Project Independence

Independent Living Skills For Foster Care Youth

 Our Program

Project Independence is designed to help young people between the ages of 14-21 who are in foster care, or discharged from foster care, to live and work independently in the community when they are no longer eligible for foster care.

In our comprehensive non-residential program, we also work closely with foster parents. Home visits and supportive services are offered; foster parent training and support groups are provided throughout the year.



  • Independent living life skills coaching
  • Education and community advocacy
  • Foster parent support workshops
  • Home/financial management skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Scholarship program
  • Aftercare support services



  • Health/sexuality
  • Recreation
  • Vocational training
  • College/career readiness
  • Resume writing
  • Financial literacy
  • Mental health and substance abuse awareness
  • And much more!


All services are free.

Referrals must come through Department of Social Services (DSS) –
Nassau DSS, Warren Friedman (516) 227-8533
Suffolk DSS, Rachelle Day (631) 854-9269

Funded by the Nassau County Department of Social Services and the Suffolk County Department of Social Services.


Monday – Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Evening workshop hours vary


Project Independence Nassau

Laurel Ahwah, MSW
Family Support Division Director

14 Front Street, Suite 102
Hempstead, NY 11550
(516) 565-5512

Project Independence Suffolk

Laurel Ahwah, MSW
Family Support Division Director

One Corporate Drive, Suite GL -003                  Bohemia, NY 11716
(516) 565-5512

Erica Schifano, LCSW
Assistant Vice President-Family Support Division

14 Front Street, Suite 102
Hempstead, NY 11550
(516) 485-4289 x1223