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DCS  > Permanency > 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

Advanced Directives

National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD)

For more information please contact:

Dion Smith
Independent Living Specialist
Regions 1, 2, & 5
661 Broadway
Gary, IN  46402-2407
219-881-5997 (W)
219-881-4165 (F)
Dion.Smith@dcs.in.gov

Christine Singleton
Independent Living Specialist
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

Scott Piller
Independent Living Specialist
Regions 8 - 12
4150 N Keystone Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46205
317-544-3892 (W)
317-968-4700 (F)
Scott.Piller@dcs.in.gov

Nikki White
Independent Living Specialist
Regions 13 - 18
104 County Road 70 E, Suite A
PO Box 443
Bloomfield, IN 47424
812-384-0863 (W)
812-384-3731 (F)
Nikki.White@dcs.in.gov

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