Independent Living Services

All Youth in DCS custody will have an Independent Living Plan at ages 14 to 16 or a Transition Plan at age 17 and older regardless of permanency goals, placement or adjudication.

These are the services available through the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services Independent Living division.

The information on this page also can be downloaded as a PDF. 

Have a question? Call our toll-free number: 844-887-7277


For Custodial Youth ages 14 to 19 (Placed in a community setting):

  • Independent Living Wrap Services.
  • Life Skills Instruction.
  • Education and Training Voucher and state-funded Bright Futures scholarship for youth ages 16 to 19 attending a postsecondary program.

For Custodial Youth ages 14 to 19 (Placed in a secure facility):

  • Life Skills Instruction.
  • State-funded Bright Futures scholarship for youth ages 16 to 19 attending a post-secondary program.

For Young Adults 18 to 21 who are completing high school or GED/HiSET and who were released from custody at or after age 18 (not open to youth who turn 18 in a secure facility):

  • Foster Care Placement Services for young adults who wish to stay in a foster home OR an Independent Living Allowance for young adults who wish to live independently.
  • Case Management Services.
  • Life Skills Instruction.
  • Independent Living Wrap Services.

For Young Adults 18 to 21 who are enrolled in a post-secondary or vocational education institution and who were released from custody at or after age 18 (not open to youth who turn 18 in a secure facility)

  • Education and Training Voucher: up to $2,500 semester/ up to $5,000 year.
  • Foster Care Placement Services for young adults who wish to stay in a foster home OR an Independent Living Allowance for young adults who wish to live independently.
  • Case Management Services.
  • Independent Living Wrap Services.
  • Life Skills Instruction.

For Young Adults 18 to 21 who are “Unable to Attend School” due to Serious Health Issues

  • Foster Care Placement Services.
  • Case Management Services and Court Review.
  • Life Skills Instruction.
  • Independent Living Wrap Services.

Limited DCS Service Options (ETV & Bright Futures Scholarships):

Education and Training Voucher and limited IL Wrap only:

  • Youth who exit state custody at age 16 or older to adoption or subsidized permanent guardianship.

Education and Training Voucher only:

  • Youth ages 21 to 23 who were receiving an ETV at age 21.

State-funded Bright Futures Scholarship only: (up to $2,500/semester or $5000/year, available up to age 24)

  • Youth who exit to permanency at age 16 or older.
  • Youth who have exited state custody from a Youth Development Center or detention after age 16.
  • Youth who are in a YDC or detention who are attending a post-secondary program.
  • Youth who lose eligibility for Education and Training Vouchers.

Youth Villages Youth Villages LifeSet Services 

  • Young adults who are emancipated to adulthood from state custody at or after their 18th birthday, who were in a foster care placement at their 18th birthday;
  • Young adults released from a foster care placement to permanency, who were in state custody starting at age 17 or older; or
  • Youth ages  17 or older in state custody and in a foster care placement for the purpose of assessment to determine eligibility, appropriateness for services and preparation for transition to adulthood. 

Jim Casey Resource Centers (Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga)

Resource centers can be found across the state and serve:

  • Youth in DCS custody ages 14-19, or
  • Youth who exited DCS custody at or after 14 years of age, ages 14-25.

Download the state-wide resource center informational flyer with contact information for each center.