The Independent Living Program provides services to older teens
(between 16 and 18 years old) who are preparing to transition from
foster care into the community. Youth served may live in foster
homes, group homes or therapeutic residential facilities. The
community plays an important role in supporting the efforts of the
Independent Living Program and to the success of the youth as
members of the community.
Become a Mentor Home Provider
Open your home to a youth who is preparing for independence. While
the teen lives with you – and pays their own room and board – you
teach them the skills needed to achieve self-sufficiency. You are
also asked to assist the teen in developing a plan for attaining
their life goals. Many teens benefit from a continued, positive and
permanent relationship with their mentor after they transition out
of foster care.
Sponsor a High School Teen
Help a teen who is completing high school by making a contribution
toward prom clothing and tickets; class trips; graduation events
and expenses; senior class pictures; school rings and school
supplies; yearbooks; gift certificates for clothing and haircuts,
eyeglasses or contacts, sports equipment, musical instruments,
bicycles; or gift cards for the annual Fairfax County Department of
Family Services’ Foster Care Graduation Event.
Sponsor a College Bound Teen
Help a teen who is preparing for college by making a contribution
toward college application fees, books and supplies; toiletries;
telephone calling cards; dorm essentials; care packages; gas or
public transportation fare cards; and other gift cards. Teens also
need assistance with completing applications, financial aid forms,
visits to college campuses, and a place to go “home” to during
Sponsor a Teen Transitioning Out of Foster
Make contributions toward: new household items; small appliances;
truck rentals to move their belongings; car repairs and
maintenance; and gift cards to purchase clothing, haircuts,
groceries, gas, public transportation fare cards and furniture.
Sponsor a Pregnant Teen or Teen Mother
Make a contribution toward: baby care items; car seats; furniture;
diapers; safety gates; children’s clothing; books; and other
reading materials about fetal development, child development and
Lead a Workshop
Share your lifelong knowledge and skills with teens. Life Skills
Groups meet each month to teach teens about money management, time
management, budgeting, personal safety, household maintenance,
automobile maintenance, communication skills, dating violence,
healthy eating and cooking, anger management, college preparation,
the legal system, their rights and responsibilities, career
exploration and job readiness.
Provide tutoring assistance, SAT or GED test preparation.
Provide a job shadowing experience to help them learn about the
Help teens learn about computers and commonly used computer
Conduct a tour of a community facility, business or factory.
Provide space for meetings, trainings, special events.
Provide employment or volunteer opportunities.
Donate tickets to events and activities such as sports,
entertainment, social functions, arts and cultural, bowling,
skating, fairs, festivals, movies, museums, parks and recreation
Donate advertising space in newspapers, newsletters, on the radio
Donate items for life books – cameras, film, scrapbooks and
supplies, film processing and tools.
Donate food/snacks for training events.
Volunteer your time at a special event, training, career fair or
other group event.
Help the youth celebrate a birthday or holiday by donating gifts
or gift cards.
The check should be made out to: Fairfax County Department
of Family Services.
On the memo portion of the check, please write: Independent
Living Contribution Account.
Checks can be mailed to:
Fairfax County Department of Family
Attn: Foster Care and Adoption, Independent
12011 Government Center
Fairfax, VA 22035
Contact the Independent Living Program coordinator at
703-324-7726; TTY 703-222-9452.