Every year 20,000 youths 'age out' of the foster care system in the United States. Many lack the necessary skills to transition successfully from foster care to independent living. These unsuccessful transitions usually result in the individual experiencing barriers such as under-education, unemployment, lack of permanent housing, inadequate social support, and involvement with the criminal justice system. However, with the help of independent living programs these low rates of success can be reversed to reveal better outcomes for youths emancipating from care. Research has observed that participants involved with independent living programs have more successful rates in the areas of educational attainment, length of employment, stable housing, fewer encounters with justice system and better social support than those not participating in any types of services. The purpose of this study was to review the Independent Living Program and its mandates as well as the various independent living programs operating throughout the United States in an attempt to identify which program elements are effective in preparing youth to live successfully upon emancipation from the foster care system. The following study conducted is a review of the research literature on independent living services and programs for foster care youths. Existing studies were gathered to provide evidence about whether or not the independent living program and its services have been shown to be effective. Benefits of this literature review can provide information for future policy makers, social workers, and administrators. By knowing what appears to work and what has shown to produce positive results and outcomes, federal, state, and local legislators can use this information to adapt, revise existing laws or to create new laws for children and youth that are in the system to help them prepare for their future outside of the foster care system.