The Ready by 21 Benchmarks represent important stages in development that youth are encouraged to complete to be prepared for self-sufficiency by the age of 21. Click here to read the full Ready By 21 Benchmarks
Being an independent adult means taking care of yourself and knowing where to go for care when needed. You should receive regular treatment for your physical, oral, visual, and mental health from a healthcare provider you trust. Take charge by understanding your medical history and the importance of sleep, exercise, and a healthy balanced diet. Be aware of outside dangers and be responsible to know the consequences of peer pressure and doing drugs. Besides health, it is also important to be socially aware. Register to vote if you are able and know what to do if you are ever selected for Jury Duty.
Before leaving foster care, it is important for you to understand what is considered a safe and affordable home and how to find a safe home in your area. We encourage you to learn what steps it may take to move into a new home and how to save money for important bills such as rent or utilities.
Maintaining healthy friendships and relationships are important to your success when leaving foster care. Before you transition, it is encouraged to understand your personality and find a support system such as family, friends, romantic partners, mentors, and others to make positive and safe connections with.
To be an independent adult, it is important to know how to make and save money in order to support yourself after leaving foster care. You should know the difference between credit and debit as well as the importance of maintaining good credit. If you are ever in need of food, healthcare, or even money, you should know what government resources you can apply for to help you. If you are interested in going to college, it is important to know how to apply for financial aid. If you have a job, you should know where to go to file your taxes or receive a copy of your credit report.
Whether you are interested in working, attending college, or earning a high school diploma or equivalent, we can help you take your first step towards success and independence. Here you gain access to resources for job search, filling out school or job applications, interview and resume prep, paying for college, GED programs and dressing for an interview. As you transition out of care, it will also be important that you have important documents for school and employment and know where to find them if you do not. Take a look!
Complete Your Ready By 21 Exit Survey
Click here to download the Ready By 21 Exit Survey. Remember, this survey should be completed on the day you are leaving foster care. Once completed, give the survey to your Independent Living Coordinator and caseworker.