Massachusetts Programs

Independent Living Program Overview

Communities For People, Inc. (CFP) believes that the most therapeutic environment for a youth coming from an abusive or disrupted living situation is the one that most resembles a safe, permanent home. We strive to create such an environment at all of our community living programs' residences. CFP's spectrum of community living programs includes the Pre-Independent Living (Pre-IL), Independent Living (IL), and Stepping Out models that make up the Independent Living Program (ILP). CFP provides youth in the Independent Living Program with the skills and services they need in order to be productive members of their communities when they leave care.

Program Goals

The Independent Living Program's goals are to help youth:
Treatment Teams

Treatment teams serving clients in the Independent Living Program consist of clinicians, outreach workers, and milieu staff trained to assist clients struggling with mental health issues, substance abuse problems, and the effects of traumatic experiences. Treatment teams also work with teen parents, connecting them with day care, family supports, other parents, and parent education resources. One clinician acts as a youth's treatment coordinator for the duration of the youth's care. This supports transition from one Independent Living model to another and maintains important treatment relationships.

Independent Living Program Models

Pre-Independent Living

Youth in the Pre-Independent Living model (Pre-IL) focus on learning the skills they will need to live on their own. With the help of CFP staff members, youth also learn to locate and use community resources. Youth living in this model must choose one of the following plans:

On-site CFP staff are available to help youth with routine tasks (money management, cooking, homework, etc.) and emergency situations. Communities For People, Inc. maintains five Pre-IL sites in the Greater Boston/Somerville area.


Independent Living

The Independent Living model supports clients who have developed basic living skills but are not yet ready for complete independence. Youth live in unsupervised apartments, and CFP outreach workers meet with youth six to ten hours weekly. CFP subsidizes a portion of the rent. Youth continue to work or to go to academic or vocational school full-time, or to do both part-time. This model is open to youth between the ages of 17 and 22.

Stepping Out

In the Stepping Out model, CFP outreach workers meet regularly with youth who live independently and pay rent and bills on their own. This extra step in the transition to independence gives youth a stronger foundation in important habits and skills and makes long-term success more likely.

For more information about the Independent Living Program, please contact Yolanda Cloete, Program Director, and (617) 628-0451.

Intensive Foster Care/Adoption Program

The Intensive Foster Care /Adoption Program (IFC/Adoption) places children and youth referred to CFP by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in safe permanent or long-term transitional homes. CFP clinicians conduct a comprehensive assessment of each child, youth, and family in the program to determine the most suitable family/child or youth match. The "best fit" family offers the child or youth more than safety and a permanent home. The "best fit" family also values the ethnic and cultural background and cultivates the interests and strengths of the child or youth. The IFC/Adoption Program provides both the family and child or youth with extensive and ongoing support.

For more information, please call Jennifer Wittlin, Clinical Director of the Intensive Foster Care/ Adoption Program at 617.628.0450

The Family Networks Program

As part of its Family Networks System of Care, the Department of Children and Families (Formerly the Department of Social Services) awards independent organizations contracts as Area Lead Agencies. Lead Agencies are responsible for coordinating and managing treatment services for families referred to them by the Department. As Area Lead Agency for the Harbor and Hyde Park Department of Children and Families (DCF) offices, Communities For People, Inc. coordinates and manages services for over 260 Boston families.

CFP provides its clients with home-based clinical services, residential and group homes, supervised pre-independent and independent living apartments, and intensive foster care. CFP’s Family Networks staff ensures that youth and their family members are active participants in identifying roadblocks to success in their lives and establishing strategies for removing them. Staff, client, and family members meet regularly. These "Family Team Meetings" focus on identifying and building on individual and family strengths, creating and reviewing goals, and determining which community services and local resources can help youth and families to achieve their goals. The main objective objective of the Family Networks Program is to provide each youth with a safe, permanent home in as timely manner as is possible.

For more information about Family Networks, please contact Joan McGregor, Ph.D., Program Director, at (617) 267-1031.