Independent Living and Transition Planning Redesign Project

In 2021, the Washington State Legislature passed a budget proviso to create and implement a new approach to transition planning for young people preparing to exit the child welfare system and juvenile rehabilitation institutions, pursuant to the recommendations in the Improving Stability for Youth Exiting Systems of Care Report. The proviso requires DCYF to engage young people, caregivers, providers, and other stakeholders in the work. Next to each activity below you will see the target participation demographic.

Current Work on our Project

The Independent Living and Transition Planning Report was approved and submitted to the legislature in for the 2023 legislative session. The report provides a breakdown of the work as know it and provides recommendations on how to improve the programs and better support transition age youth. For the Independent Living Program (IL), DCYF has created a new Rate Model that funds the program as it sits today, converts the payment to a case rate, and allows for providers to pay a living wage. This work included ongoing meetings with current IL Providers to learn about how they are doing the work within the current funding mechanism and what was essential to the rate model. This information is also being used to streamline and update the contract in preparation for the required procurement. The Request for Application (RFA) is scheduled to launch the last week of November 2023 with a contract start date of April 1, 2024.

Independent Living Rate Model

DCYF will be holding a meeting to review, answer questions, and gather feedback on the new Independent Living Rate Model before the statewide Request for Applications (RFA) is launched.

IL Stakeholder/Rate Model Presentation
Tuesday, September 26, 2023

If you have any questions, email

Independent Living Service Catchment Areas and Living Wage Presentation

DCYF will be holding a meeting to review, answer questions, and gather feedback of the following topics:

  • DCYF’s approach to Catchment Areas within IL, and
  • Overview of DCYF’s approach to the idea of Living Wages and strategies for implementing within IL.

IL Stakeholder Service Catchment Areas and Living Wage Presentation
Tuesday, October 24, 2023

If you have any questions, email

Previous Work

I am an adult supporter, how can I help? 
We welcome everyone to join us in the Town Halls and in the Stakeholder Co-Design Sessions.

I am a youth between the ages of 14-23 with lived experience, how can I get involved?
Please complete the Interest Form and someone will contact you.

Town Halls (anyone interested in receiving updates about the project)

DCYF's Adolescent Programs division is hosting four town hall meetings to provide ongoing updates regarding the Transition Planning and Independent Living Program Redesign Project. Attendees will have the opportunity to receive updates about the project, themes collected, and share thoughts about what youth need when transitioning out of a DCYF system of care (Child Welfare and JR) and the services provided by our contracted Independent Living Program providers.

Town hall dates and times:

Core Work Group (identified volunteers from the below groups)

A Core Work Group has been created to help go through the data that has been collected, pull out themes, and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard throughout this process. Participants consist of two representatives from the following groups; IL providers, lived experts, caregivers, caseworkers, program regional leads, and stakeholders. This work will feed into the Lived Expert and Stakeholder Co-Design Sessions and activities.

Lived Expert Co-Design Sessions (youth with recent experience in Child Welfare and Juvenile Rehabilitation)

Co-design is about designing with, not for, the people closest to the impact. As a part of our co-design work, we are working with lived experts across the state of Washington to get their input and expertise on how Transitions and Independent Living Services should be designed.

The sessions are scheduled as follows:

Build the Conditions

This is the first step in co-design and is about establishing relationships and community with each other. During this phase, we will decide how we want to work together and build our community agreements. Activities in this phase include:

  • Community Expectations (Model of Care)
  • Journey Mapping
  • Build Music Playlist
  • Establish Co-design Reps

Meeting dates and times:

  • Monday, May 23, 2022, 5-7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 7-9 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 26, 2022, 5-7 p.m.

Immerse and Align

This phase is about understanding the depth and breadth of the problem presented to the group. We will explore what we know from the information gathered and sorted by the Core Workgroup and what gaps need to be filled in. Activities in this phase include:

  • Activity related to the problem
  • Start thinking about solutions design

Meeting dates and times:

  • Sunday, June 26, 2022, 3-5 p.m.
  • Monday, June 27, 2022, 5-7 p.m.


In this phase, we get our questions answered from the Immerse and Align phase. With that information we start to explore possible solutions. Activities in this phase include:

  • Activity related to solution building
  • Start building model and recommendations

Meeting dates and times:

  • Saturday, July 16, 2022, 3-5 p.m.
  • Monday, July 18, 2022, 5-7 p.m.


This is the phase where everything comes together and our model is developed. Activities in this phase include:

  • Build the model and recommendations

Meeting dates and times:

  • Saturday, August 13, 2022, 3-5 p.m.
  • Monday, August 15, 2022, 5-7 p.m.

For any questions about the lived expert co-design sessions please feel free to contact:

Peggy Lewis, Youth Empowerment Manager,

Lily Cory, Adolescent Programs Co-Design Manager,

Stakeholder Co-Design Sessions (those interested in helping to redesign the programs)

Join us for co-design sessions where we will work on the design of IL and Transition planning in an effort to create a program that is youth friendly, engaging, and helpful as young people transition into adulthood. During these sessions we will enlist the help of lived experts, caregivers, providers who serve foster care youth/alumni and the JR populations, caseworkers, stakeholders, advocates and community members to mirror the youth sessions in Immerse and Align, Discover, and Design. Each meeting will build upon the last and at the end we should have a framework for IL and Transition Planning that we will use to make program improvements.

Meeting dates and times:

If you have questions, concerns, or ideas about the redesign project please reach out to:

Sherrie Flores, Independent Living/Emerging Adulthood,

Gavyn Tann, Adolescent Transitions,