Career & Education Support Services

Programs within this service division are designed to meet the differing needs of our school-age children and youth, and our youth transitioning from foster care to adult independence, helping them to overcome multiple barriers so that they can achieve their career and/or academic goals, and become successfully self-sufficient in all areas of their lives.


  • Assist children and youth to achieve improved behavior, performance and attendance in school
  • Help high-need youth develop strong life skills 
  • Assist youth in developing a community-based support system in preparation for foster care emancipation
  • Assist youth in becoming responsible, healthy and productive members of their community

Transitional Age Youth Financial Assistance Program (TAY-FAP)

Established in partnership with the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Social Services in 2010, TAY-FAP provides financial assistance to any current or former foster youth participating, or eligible to participate, in San Luis Obispo County’s Independent Living Program. TAY-FAP leverages community resources, grants and a dedicated program fund to help youth enroll and attend higher education and/or vocational programs. As TAY-FAP focuses on increasing participants’ enrollment in post-high school academic programs or vocational training, its overall goal is to assist current or former foster youth in obtaining meaningful employment with sustainable wages after they leave care. Since the program started, we’ve supported 180 youth in reaching their goals. 

TAY-FAP funding provides for:

  • Housing
  • Transportation needs
  • School/Vocational School supplies
  • Urgent and/or emergency needs related to independent living expenses, such as: utilities, household items, groceries, finding housing/employment, et cetera.

2018/2019 OUTCOMES

Youth Served
Successful Program Days

Shea's Story

Shea learned he was a father after his son was already 18 months old. His ex-girlfriend, also a former foster youth, had been so afraid when she got pregnant, that she hadn't told anyone, including Shea. By the time she felt safe enough in her own situation to tell Shea the truth, almost two years had passed. But after a lot of talking between Shea and his ex-girlfriend, and some sleepless nights, Shea was finally able to meet his son, and the two bonded immediately. 

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2018/2019 OUTCOMES

Youth Served
Successful Placement Days

Independent Living Program (ILP)

We launched our Independent Living Program (ILP) in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services in July, 2011, and with the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Social Services in July, 2015. The purpose of ILP is to empower current and former foster youth through education/vocational training, life skills training, advocacy, workforce development and community collaboration. Program participants work with our Rehabilitation Specialists to learn independent living skills necessary to become self-sufficient adults. Program outcomes are evidenced by the following indicators:

  • Successfully complete a Transition to Independent Living Plan (TILP)
  • Learn the skills necessary to become self-sufficient
  • Complete high school and/or successfully enroll in college or vocational training with a goal to secure meaningful long-term employment

Rosie's Story

Like many former foster youth, attending college seemed critical but also impossible to Rosie. Having been in care for most of her adolescence, Rosie didn't have any family, nor did she feel particularly connected to her current foster family. If anything, Rosie felt closest to Liz, one of her ILP workers she had known for years. Rosie considered Liz to be her strongest supporter, and therefore, looked to her for help planning for the next phase of her life, and to answer the biggest question on her mind--was college right for her?

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Career & Education Support

We’ve been providing Career & Education Support services to every school-age child placed with us in any of our Foster Care programs, Transitional Housing Support Services and in our Wraparound program in SLO County since 1990. Working in collaboration with our community partners, the goals of the agency’s Career & Education Services include:

  • Academic assessment testing
  • Educational planning
  • Advocacy and special education support
  • Caregiver and staff training
  • Vocational testing and guidance
  • Tutor assistance
  • College planning and financial aid guidance

2018/2019 OUTCOMES

Children / Youth Served
Volunteer Tutors who served Children / Youth
Volunteer Tutors Hours Spent Working with Children / Youth
Children/Youth Matched with a Volunteer Tutor