Independent Living

Independent Living

Helping young people make the transition to adulthood.


Independent Living Opportunities (ILO)

The Independent Living Opportunities program teaches young adults between the ages of 19 to 21 self-sufficiency and independence while they live on their own in the community. Males and females who are DCFS wards and/or DJJ clients are eligible. Youth must either have completed high school with a diploma or earned a GED. Participants attend junior college or a vocational training program and are employed either independently or through our partnerships with community businesses.

Caseworkers are available for support and guidance, with the ultimate goal of launching participants to independence. 

Pregnant and Parenting Teens Program (PPT):

Part of our Independent Living Program with additional supports for single mothers between the ages of 19 to 21 and their children. DCFS wards or DJJ clients are eligible. 

Program Services

  • Therapy Services: Accessed through community resources with the assistance of Cunningham Children’s Home staff.
  • Independent Living Skills Training and Housing/Financial Assistance: Cunningham staff teach independent living skills including cooking, housekeeping, laundry, hygiene, money management, social skills, sexual education, tenancy issues and basic legal skills. Cunningham helps locate and maintain housing and may provide monthly financial assistance to assist with rent, utilities and some necessities.
  • Employment and Educational Assistance: Cunningham staff help program participants locate and maintain employment. Program participants also receive educational support to help them attend college and/or receive vocational training.
  • Medical, Dental, and Recreational Opportunities: Accessed through community resources with the assistance of Cunningham Children's Home staff. A Cunningham staff nurse is available to give guidance in health and safety issues.
  • Parenting Skills and Support: Participants in the Pregnant and Parenting Teen Program receive guidance in locating licensed day care within the community to care for their child(ren) while the mother is at work or attends school. Parenting skills are developed through education and training provided by Cunningham staff. Other ILO clients who are non-custodial parents are supported by case workers to maintain a positive parenting relationship with their child(ren). 
For more information on admission and intake into the Independent Living Opportunities program at Cunningham click here