Achieving Independence Center

The education of American youth continues to be one of the most critical topics in the 21st century.   There is clear and undeniable crisis facing youth who attend inner city or urban school districts.  Students generally have limited access to career and educational counseling or academic support services. Students attending urban schools have lower academic self esteem, lower standardized test scores and lower graduation rates than students in private or suburban school districts. This leads to limited career options, as well as reliance on the public welfare system.

Youth attending urban schools who are involved in the child welfare system face even greater challenges. It is not unusual that multiple residential placements force youth in out-of-home care to enroll in different schools throughout their middle and high school years. These youth are usually below level in reading, writing, and math skills and suffer from a lack of continuity of academic support services. Their dropout rates tend to be higher, and those students who graduate from high school usually have limited higher education options due to low GPA’s, poor critical thinking skills and low standardized test scores.

CSPCD provides educational support services to members of the Achieving Independence Center for youth transitioning out of the dependent care system.  CSPCD has two staff persons assigned to AIC, who are responsible for the following services to AIC Members:

  • High school support and retention – including group activities, homework help and individual counseling sessions
  • Educational & vocational training linkages and referrals
  • GED linkages and referrals
  • Assistance obtaining higher education – including individual counseling sessions, workshops, college tours and fairs, as well as assistance in completing post-secondary applications, financial aid application, scholarship applications, and
  • Education & Training Grant assistance – including individual counseling sessions to complete the application process

As a part of Temple's School of Social Work, CSPCD is able to leverage its resources and use undergraduate and graduate social work interns as well as tutors to support AIC youth.


For more information about the Achieving Independence Center, contact:

Center for Social Policy and Community Development
c/o Achieving Independence Center
1415 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone:    215-574-9194 ext.232
Fax:        215-574-9196
E-mail: or