top of page

Recovery Services

  • The Program
    A Loving Heart's Boys 2 Men Independent Living Program is a gender-specific program designed to improve the transition into adulthood for young adult males ages 13 to 18 in licensed out-of-home care. To be successful upon departure from care, each youth will have an opportunity to learn skills based on their individualized needs. The ultimate goal is for all youth, regardless of their personal plans, to be prepared to live independently. While in this program, young people are taught life skills which includes daily living skills, training in budget and money management, nutrition, apartment locating/living, family planning, decision making/goal planning, employment/career planning, educational development, sexually transmitted diseases/AIDS awareness and homemaking. Counselors provide case management, support and advocacy for the children while in the program. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 23 may be eligible for the BRIDGES program which provides subsidies which help with rent and educational efforts and/or services necessary to obtain employment. Eligibility is determined by referral from the child's most recent placement and/or his case worker. Children accepted into the program will receive monthly contacts including face-to-face visits. Case staffings to address individual progress are held on an as needed basis. All of the persons involved in the welfare of the child are invited to participate, including the assigned Family Services Counselor, partner family, Independent Living youth, school personnel, service providers and employer when appropriate.
  • A Difficult Transition
    The transition from being a teenager in the home of parents to becoming an "adult" at age 18 is a huge transition for teens/young adults who have a family support system. 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. Now imagine the difficulties for teens transitioning to "adulthood" who are in the foster care/group home system. One instant they are children (dependent on the state for food, clothing, shelter and health care), and the next minute they are on their own. Dr. Mark Courtney, the executive director of Partners for Our Children (a Washington-based child welfare group), found that youth in foster care face significantly higher risks of homelessness, drug addiction, unemployment, early pregnancy and jail time upon turning 18 than the general population. There are more than 16,000 kids in the Ohio foster care system, and each year, more than 1,000 of them reach adulthood. Independent Living provides foster kids in our area with the tools they need to become stable and productive adults.
  • The Process
    When youth are first referred to Independent Living, ALH Success Coaches will meet with them and their partner family (if applicable) to explain the program. The Success Coaches help the youth complete assessments to identify specific skills the young people already possess and skills they must still learn in order to live on their own. The appropriate level of entry into the basic living skills training is based on these assessments. The training, tasks and services are discussed with the youth and target dates are then incorporated into a service plan. Periodic re-assessments are necessary to monitor progress and to take note of changes and achievements. Success Coaches will assist youth in re-assessing their skill level and updating the service plan accordingly. To be successful, it is critical that each young person feel and receive the support of those in their home and school environments. It is our goal to continually attend to and support these important relationships. Postsecondary Educational Support Services (PESS): • Age 18-22 • Spent 6 months in care prior to turning 18 in care, or adopted or placed in guardianship over the age of 16 after spending 6 of the most recent 12 months in licensed care • Completed high school diploma or equivalent • Enrolled full time (9 credit hours) in eligible post-secondary or vocational school
  • Independent Living Program Overview
    The Independent Living Program is designed to assist youth in the transition from licensed out-of-home care into adulthood and to provide young adults ages 18-23 with assistance in achieving independence. While in licensed out-of-home care, youth ages 13 and above will be provided the opportunity to learn life skills such as budgeting and money-management, apartment locating, home upkeep, decision-making, personal health care, goal planning, career planning and educational development. This one-on-one skill development is provided monthly by either the Partner Family or group home staff, depending on the youth’s placement. Case managers specializing in Independent Living services provide case management, support and advocacy for youth age 16 and above participating in the program through phone calls, educational meetings and regular visits.
  • How It Works For Youth In Care
    When a youth placed in licensed care turns 16, a specialized IL case manager is assigned as secondary to the case to begin helping the youth identify their future career and educational plans. This worker will also provide the youth with some critical documents that they will need prior to turning 18, such as a birth certificate and social security card. When this youth reaches age 17, this worker will become the primary case manager on the case, responsible for monthly visits, court reports, referrals for services and more. Working with the youth and any individuals the youth wants to involve, a transition plan will be developed. This plan will guide decisions such as where the youth will live and go to school or work after turning 18. This is a living document that can change as often as necessary but must be approved by the court before the youth turns 18. Youth receive face-to-face visits with their independent living case manager monthly. Case staffings with the youth and all persons involved in the case are conducted as often as needed to address individual progress and to continue permanency planning, even after the youth turns 18 and becomes a participate in extended care
  • How it Works for Young Adults
    Young adults ages 18 to 23 who turned 18 in licensed care may qualify for additional supports and services, including Medicaid coverage until 26. The three programs available to these young adults are: Extended Foster Care, Postsecondary Educational Support Services and Aftercare Services. • EFC affords young adults (18-21 or 22 with a disability) the ability to finish high school or obtain a G.E.D., work at least 80 hours a month or participate in a program to eliminate barriers to employment while still residing with their Partner Family, group home or another approved semi-supervised arrangement. EFC young adults continue to go to court and have access to many supportive services. • Ohio BRIDGES program is for young adults who already have their diploma or G.E.D. and are enrolled in postsecondary or vocational school at an eligible institution. Tuition is covered by a waiver, and PESS provides a monthly stipend to cover living costs while the young adult attends school, up until age 23.
  • Education
    Your Bridges representative can help you navigate your educational path, whether that involves GED testing, an ApprenticeOhio program, vocational school, community college or four-year college. As a former foster youth, you may be eligible for a variety of financial aid, including scholarships, need-based aid and help through the Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program, which provides federal assistance for education for young people who aged out of foster care or who were adopted after age 16. For more information, visit Also, be sure to visit and register for a free account. You can take a Career Profile assessment to identify potential careers, take free college entrance and career preparation practice tests, and find local training programs that can help you launch a stable and rewarding career.
  • Housing
    Need a place to live? Your Bridges representative can help you find somewhere safe and affordable, whether that means an apartment, low-income housing, a college dorm room, housing with a supportive adult or other community-based housing. Bridges also may be able to help you pay for rent, utilities, food, clothing and other personal incidentals. Here are just a few things to consider when deciding where to live: Based on your budget and income, is it affordable and sustainable? Judging from local crime reports, is the neighborhood safe? Is it conveniently located to things you’ll need, such as a grocery store, gas station, etc.? Are transportation options available for getting to work or school? Is it close to your support team (adult supporters, friends, family, etc.)? Your Bridges representative can give you tips for managing a household, from cooking and cleaning to paying bills and budgeting. He/she also can connect you to resources in your community that can help you live on your own.
  • Employment
    Need a job? Talk to your Bridges representative and register for a free account at You can search for jobs by a variety of key words, including location, education and desired salary. You also can take the WorkKeys® practice tests, which are job skill assessment tests used to measure real-world skills. You can use these scores to search for jobs that match your abilities. Some employers search for candidates who are WorkKeys® certified when they hire for open positions. If you need appropriate clothes for an interview or job, talk to your Bridges representative or visit and locate information about their Suits for Success program. This is an initiative of Alumni of Care Together Improving Outcomes Now Ohio (ACTION Ohio), an organization committed to helping former foster youth like you.
  • Well-Being
    Nothing is more important than your physical and mental health. Talk to your Bridges representative if you need help getting health insurance, finding a doctor or improving your physical or mental health in any way. In Ohio, youth who emancipate from foster care are eligible for Medicaid until they turn 26. Medicaid managed care plans cover preventative care, hospitalization, emergency care, prescriptions and more. For more information, visit
bottom of page