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National Resource Center for Youth Services: Oklahoma Successful Adulthood Program


About OKSA

The University of Oklahoma National Resource Center for Youth Services contracts with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and Child Welfare Services, to implement the Oklahoma Successful Adulthood (OKSA) program. The program provides training and consultation, conference and event coordination, and statewide support to child welfare staff, tribal staff, resource parents, and contractors working with youth and young adults. These services prepare workers to support young people in preparation for transition to adulthood. In addition, OKSA coordinates the delivery of services and resources directly to OKSA eligible youth and young adults through the OKSA Helpline.

The OKSA mission is to empower youth in and from foster care to lead safer, healthier, more independent and productive lives.

The creation of OKSA

The John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood is a federal program that offers assistance to help current and former foster care youths achieve self-sufficiency. Grants are offered to States and Tribes who submit a plan to assist youth in a wide variety of areas designed to support a successful transition to adulthood. Activities and programs include, but are not limited to, help with education, employment, financial management, housing, emotional support and assured connections to caring adults for older youth in foster care. The program is intended to serve youth who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18, youth who, after attaining 16 years of age, have left foster care for kinship guardianship or adoption, and young adults ages 18-23 who have "aged out" of the foster care system.

Oklahoma's Response

Oklahoma’s Independent Living Program is called, the Oklahoma Successful Adulthood (OKSA) Program. The vision of OKSA is to be a youth-focused and youth-driven program that serves youth at various ages and stages of achieving self-sufficiency. The OKSA program emphasizes the importance of early planning for a successful transition to adulthood and promotes the importance of permanent connections by encouraging a multi-disciplinary approach using culturally relevant and age-appropriate resources and services.

Seven Key Elements

OKSA uses seven key elements to help youth think about how to prepare for adulthood.


Health is your overall well-being. It encompasses both your mind and your body.


Housing is where you live on a day-to-day basis. You need to take into account whether your housing is safe, stable, and affordable FOR YOU.


Education is an important aspect of adult life. Whether you get your high school diploma, an Associate's degree, vo-tech certificate, Bachelor's degree, or something in between, it is very important to obtain your Education.


Employment is working a job, whether big or little (cashier at Pizza Hut or the President of OU). You can make minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour, or more depending on your skill level and education!

Essential Documents>

Essential Documents are the important papers that establish your identity. These consist of your birth certificate, social security card, driver’s license, and may include a CDIB (certified document of Indian blood). You should keep these documents in your possession or a place safe from fire, burglary, etc. Many people store them at the bank or in a locked, fireproof box at home.

Life Skills>

Life Skills are those skills that you use every day, sometimes without even thinking about it. Cooking, driving, doing laundry, and paying bills are all Life Skills.

Permanent Connections>

Permanent Connections are the important people in your life. These are the people you can call on at all times of day and night for help of any kind. Permanent Connections are the people that call/text/email you just to check in on you.

The University of Oklahoma OUTREACH National Resource Center for Youth Services
5727 S. Lewis Ave., 2nd Floor, Tulsa OK 74105-7146 | (800) 274-2687

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