Youth in Transition

Centre County Independent Living Program

Eligibility and How to Access Services

The Centre County Independent Living (IL) Program is a program of Centre County Children and Youth Services and Probation agencies. Wardell & Associates administer this program on their behalf. Either a CYS Caseworker or Juvenile Probation Officer must make a referral to the IL program..

The program is designed to work with youth ages 14-21 to provide them with the basic living skills that they will need to achieve and successfully maintain independence. The program is considered voluntary for youth ages 14-21. Youth may choose to discontinue their participation in the program, however they remain eligible to reopen services until the age of 21.

Youth who are no longer dependent and in the care and custody of a Children and Youth Services Agency but would like to access IL services should contact Wardell & Associates at (814)-355-3807.

What Services Are Available?

The program offers a wide variety of services that are structured around each youth's individual needs. Skills are taught through a variety of means including the use of packets, workbooks, individual sessions, group sessions, and role modeling. In addition youth have the opportunity to participate in mentoring activities as a group (such as camping, IL Retreat, and trips) as well as between two youth and an IL Counselor to discuss topics such as living on their own or attending college.

The program covers two areas of needs, "hard skills" and "soft skills." Hard skills include, but are not limited to the teaching of areas such as banking, apartment hunting, job seeking skills, budgeting, and educational planning. Soft skills include, but are not limited to anger management, parenting skills, problem solving skills, goal-oriented behaviors, and interpersonal communication..

Youth work their way through a level system with stipend money available to them upon successfully completing the requirements for each level in the program. Stipends are also available for Room & Board, Post-Secondary Education, and Savings if a youth meets the requirements.

The IL Counselors work with the youth and service providers in coordinating any additional services including housing, education, and mental health services in order to provide each youth the ability to meet their goals.

How Are Services Provided?

The IL Program is designed for each youth to work at their own pace. Services are provided in the home, placement, office, school, or community. Frequency of sessions depends on what level the youth is on which varies from weekly to an as needed basis. Distance of the youth may also alter the frequency of services.