Did you know that VDSS has some relief $$$ for eligible youth?
Make sure you read on to see the details about eligibility and accessing these relief funds in the “Additional Resources” section of this newsletter!
Upcoming Statewide Events
Summer Bucket List Bingo!
Dates: July 1- August 27, 2021 | Various times and locations
Ready for a summer challenge? The game runs through July and August. Achieve a BINGO by completing 4 squares in a row. BINGOs can be made vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Or, you can also complete each corner instead of 4 in a row. This guide on our website will share what needs to be done to complete each square and challenge. Win $25 or $50 VISA dollars for completed challenges. Eligble events are listed with a (*Bingo!) in the title.
Talk it Out Tuesdays (*Bingo!)
Dates: August 3 + 17, 2021 | Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Ring Central Application
Feeling isolated due to COVID? Need someone to connect with? Miss talking with peers? Talk it Out Tuesdays is an open platform for youth to talk with other youth and trusted adults about anything on their minds. Hosted by Jamesia and Melissa, you can join in this social session by registering with the button below.
The College Admission Race (*Bingo!)
Date: August 4, 2021 | Time: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Virtual Event via Zoom Application
Project LIFE is partnering with ECMC to host this session. The College Admissions Race workshop is an interactive activity where students participate as members of a college admissions committee to determine which applicants should be granted admissions to their college based on the values of their respective school. Students learn how colleges approach reviewing college applications and the various factors that schools may consider when making admissions decisions. Reach out to George with any questions.
Summer Series with VLPP
The Eastern region is partnering with the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood (VLPP) for a 3 course summer series. Read on for info about the remaining stand-alone session. All sessions will be virtual through the Ring Central Application. Contact Melissa if you plan on attending or if you need more information. If you are not a youth from the Eastern region but are interested in attending, reach out to Melissa.
Session 3: Sex and Technology
Date: August 9, 2021 | Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Youth and the facilitator will discuss the role that technology plays in dating and sexual relationships.
Virtual Movie Night (*Bingo!)
Date: August 12, 2021 | Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
This will be a virtual movie night through Kosmi. Grab some popcorn, sit back, and relax with Project LIFE for movie night! Youth will have the opportunity to vote on what they would like to watch from a list of three movies. Come join us! Sophia will send more information to the registered attendants as the event nears.
Summer Book Club! (*Bingo!)
Date: August 17, 2021 | Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Virtual event via Ring Central
Register for these events by this July 6 to receive the book in the mail. (You can provide the book on your own if you miss the registration date, and still register to attend one of the discussions.) Read the book, “I am Not Dying With You Tonight” by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones. Use the meeting link from your registration email to attend one session of your choosing to discuss the book with your peers. (The three sessions will feature the same discussion questions.)
Advocacy Opportunities with Voices of Virginia’s Children (*Bingo!)
Date: August 22-28, 2021 | Time: various
Virtual events via Ring Central Application
PL is partnering with Voices of VA’s Children for the Racial Truth and Reconciliation Week. It was originally planned for earlier in the month, and has been moved to Aug 22-28. The schedule of events will be announced once final changes are made. There will be a round table discussion about authentically engaging youth and young adults around the topic of racial truth and reconciliation. Sign up here to receive updates sent through email as more information becomes available. You can also learn more about the week here.
Training for Professionals on the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative through HUD
Date: September 22, 2021 | Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Virtual events via Ring Central Application
Project LIFE is partnering with VDSS to provide a training to professionals about the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Through the FYI initiative, HUD will provide Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) for youth eligible under the Family Unification Program (FUP), subject to availability. Come learn more about this initiative and how it can help the youth you work with. Please register using the button below and reach out to George with any questions.
Upcoming Regional Events
Piedmont Region Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) Meeting
Date: August 3, 2021 | Time: 2:00 p.m.
Virtual Video Conference with the Ring Central Application
All Piedmont region DSS agencies and private providers are invited to attend to discuss independent living needs for youth in this region. Contact Jamesia to confirm your agency’s participation or absence.
Western’s Monthly IL Sessions
Virtual trainings via the Ring Central Application
Aros is the Western area IL consultant for the PL team. He meets with several agencies each month for their planned IL Sessions. Some common trainings that he offers are financial literacy, good credit, permanency, and many more. Let Aros know of an area of Independent Living skills that the youth could benefit from, and he will make it work! If your Western-region agency has a plan to get your youth together and would like Aros to lead a training, please reach out to him at email@example.com.
Additional Events and Resources
Youth Welfare Approach
The YWA launched in VA in July. Check out or website for more info about the YWA.
Back Together Summer Picnic in the Northern Region
Date: August 6, 2021 | Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Formed Families Forward is hosting an Back Together Summer Picnic event in Fairfax VA. The event is free of charge for foster, adoptive and kinship families but registration is required! This is a good opportunity for foster, adoptive and kinship families to reconnect and relax after the long pandemic year. Families will participate in a short service project, creating pet items that will be donated to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. After the service project there will be a joint family meal that is provided by FFF. Following the meal, children will have time to play and participate in games and activities supervised by our volunteers. You can access the flyer here and register here. Contact Leslie with questions.
Youth MOVE National Job Opportunity: Member Services Youth Program Specialist
Deadline: August 9, 2021
Youth MOVE National (YMN) is looking for a Member Services Youth Program Specialist. The Member Services Youth Program Specialist (YPS) will possess experience in youth engagement, youth leadership, and youth advocacy in youth-serving systems, and delivering training and providing technical assistance. Benefits of working at YMN: Flexible, work from home position, with some travel opportunity; leadership opportunities; opportunity to design projects from the ground up; benefit package including health insurance and paid time off. You can learn more about this opportunity, including qualifications, here. Please submit cover letter, resume and references via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be accepted through August 9, 2021.
COVID-19 Financial Relief
Deadline: September 15, 2021
VDSS, through their Fostering Futures program, has COVID relief funds available to eligible youth for a one-time payment of up to $1,500. If you are a youth between the ages of 18-27 who was previously a teen in foster care, and you are in need a of some support, you may be eligible! You can also access the application here and you can contact your current or former LDSS for more deails about and assistance in this process.