Keeping children safe, strengthening families, and building healthy communities since 1899.

Independent Living Opportunities

The Independent Living Opportunities (ILO) program is structured to provide a supervised independent living environment that allows youth to master the skills necessary to live successfully as a contributing member of the community. Participants in this program are designated youth who are preparing for emancipation from the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services.

ILO clients are independent and capable of living on their own in an apartment located in the community.  While they are responsible for themselves in all areas of life, they receive support, guidance, and direction from Bethany case management staff as needed or requested.  Since all youth are living in their own apartments, natural consequences (i.e. community laws) are applicable.  Because of this, there is a Bethany for Children & Families staff member on call 24 hours a day if the youth is in need of assistance.

It is important for ILO clients to understand what the Independent Living Opportunities program tries to accomplish in order to help them achieve full independence.  The following is a brief list of indicators that are employed to determine a youth’s success in achieving this independence:

  • The youth is attending college/trade school and working part-time, or is employed on a full-time basis
  • The youth is financially stable and is able to meet all financial obligations, with at least $1000.00 in a savings/checking account
  • The youth is knowledgeable of community resources and is comfortable scheduling their own appointments
  • The youth arranges their own transportation, either by owning a car, using public transportation, or by receiving assistance from their social network
  • The youth has a strong support network outside of Bethany for Children and Families

Program Requirements

The Independent Living Opportunities program serves youth between the ages of 19 and 20 who have the goal of independence, and are both willing and capable of attaining it. The program is designed to successfully transition youth from the child welfare system to become a productive, contributing member of the community. Participants have the opportunity to develop skills that will help them live independently successfully.

Contact Information

Ben Cleaveland
Associate Director of Community Services
(309) 736-6602
bcleaveland@bethany-qc.org

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