Independent Living Skills

What does the Independent Living Skills program do?

ILS offers current and former foster youth the tools needed to transition into adulthood and succeed on their own! Youth meet one-on-one with a member of the ILS team to develop an individualized independent living skills plan.  Youth also have the opportunity to participate in a series of "skills group" classes that cover a wide variety of topics that can help you become self-sufficient and live on your own.

ILS Classes on-site at Evergreen Youth Services Site, 610 Patriot Dr., NW, Bemidji



Who Qualifies for the Independent Living Skills Program?

Youth in Foster Care* (ages 14-23)

Youth Who Have Exited Foster Care (ages 14-23)

*Foster Care is defined by DHS as court ordered out of home placements for a minimum of 30 consecutive days after the age of 14.


Resources for Foster Care Youth

Right to Extended Foster Care
Find our your rights: MN Department of Human Services

Affordable Care Act (ACA) for Former Foster Care Youth
Learn more at MN Sure

Help Paying for College Training – Education & Training Voucher Applications Information on the ETV program can be found at: MN ETV Voucher

Right to Consumer Credit Reports
Learn more at: Consumer Credit Report

Things People Never Told Me
Learn more.
This compilation of suggestions about finances, health care, employment, and relationships from foster youth transitioning to adulthood is aimed at equipping other youth leaving foster care with the necessary tools to become independent and successful adults.

Foster Care Sibling Bill of Rights
Learn more at:  Foster Care Sibling Bill of Rights




Skills Group Topics - On-site Groups TBD

Job Skills ~ Applications ~ Interviews ~ Resumes

Housing 101
Tenant Rights & Responsibilities ~ Cooking ~ Cleaning

Well Being
Healthy Relationships/Communication ~ Self-Care & Coping Skills ~ Permanent Connections ~ Cultural

Career Exploration ~ College/Post-Secondary Education ~ Financial Aid & ETV ~ Scholarships

Sexual Health/Contraceptives ~ Domestic Violence ~ Exploitation & Trafficking ~ Substance Abuse

Youth Legal Rights ~ Vital Documents ~ State Benefits ~ Health Insurance

Budgeting ~ Banking ~ Financial Literacy ~ Paying Bills

Getting A Driver's License ~ Buying a Car ~ Auto Maintenance ~ Auto Insurance

Rentwise - next group to TBD

Rentwise is a comprehensive housing curriculum developed by the University of MN. Participants will better understand the benefits of a cooperative relationship with the property manager and learn how to find adequate, safe, affordable housing. They will also receive resources to help them maintain records and remember key steps to maintaining their unit and a collaborative relationship with their landlord and their neighbors.

Sexual Health Curriculum – Making Proud Choices- next group to TBD

Making Proud Choices is an evidenced based sexual health curriculum, consisting of 10 modules/lessons. Youth will not only learn about contraceptives and STD's but also components of having healthy relationships. Through the curriculum youth identify their life goals, the impacts of sexual relationships and the benefits of having healthy relationships.




What can my Independent Living Skills Plan help me with?

  • Apartment Supplies
  • GED Fees
  • Bicycles; Bus Passes; Driver's Education/Driver's Permit
  • ACT Fees
  • Work Clothes
  • Shoes or Clothes Needed to Participate in Sports
  • Camp Fees
  • Obtain a State ID Card
  • Help with Getting Your Social Security Card
  • School Supplies
  • …What do YOU need???
  • Please note these services are provided to youth actively engaged in ILS services and who meet the state eligibility guidelines.

Youth Leadership Council 

The Evergreen Youth Leadership Council (YLC) is a group of current and former foster youth ages 16-23 committed to improving the foster care system from within. The Evergreen YLC is one of only 8 regional youth leadership councils in the state of Minnesota. Together, we make up the MN Youth Leadership Council (MnYLC), advocating for change at the local, state and federal levels.

The Evergreen YLC was founded in order to:

  • Give youth a voice in order to improve the foster care system both locally and statewide
  • Strengthen services for youth aging out of care
  • Represent the interests of youth in policymaking and training
  • Provide leadership opportunities
  • Have fun in the process!

If you are interested in joining the Evergreen Youth Leadership Council, please contact Danielle Theisen, YLC Coordinator. There is an application and interview process to join. The more youth voices we have providing input into improving the foster care system, the better!

  • Contact Danielle Theisen, Skills Group and YLC Coordinator, 218-441-4577