This program assists adolescents (16 years of age and older) referred by a DCF social worker to begin to develop a high level of self-sufficiency as they move from dependent to independent living. The CBLS program teaches a variety of life skills and acquaints young people with the resources of their communities. Participants are offered incentives to continue the program and are paid a stipend when they successfully complete it. The year-long program combines a core curriculum, group work, and a community awareness segment and includes six months of individualized instruction.
The curriculum, the informational and educational component of CBLS, focuses on a variety of tangible and intangible life skills. Topics covered may include:
- Decision-making, goal-setting, and problem-solving
- Financial management
- Career planning, job search, and interviewing skills
- Housing search and household management skills
- Health care options
- Fitness, nutrition, and meal planning
- Smart shopping
- Consumer information and protection
- Leisure activities
- Communication skills
- Relationships and interpersonal skills
- Healthy sexuality education
- Parenting skills
Group discussions make the information presented in the classroom more relevant to the young people, and provide a forum where youth can discuss their expectations and fears of going out on their own.