Office of Children and Family Services

An Independent Living Skills Program Pub. 5053

Designed for community-based agencies serving youth

Adobe PDF Pub. 5053 (88k) Also available in Spanish.


The Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS), Division of Rehabilitative Services has designed a four-module, eight-topic Independent Living Skills training program for youth placed in the care of OCFS by the courts, as well as other at-risk youth. OCFS provides training and support to community-based agencies that desire to offer this Independent Living Skills program to teens and young adults in their communities. OCFS also provides, without charge, an extensive syllabus (revised in 2006) covering skills needed to live independently; software and other materials; program evaluations; and, if needed, help acquiring a computer.

Costs to OCFS are covered, in part, through federal Chafee Foster Care Independence Act funding. Community agencies partnering with OCFS to offer the Independent Living Skills program are responsible for providing staff to teach the curriculum.

This brochure summarizes the Independent Living Skills program, designed to be offered over four months, with classes meeting for at least three hours each week.

If your agency is interested in offering this program, contact:

OCFS Independent Living Skills Program at (518) 486-5507
Jim McDermott, Acting Director, or e-mail

Module 1
Developing Community Resources
Transportation Skills

The first two-part module will help participants:

  • identify key community resources to assist with personal issues
  • learn how to access community health resources
  • become familiar with mass transportation, including how to read schedules and maps
  • learn about the expenses and responsibilities associated with owning a car

Module 2
Employment Skills
Learning to Manage Money

Participants will:

  • identify a wide variety of occupations in the world of work
  • learn about resources that identify job openings
  • study various methods of making purchases
  • learn how to manage money by budgeting income and expenses on a weekly basis

Module 3
Housing & Home Management Skills
Healthy Living

Participants will:

  • learn what to consider when choosing a place to live
  • be able to list the costs involved in renting
  • review the human reproductive process
  • review and define terms associated with sexuality education
  • review problems of abusive sexual behaviors

Module 4
Media Awareness
Skills for Parenting

In this final module, participants will:

  • learn the key concepts of media literacy
  • explore various ways the media influences how people view living on their own
  • learn the basic core skills associated with caring for newborns and toddlers
  • gain an understanding of various stages of child development

New York State Office of Children & Family Services
Capital View Office Park
52 Washington Street
Rensselaer, New York 12144-2796

Visit our website at:

To report child abuse and neglect, call

For information on the Abandoned Infant Protection Act, call:
1-866-505-SAFE (7233)

For child care, foster care and adoption information, call:
1-800-345-KIDS (5437)

For information about services for the blind, call:
1-866-871-6000 TDD

"...promoting the well-being and safety of our children, families,and communities..."

Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services will make this material available in large print or on audiotape upon request.

Pub. 5053 (Rev. 10/06)