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Independent Living Skills (ILS)

Child Saving Institute offers Independent Living Skills (ILS) programming to young adults ages of 14-26 to help them as they transition from foster care to adulthood and a safe, nurturing, enduring relationship with ILS staff.

Youth who transition from foster care without support are at high risk of homelessness. This program prepares them for adult living and provides life-skills attainment through creating an individualized service plan. Participants identify their goals and CSI’s Independent Living Specialists assist them in achieving their goals. Goals may include securing an apartment, completing and/or continuing education, finding and maintaining employment, managing finances, signing up for health insurance, and obtaining a reliable means of transportation, among others.

The program also offers group classes on topics like creating a budget, learning to cook, and interviewing for jobs. 

ILS staff also helps participants create meaningful and lasting connections with adults in the community whom they can rely upon as mentors and advisers.

For youth in foster care who want to pursue a college education, staff assist them in completing their college applications and financial aid documents. Staff also takes youth to tour colleges.

The agency partners with Project Everlast (http://www.projecteverlast.org/omaha/) to serve youth in foster care across the metropolitan area, using community resources to improve youths’ opportunities and networks for:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Health care
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Daily living
  • Personal and community engagement
  • Policy training and education

CSI maintains an ILS Closet to help youth in transition meet their basic needs, provide incentives for group participation, and teach saving and bargaining techniques. The closet stock is low on the following items:

  • Male and female hygiene travel kits (as many youth “couch surf”)
  • Travel-size items including Lysol spray, Tide pens, Febreeze, tampons and sanitary napkins, dishwashing liquid or detergent, mouth wash, toothpaste, etc
  • No water needed facial wipes
  • Feminine wash
  • Acne kits (ex: Clean& Clear or Neutrogena)
  • Male Joggers (pants)
  • Yoga Pants
  • T-shirts (male/female)
  • Diary/Journals
  • Sketch books with pencils
  • Male/female wallets
  • IPhone/Android wall chargers
  • Cologne/Perfume kits

Donations may be dropped off at CSI's main campus, 4545 Dodge St., Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Donors may also take advantage of Amazon's giving program at Smile.Amazon.com to have items shipped directly to the agency and to have a percentage of their purchases donated back to CSI. Simply select CSI as your charity of choice. (Be sure to include a note with contact information so CSI can send a letter of acknowledgement for the in-kind gift.)

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