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If you are in foster care in Virginia and are age 14 or older, this Guide is for you!
As an older youth, you have a central role in decisions that affect your life, the goals you set for yourself, and the plans you make for transitioning to adulthood. This Guide is a tool you can use to map out then follow your chosen course to adulthood.
In this Guide, we focus on:
We hope this Guide serves as a useful tool for you as you begin to assume your central role in mapping out and following YOUR path to adulthood.
Click here to download your copy of the Youth Guide!
Casey Life Skills Assessment
In accordance with the State of Virginia Department of Social Services, Independent Living Consultants have been trained and authorized to conduct training in the use of the Ansell Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACLSA) throughout their Regions. The ACLSA is a free web-based strengths assessment to be utilized in the planning of next steps for a youth’s learning as they prepare for adulthood. Key components of the training cover administration of the ACLSA, engaging the youth in conversation about their assessment, and empowering the youth to “take the reins” in preparing their Learning Plan. The Plan can be incorporated into the Foster Care Service Plan as well as updated for their transition and discharge plan. Training typically takes a full day. The ACLSA training “curriculum design was created with the basic beliefs that assessment should always be tied to planning, people should always be involved in their own learning, and learning should be fun.
Contact your Regional Project LIFE lndependent Living Consultant if you are interested in receiving ACLSA training.
The National Youth In Transitition Database
The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) is a federal requirement that provides Virginia as well as other states an opportunity to see how young people are doing as they transition out of foster care. Because of NYTD, Virginia has a great chance to improve the quality of life for young people who receive Virginia’s Independent Living Services.
NYTD is a data system created to track independent living services and learn how successful states are in preparing youth to move from foster care into adulthood. Every three years beginning on October 1, 2010, Virginia will survey youth who are in foster care when they are age 17 and then do follow-up surveys of some of the same youth at age 19 and again at age 21.
If you are asked to be part of the NYTD survey, take the survey! Your input is very important. In Virginia, you could be contacted by your social worker, case worker, or Independent Living Coordinator soon after turning 17 and asked to answer some questions on a survey. You may be asked to complete another survey when you turn 19 and again at age 21. Your feedback, along with foster youth from other states, will be put into the NYTD database. Your story can help improve the foster care system for thousands of young people. Need more inspiration? Listen to the U-NYTD produced by young people in California!
Transitional Living Plan (TLP) Templates
Did you know that there is help prepare you for the real world? The Transitional Living Plans or TLPs to be short are great tools that you and your social worker use to identify your strengths, talents needs, and set goals for yourself. The IL TLP for Youth Ages 14 to 17 and 90 Day IL TLP are documents that have been re-designed and re-focused to increase your “ownership” of the plans as well as meet all legal requirements. Be one step ahead and continue reading to learn more about these new plans and be more prepared for your future!
The IL TLP for Youth Ages 14 to 17 now includes a one-page “Message about Your Independent Living Transition Plan” that emphasizes ownership of the plan, explains basics of the planning process, describes your central role in service planning and decision making and the use of a team process, and encourages you to learn more from the Guide for Older Youth In and Aging Out of Foster Care. The template also contains “Tips for Completing your IL Transition Plan” designed further describe how the IL needs assessment informs the IL transition plan and to provide examples of IL services as well as goals, activities, and measures documented in the plan. Click here to view this document.
The 90 Day IL TLP now includes a one-page “Message” that explains that the plan differs from prior plans because you are approaching or have arrived at age 18 and legal adulthood. The template contains three major sections: one on rights and responsibilities, one documenting specific plans in prescribed areas including critical documents and permanent connections, and a third section that is your continuing transition plan if you continue to receive IL services beyond your 18th birthday. Click here to view this document.
Now that you have the information, go out and take control of your future!