Skip to main content

Money Smart and Job Savvy

Finding and keeping a job are defining moments in the life of any young person. Besides putting money in your pocket, employment can help you build confidence and self-esteem as well as foster the development of the necessary work habits to move towards independence. This is a particularly crucial developmental stage for youth in the care of DCFS as they approach emancipation. Youth may use this list of resources to help make the transition to independence successful. For more information about these and other programs available to youth in care, call your caseworker and ask him or her to contact the OETS transition manager in your area.

Alternative Schools Network “Added Chance” Program

The Added Chance Program provides coaching and classes to help youth find, prepare for and keep a job. The program is open to youth in the care of DCFS who are between the ages of 16 and 20 and reside in Cook County.

Employment/Job Training/Apprenticiship Incentive Program

The Employment Incentive Program (EIP) is designed to provide financial and supplemental services to help eligible youth gain marketable skills through on-the-job work experience, job training programs or approved apprenticeships. Youth in the care of DCFS who are between the ages of 17 and 20 and are working 20 hours/week or 80 hours/month, engaged in a job training program or enrolled in an approved apprenticeship are eligible for the program. Youth who aged out of DCFS care at age 18 or older; or who were adopted or entered into a guardianship agreement from DCFS care who are under the age of 26 at the time of enrollment in an approved apprenticeship are eligible for the program. To apply, fill out the Employment/Job Training/Apprenticeship Incentive Program Application (CFS 449-2) and submit it by email to or fax to 217-524-2101.

Find Your Future Internship Program

The Find Your Future (FYF) Internship Program is a 10-week paid internship program that matches current or former youth in care who are attending college or a vocational program with employers that most closely match their interests and skills.

Illinois businesses are hiring. And they are looking for workers on The state's hiring board features more than 170,000 help-wanted ads. Job seekers can build multiple resumes to emphasize different skills and experiences. Business owners can use keyword matching technology to search resumes and find the best candidate. is free for workers and employers. To create an account go to and select the "Job Seekers" link at the top of the page.

Illinois Department of Employment Security Hire the Future Program

Hire the Future (HTF) is designed to facilitate the transition of young adults, between 16 and 24 years of age, into adulthood and into the workplace. The HTF program provides students with exposure to the workplace environment, including an understanding of work requirements as well as education and necessary skills needed.

Illinois WorkNet Centers

Visit the Illinois WorkNet Centers website for help looking for a job, improving your education or planning for your career. Enter your zip code and find out about career-related events happening in your area.

Job Corps

Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED and find and keep a good job. For eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life.

Lawrence Hall Youth Services (LHYS) Mentoring Youth To Inspire Meaningful Employment (MY TIME) Program

MY TIME is a unique job readiness and employment program created especially for youth in the care of DCFS. Participants will learn the skills to get a job, keep a job and prepare for future success in the workforce. MY TIME is open to youth between the ages of 17 ½ and 20 ½ years old.


In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16 to 24 work full-time for six to 24 months toward their GEDs or high school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable housing in their communities. Students may earn AmeriCorps education awards through their homebuilding and other community service. At exit, youth are placed in college, jobs, or both.

Need help or want to know more?

The Illinois Department of Employment Security provides employment services to Illinois residents and employers. For information about employment opportunities with the State of Illinois, visit