In 1995, a handful of social workers from the Alameda County Child Welfare Department founded the Independent Living Skills Program Auxiliary as a way of providing emancipated youth with more flexible services than the County was able to offer. The organization secured donations for scholarships, housing assistance, and other needs of young adults learning to live outside the system for the first time. At this time Federal independent living program (ILP) money was limited to youth still in foster care or probation and did not provide funds for young adults who had emancipated from the program.
Over the past 20 years we have grown into an organization providing a wide range of services to youth leaving foster care. Additional funding for aftercare services was provided by a change in federal legislation in 1999 allowing funds to be spent for former foster and probation youth up to age 21 who had previously qualified for ILP services while in care. With augmentation from a contract with Oakland Fund for Children and Youth the auxiliary was able to bring on a full time educational specialist and a full time job specialist at this time.
After four years this contract expired and Alameda County SSA determined to use ILP funds to enhance the Auxiliary program for youth who has left the system including a contract to provide health care services through an innovative Teen Health Clinic. We’ve continued to expand our programs ever since, and now our staff of 25 provides transitional housing, case management, education support, employment assistance, emancipation planning support, and information and referral services. We changed our name to Beyond Emancipation in 2006.