Free Toolkit Assesses Life Skills Youth Need for Independence

An updated version of the Casey Life Skills (CLS) toolkit is now available with recent revisions made using a diversity and equity lens. The updated toolkit includes two new skill areas—civic engagement and navigating the child welfare system—and a supplemental assessment that evaluates youth access to formal and informal supports.

The CLS toolkit also contains a series of free, youth-centered, self-reporting instruments developed to empower youth ages 14 to 21, regardless of social strata and life circumstance, to lead healthy and productive lives through the assessment of life skills needed for successful independent living. The standard 126-item assessment and a shorter 20-item assessment both measure strengths and areas for growth in nine life skills categories: 

  • Daily living
  • Self-care
  • Housing and money management
  • Relationships and communication
  • Work and study
  • Career and education planning
  • Civic engagement
  • Navigating the child welfare system
  • Looking forward

The authors of the toolkit emphasize that the CLS assessments are not tests but are, instead, designed to be conversation starters to inspire young people to set their own goals and work with supportive adults to develop and strengthen their life skills. The toolkit was developed, reviewed, and revised by a collaborative team of child welfare practitioners, foster care alumni, resource parents, and life-skills experts.  For more information and to download a copy of the CLS toolkit, visit the Casey Family Programs website.

Children’s Bureau Express. April 2022 | Vol. 23, No. 3

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