According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 25% of the nation’s 20,000 foster youth annually “age out” of the foster care system and end up homeless within one year due to being unprepared and overwhelmed by the demands of “life without the system.” Lacking necessary life skills, many former foster youth join the ranks of the homeless and unemployed and disproportionate numbers commit suicide. It is reported that 4,000 (or 20%) of the 20,000 “aging out” youth reside in California.

The Individualized Transitional Skills Program (ITSP) was developed to enhance daily life skills and promote self-sufficiency of the youth and as part of Assembly Bill 12 (AB12). Formally the Youth Development Services program (YDS), the program began in January 2014 with service provision to eligible Transitional Age Youth (TAY) across Los Angeles County. Below are some key points about ITSP:

  • ITSP is voluntary and designed as a two-year program for enrolled TAY
  • ITSP offers individualized/one-on-one services, primarily in the home/placement
  • TAY must reside in Los Angeles County to be referred for ITSP
  • Program will serve 900 transition-age youth (TAY), who are ILP eligible ages 16 through 20
  • TAY may be from the probation system and have an open DCFS/Probation case or a closed case to participate
  • The case carrying Children Social Workers (CSW) or Deputy Probation Offers (DPO) will be required to submit a current Transition Independent Living Plan (TILP) and the DCFS 5557/Referral form to the ILP Transition Coordinator
  • Each TAY will be matched to a Transition Development Specialist (TDS) who will serve as the mentor.
  • TDS will administer a life skills assessment to initiate services and determine progress
  • TDS will meet with the youth twice per month to implement ITSP
  • TDS may host group activities to promote socialization and meet ITSP goals.
  • TAY can receive up to four monetary incentives at $75 each, totaling $300 for completion of ITSP goals