Independent Living Youth Handbook

If you are a Tennessee youth in DCS custody or getting ready to leave foster care, the Independent Living Youth Handbook linked on this page is for you.


It covers issues identified as important by youth who have been through the system and by individuals who work closely with youth in the foster care system.

This handbook offers many resources and websites to help you navigate life—both during and after foster care. It does not cover every issue you may face during your transition to adulthood, but it will answer some of your questions about leaving care such as getting and keeping a job, paying for school, finding housing, and receiving health care services.

This handbook is just a starting point. You should review the handbook with your Family Service Worker, Independent Living Specialist, or community-based provider as early as age 14, so he or she can help you with questions about the resources in this handbook. 

En español

Manual de Vida Independiente - Spanish Handbook