Independent Living Youth Support Services

Our Independent Living and Extended Foster Care provide young adults with the life skills and services that they need to make a successful transition to the responsibilities of adulthood. The Independent Living Program at Kids Central, Inc. exists to empower and encourage youth and young adults aging out of foster care to achieve their academic, career, and personal goals.

Extended Foster Care

Kids Central and its partners provide Independent Living services to youth and young adults in the foster care system.  These services prepare the youth for adulthood and life after foster care. For youth aging out of the system (those turning 18 years old without returning to the care of their parents or being adopted), it is a requirement to have the basic life skills to function successfully on their own.  Training includes but is not limited to: financial literacy training, household management, educational and career planning.

Extended Foster Care, commonly called EFC, is a program available for young adults who are 18 to 21-years-old, who have aged out of Licensed Care, agree to all EFC requirements, and meet at least ONE of the following criteria:

  • Working towards a high school diploma or equivalent (GED)
  • Enrolled in a postsecondary or vocational institution
  • Employed for a minimum of 80 hours per month
  • Participating in a job training program
  • If the young adult is unable to participate in any of the activities listed above due to a documented physical, emotional, or psychiatric disability, they can still be eligible and can stay in EFC until the age of 22

Postsecondary Educational Services and Support, commonly called PESS, is a program available for young adults who are 18 to 23-years-old that meet ALL the following criteria:

  • Young adults who spent time in licensed care prior to aging out, being adopted, or closing-out in permanent guardianship
  • Young adults are eligible if they have achieved their high school diploma or the equivalent (GED)
  • Has been admitted for enrollment at a Florida bright future school as a full-time student and must maintain good academic standing. “Full-time” requires nine (9) credit hours or the vocational school equivalent

Aftercare Services are emergency, or short-term services, for young adults that were formerly in foster care and either opt out of Extended Foster Care (EFC) or are not in Postsecondary Education Services & Support (PESS), which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Mentoring and Tutoring
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
  • Job and Career Skills Training
  • Parenting Classes
  • Temporary Financial Assistance for specific needs

Keys to Independence, commonly known as K2I, is a permanent Florida program targeted towards 15 to 21-year-olds in Out of Home Care (OOHC) that reimburse youth and caregivers for the costs associated with driver’s education and driver’s licenses. K2I helps navigate the process and provides guidance for youth and young adults related to getting a driver’s license and motor vehicle insurance.