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

ILS youth intake packet


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










2017 Summer College Tours/Campus Visits!







Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Curriculum-Empower Youth Program- 

The Empower Youth Program is a prevention-focused tool engaging youth in conversations about empathy and exploitation in their schools and neighborhoods. The Empower Youth Program consists of 5 sessions which utilizes short films, activities, and discussion questions to empower youth 7th grade and up to successfully navigate the vulnerabilities in their lives in order to stay safe from exploitation.

Click here to download flyer

Rentwise- NEW in 2019!

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. 

Click here to download flyer



On-Site Spring ILS Group


Click here to download flyer


Sexual Health Curriculum – Making Proud Choices

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.

Click here to download flyer







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.



What if I can't make it to the classes?

Call Cari Mae at 441-4553 or Derek at 441-4569 to set up a time to meet with them individually.

Interested in ILS?

Call Cari Mae 441-4553 or Derek 441-4569  to get started.

Resources for Youth Exiting Foster Care:

Things People Never Told Me

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

Click here to download the flyer

Youth Leadership Council 

  • Contact Cari Mae or Derek