ext. 12

Kona – 323-8192

Maui, Molokai, Lanai – Maui Youth and Family Services—579-8414


Kauai – Child and Family Services – 245-5914


Services available to youth after foster care

Youth who were formerly in foster care with DHS may be eligible for the following services:

  • Higher Education Board allowance to help meet living expenses while attending an accredited academic or vocational institution of higher learning. Benefits of $529 per month may be provided for up to 60 months from age 18 until age 27.  Eligibility requirements include: completion of high school; enrollment/attendance at an accredited institution of higher learning; initial application before age 22; application for other scholarships and financial aid; documentation of attendance and grades; and progress toward successful completion of the educational /training program.  Review the higher education and ETV interim procedures for further information.
  • Education and Training Voucher (ETV):  Federal guidelines allow up to $5,000 per year toward the cost of attendance at an accredited institution of higher learning.  The amount of an individual award depends on the financial need and the amount of Federal funding available.  The usual award amount is approximately $2,000.  Application/eligibility requirements include: documentation of financial need; independent living transition plan; documentation of progress in the program, usually GPA of 2.0 or equivalent.  Youth must provide documentation that the ETV was used for the purpose stated in the application.  If the youth is receiving ETV on his/her 21st birthday, he or she may continue to be eligible until age 23.


Higher education and ETV Interim Procedures


Application period  for the Fall 2011 ETV awards have been closed.  It is anticipated that the applications for the Fall 2012 ETV awards will be available by the end of December 2011 at  Applications for awards must be approved by January 15, 2012. Check with your worker for specific submission deadlines.

Applications for for higher education board allowances & ETV awards must be completed on-line at, a part of the new Child Wefare Services database [SHAKA].

Once youth have set up their private and secure account in ShakaTown they can also store important documents in a secure place and have access to to other important information and documents.

Remember your worker, ILP Specialist, Youth Circle worker or Hawaii Foster Youth Coalition can help you in this process.

Before you submit the application, make sure you:

  • Read and understand the Higher Education and ETV Interim Procedures;
  • Complete all the information requested on the application; and
  • Have and submit with the application, the required documents.
  • Youth Circles:  Facilitated ‘Ohana conferencing (family mediation services), which began in April 2004, is available for youth to give the youth a voice in planning for their future, to bring together important people and services to support the youth to develop a transitional plan.  A youth may have more than one youth circle, which may be held before and after the youth leaves foster care.

Youth Circle Brochure

For more information on ‘Ohana conferences, Youth Circles and FamilyConnections please visit the EPIC/’Ohana website at:

  • Medical Coverage:  After leaving foster care, the youth are eligible to receive individual medical coverage in accordance with the MedQuest (MQD) administrative rules.  CWSB staff and ILP providers assist the youth in completing a new application for continued medical coverage prior to the youth leaving foster care.
  • DHS also supports the  Hawaii Foster Youth Coalition (HFYC):  HFYC is a youth led and run organization providing a voice for youth currently and formerly in foster care.  This organization is the youth advisory board for CWSB.  Their active components include youth helping youth (networking and support), developing youth leadership, youth advocacy, testifying at Legislature, and youth advisors to “the system.”  DHS provides funding for an Executive Director as well as funds and programmatic support for Coalition activities, including board meetings, conferences and other activities designed to facilitate the development of the youth.  The HFYC can be reached by email at [email protected]  Visit HFYC website at

Read the latest HFYC Newsletter

Additional Resources:

Kapiolani Mentoring Program – Survivors Offering Support

The program’s goal is to “offer the foster youth of Hawai’i support, stability, and enriched social experiences to help them overcome their past traumas, take control of their lives,and prevent the cycle of abuse and neglect.”