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Indiana Department of Child Services

DCS  > Foster Care > Foster Child Resources > Older Youth Initiatives Older Youth Initiatives

The Older Youth Initiatives (OYI) program encompasses Older Youth Services (OYS), Collaborative Care, and Voluntary Services.  OYS were formerly known as the Chafee Independent Living Services.  OYS and Collaborative Care are sets of services and supports used in order to assist older youth successfully achieve their case plan goal.  OYS and Collaborative Care are primarily focused on helping those youth who are expected to turn 18 in foster care, but the programs can be implemented concurrently with other goals like reunification and adoption.  Voluntary Services are a set of services for youth who have “aged out” of the foster care system.  These services are geared to assisting former foster youth in the areas of housing, employment, and education.

The primary purposes of the OYS program are: 

  1. Identify youth who are expected to remain in foster care until their 18th birthday or after and assist them make the transition to self-sufficiency.
  2. Help identified youth receive necessary education, training, and services to overcome potential barriers to employment.
  3. Help youth prepare for and enter post-secondary education and/or training institutions.
  4. Provide personal and emotional support for youth aging out of foster care.
  5. Assist youth in locating and identifying community resources that will be available to the youth after DCS involvement has ended.
  6. Encourage positive personal growth in older youth through “teachable moments.”

Older Youth Services

Youth Connections

Advanced Directives

National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD)

For more information please contact:

  • Christine Singleton
    Independent Living Specialist
    Regions 1-7, 11 & 12
    Department of Child Services
    201 E. Rudisill Blvd, Suite 200
    Fort Wayne, IN 46806
    260-458-6176 (W)
    260-458-6175 (F)
    Christine.Singleton@dcs.in.gov

  • Nikki J. White
    Independent Living Specialist
    Regions 8-10 & 13-18
    Indiana Department of Child Services
    104 County Road 70E, Suite A
    Bloomfield, IN 47424
    317-432-4710 (W)
    812-384-3731 (F)
    Nikki.White@dcs.IN.gov