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DHS, 1515 Arch St.,
Philadelphia, PA 19102


Home >  Adoption/Foster Care > Achieving Independence Center

Achieving Independence Center

PLEASE NOTE: The DHS/AIC Unit has moved to the 1601 Cherry Street, 9th Floor. To refer eligible youth to the AI Center please call 215-574-9194.

    Achieving Independence Center Staff Directory

    A "One-Stop" Self-Sufficiency Program for Youth Transitioning to Independence

    Young people in out-of-home care reach an age when they must transition to living independently. For adolescents in the best of circumstances, finding one's place in the world is a challenge. But for youth in out-of-home care, a successful move to self-sufficiency is even more difficult - requiring special preparation and support. Many youth transitioning to independent living face obstacles on the path to self-sufficiency.

    Right now in Philadelphia, nearly 2,500 young people face this challenge.

    To meet the special needs of this population, DHS has partnered with the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation and the Philadelphia Youth Network to develop the Achieving Independence Center. This "One-Stop" Center is a gateway to services that will meet the individual needs of youth in the program. The Center is a new program that builds on the strengths of the existing DHS Adolescent Initiative Unit. The Center offers non-traditional hours, flexible scheduling, and individualized plans for each youth. The first "class" of eligible enrollees is expected to be 500 youth currently in the DHS system for FY2003.

    The Achieving Independence Center is now open and is located at 701 Market Street.

    Program Goals

    Goals for youth in the program include:
    • Attaining gainful employment through job preparation skills and hands-on training
    • Finding safe and affordable housing through housing assistance services
    • Reaching high levels of education through linkages and support for high school diploma or GED and enrollment assistance for post-secondary education
    • Enhancing life skills for the future through Independent Living Skills Training
    • Reducing incidence of teen pregnancy through specially designed prevention services aimed at high-risk populations


    Youth must:
    • Be between 16 and 21 years old;
    • Be in or have been in out-of-home placement at or after age 16; and
    • Have been adjudicated dependent OR dependent and delinquent with shared case management responsibility between DHS and the juvenile probation office.

    ·General Steps to Foster Family Care
    ·Locally Based Adoption Agencies
    ·Locally Based Foster Care Agencies
    ·Memo: City Employees as Foster Parents
    ·PhillyKids Adoption Booklet
    ·Suggested Foster Care Reading