Youth Welfare Approach Webpage
Project LIFE is proud to unveil a new page on our website dedicated to the Youth Welfare Approach. Because of the unique needs of youth, the Virginia Department of Social Services is embarking on a different framework to engage youth, entitled the Youth Welfare Approach (YWA). This approach more adequately addresses the strengths and needs of youth and young adults. Along with resources posed on our page, we also have a calendar hub for YWA trainings. Project LIFE will be hosting trainings for all professionals from LDSSs and private providers on the YWA. Visit this page to sign up and learn more.
Upcoming Statewide Events
Casey Life Skills Assessment Changes & Transition Plan Training
Dates: August 8, 2023 | Times: 10:00 a.m. for Professionals virtually via Zoom
Project LIFE will be hosting virtual statewide training for LDSSs and private providers working with older youth in foster care. Join us to learn about recent changes to the Casey Life Skills Assessment (CLSA). As of April 11, 2022, the CLSA website stopped processing new assessments. On May 9, 2022, all youth data maintained on the Casey Life Skills Assessment website was deleted. All LDSS workers who are responsible for conducting CLSAs will need to download the new CLSA toolkit. Project LIFE will help explain the changes and will train on how to utilize the new formats of the assessment. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Reach out to email@example.com with any questions.
Project LIFE Reunion
Date: August 9, 2023 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for Everyone! Staff, Current and Alumni Youth and Professionals at UMFS, RVA
Project LIFE is turning 15! Save the date to join us as we celebrate the history and evolution of the Project LIFE program and its impact in Virginia over the last 15 years! There will be a brief program, food, music, vendors, and fun as we celebrate as a community! Register using the button below and reach out to Sophia with questions.
3-on-3 Back to School Basketball Bash
Date: August 11, 2023 | Time: 11:00 a.m. for Youth in-person at Virginia Home for Boys and Girls, RVA
Join Project Life & Virginia Home for Boys & Girls (VHBG) as we host our first 3-on-3 back to school Basketball Bash! This 3-on-3 tournament is designed so that anyone involved in, or eligible for Project LIFE, can play, male or female, young, old, tall or short, experienced or not experienced. Grab a group of your friends to make a team of 3. Even if you don’t play at all, don’t hesitate to come cheer on other youth and teams from across Virginia and get plugged into Project LIFE! Teams are expected to be represented from the Central, Eastern, Northern, Piedmont, and Western ends of the state. If you are interested in participating, please register all teammates through T. Murphy before registration ends August 4, 2023.
Talk it Out Tuesdays Remixed (LAST ONE!)
Date: August 15, 2023 | Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for Youth virtually via Ring Central and continuing the third Tuesday of every month
(RETURNING TO EVENINGS.) Talk it out Tuesdays is back and is “remixed.” On the third Tuesday of the month, youth can take advantage of a safe space to connect with their peers. Youth can bring their own topics to chat about, or the group can talk about the topic of the month. Register once and attend as many as you want! (Note: there is a new meeting link as of August 25, 2022.) Reach out to Melissa with questions.
Youth Welfare Approach Training
Date: August 16, 2023 | Time: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. for Professionals virtually via Zoom
LDSS and private provider professionals in the state of VA are invited to join this Youth Welfare Approach training through Zoom. Provided by the Project LIFE team, this interactive workshop will highlight practical ways to apply the Youth Welfare Approach with youth in your care. These ways will effectively engage youth to become more actively involved in their case planning. Key concepts of this training will include shifting our lens from child welfare to youth welfare, and utilizing a good-better-best continuum in youth service provision. Register using the button below, and contact George Mack through email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information.
Upcoming Regional and Hybrid Events
Eastern Region’s Voices Youth Group
Dates: July 31-August 3, 2023 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for Youth in-person at UMFS, VA Beach
Two new cohorts are beginning in July! Voices is a youth empowerment program for youth in foster care or have been in foster care to equip them with resources and tools to be successful as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. We are looking for youth ages 14-18. The program will offer modules that focus on self-exploration (what are the labels that have been given to them over time and how to let go of the ones that no longer work), self-care, anger management, problem solving with the seven resiliencies, personal integrity (exploring personality and character), goal setting/creating new habits, resilience, forgiveness, and breaking the cycle. For more information and for registration contact email@example.com.
