Preparing Foster Youth for Independence

UFC Housing Programs

With the proper support and guidance, a job and a place to live, former foster youth can make a successful transition to adulthood.

It doesn’t happen magically when they turn 18. However, we have a unique opportunity and, in fact, a responsibility to provide foster youth ages 18-23 with the support that will allow them to prepare for independence. In Pathways, we do this by surrounding them with positive role models, creating enduring relationships, challenging them to better themselves and providing them with the safety net of a service-enriched housing program.


There are many pathways to success based on the strengths and interests of individual youth.

Through long-term, stable relationships with adults who care, foster youth can overcome the barriers and experiences they faced to go on for independent living.


Pathways provides former foster youth with 18 months of housing in their own apartments. The program requires increasing levels of responsibility and challenges youth to maintain employment and develop money management skills, while at the same time allowing them a “grace-period” to build these skills and habits.

Life Skills Training

Weekly life skills classes bring youth together for interactive sessions, providing residents with a sense of community and the opportunity to gain valuable “real life” experiences in a supportive setting.

Topics include:

  • financial literacy
  • work readiness
  • nutrition and exercise
  • conflict resolution
  • stress management

Advocacy Counseling

A distinctive feature to UFC’s approach to serving foster youth is the deep and lasting nature of the relationships youth share with their Advocacy Counselors (AC’s). Weekly one-on-one sessions with their AC’s help residents set goals and devise a plan to achieve them as well as deal with day-to-day concerns that arise.

Mental Health Counseling

UFC collaborates with local mental health agencies and private practitioners to provide residents with mental health treatment services that include scheduled individual counseling, group therapy, mental health evaluations, and referrals. Having an on-site mental health practitioner has opened the doors to so many youth initially resisting therapeutic services.

Career services

Pathways Career Development services are essential to the future success of youth in the program. Through career training and development, workshops and internships, Pathways provides residents with opportunities to explore new career options, broadening their understanding of the options available to them.

Educational guidance

Pathways helps to equip youth with the tools and resources necessary for them to see that educational improvement is critical to their future success and independence. Youth in the program receive educational guidance and assistance that can include:

  • financial assistance to attend college
  • educational resources
  • one-on-one sessions and workshops
  • on-site tutoring for GED preparation
  • tutoring for community college courses

UFC Outcomes

vs. General Outcomes for Foster Youth

87% of UFC active Pathways Alumni
are in stable housing


36% of foster youth
are homeless within 18 months of leaving care


74% of UFC active Pathways Alumni
are employed


51% of foster youth
are unemployed within 3 yrs of leaving care


Giving Back

Caring for others and giving back to the community is key to the success of our program youth.

  • Each year Pathways residents participate in Big Sunday's Day of Volunteering
  • They volunteer each year at UFC’s College Within Reach event
  • Pathways hosts an annual Easter egg hunt and Halloween party for Whittier community residents

Past Events

Annual Pathways Christmas Eve

250 youth, alumni, board members, and staff gathered at McCormick & Schmick's for...

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Pathways Spring Planting and BBQ

On Saturday, March 24 volunteers, board and community members gathered at Pathways in...

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Grand Opening of The Palace

UFC staff, board members and youth, project partners, community residents and new ten...

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UFC on The Bold and The Beautiful

Thank you for watching UFC on The Bold and The Beautiful! Two special episo...

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Pathways Supports Big Sunday

Pathways youth, staff and volunteers joined forces with REI and the LA Conservation C...

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