While legally an adult at the age of 18, for most people, the transition to independence is a gradual one. During these transition years, young people’s families provide financial assistance, help them decide on a career and/or support them while they learn how to live on their own. Unfortunately, kids in the residential care don’t have this luxury: one minute they are children, dependent for their food, clothing, shelter and health care, and the next minute they are on their own. After coming out from the residential care, they face significantly higher risks of homelessness, drug addiction, unemployment, early pregnancy and jail time upon turning 18 than the general population.
Independent Living provides children in residential care with the tools they need to become stable and productive adults. The main goal of the Independent Living Program is not only to teach young adults basic life skills, but also to help them develop problem solving and decision-making skills, and the ability to creatively meet the challenges that all adults face in daily life.
Bahay Aurora Independent Living Program is structured to allow a young adult, from age 17 to transition from dependent care to autonomous adult living. Independent Living is intended to provide a safe environment for youth who have been either to Bahay Aurora or other residential care or other youth that has been reunited to their family but not receiving proper support.
The length of time a youth can stay in Independent Living depends on each person’s motivation to become independent. Educational factors may also contribute to the length of time a youth is in the program. Youth may remain in the program until the age of 21 if they continue to progress in the development of new skills, pursue their education, and remain unemployed