Central Region’s SoulFULL Sundays
Date: August 6, 2023 | Time: 11:30 a.m. for Youth in-person at UMFS, RVA
Let’s face it, we know many life transitions and transformations occur during the teen years. Bodies mature, thinking ability improves, and teens learn to manage many new emotions. Teens are striving to “find themselves” and to answer the question, “Who am I?” The answers to such questions often include a spiritual search for meaning and purpose in life. Join Project LIFE in gaining a
- greater sense that life is meaningful and purposeful.
- lower anxiety and stress
- more positive social interactions with friends
- more friends who are positive influences
- greater success in future stages of life.
Project LIFE will host a watch party/church, spiritual/holistic event for youth interested in fellowship. RSVP with T. Murphy @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Central Region’s Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) Meeting + CRILAY
Date: August 8, 2023 | Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. for Professionals, in-person at UMFS, RVA
All Central region DSS agencies and private providers are invited to attend this ILCC & CRILAY meeting to discuss independent living needs for youth transitioning out of foster care. This meeting will include resource sharing and opportunities for youth in this region. Contact T. Murphy through email at email@example.com or by phone if you plan on attending or if you need more information.
Central Region’s “The Good Life Academy” (TGLA) Series
Dates: August 8, August 29, September 26, 2023 | Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Youth in-person at UMFS, RVA
Youth transitioning into adulthood need to learn the money skills they will need for the real world. Project LIFE is partnering with Tyler Watkins from The Good Life Academy (TGLA) to teach students about the basics of finances in the adult world, to include: earning pay, bank accounts, credit vs. debit, saving, good and bad interest, and more. Invest in yourself and discover the world that awaits you, as you move on up into adulthood! RSVP with T. Murphy @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Central Region’s Happy Body Wellness Sessions
Dates: August 16 + September 19, 2023 | Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Youth in-person at UMFS, RVA
Project LIFE is teaming up with Bethany Watkins from Happy Body Wellness! Happy Body Wellness is a nutrition, health and wellness company that was started by the anti-diet Registered Dietitian, Bethany Watkins. Bethany believes wholeheartedly in the importance of a balanced lifestyle consisting of nutritious meals, fitness and movement, quality rest, and stress management. PL youth in the region are invited to join us for one or both of these sessions about wellness. To attend, register with T. Murphy at email@example.com.
Central Region’s CAR CARES
Date: August 25, 2023 | Time: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p,m. for Youth at in-person at UMFS, RVA
Join Project LIFE’s special guest, Tony Fowler, whose accomplishments include being a UMFS resource parent, a NASCAR Mechanic and a TonMAR Eng. & MFG. Corp business owner! All PL youth, ages 14-23, in the Central region, whether you have a car now or plan to one day, are invited to attend. Project LIFE is partnering with a local expert to share car info around How often to get service, how to recognize car needs, and how to perform some basic car care tasks. If you would like to attend or have questions, please contact T. Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Central Region’s Parenting Together Group
Date: August 30, 2023 and continuing monthly | Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Youth in-person at UMFS, RVA
Any Virginia youth, aged 14-23, who has experienced foster care and is a parent, or soon to be parent, to a young child is invited to attend this peer support group. This group will learn together in a safe space while relating with other peers in the same stage of parenthood. Attendees can bring their child(ren) with them to this group, and will be connected to resources, local experts, and prizes/gifts. If you would like to attend or have questions, please contact T at email@example.com.
Piedmont Region’s Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) Meeting
Date: September 7, 2023 | Time: 12:30 p.m. for Professionals virtually via ZOOM
All Piedmont region DSS agencies and private providers are invited to attend this ILCC to discuss independent living needs for youth transitioning out of foster care. This meeting will include resource sharing and opportunities for youth in this region. Contact Cierra Emory-Clegg through email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 804-239-1073 if you plan on attending or if you need more information. She will provide the meeting link to you upon RSVP.
Northern Region’s Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) Meeting
Date: September 12, 2023 | Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. for Professionals virtually via Ring Central
All Northern DSS agencies and private providers are invited to attend this ILCC to discuss independent living needs for youth transitioning out of foster care. This meeting will cover topics related to transitioning youth into adulthood and will be joined by Monica Cabell with VDSS to share statewide updates. Contact George through email at email@example.com or at 804.239.1044 if you plan on attending to get the link for this meeting, or if you need more information.
Northern Region’s Creative Writing Workshop
Date: September 16, 2023 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for Youth in-person at UMFS, NOVA
Project LIFE invites you to a creative writing workshop that will share ways to cope with life’s stressors through writing. Author Mary Carpenter will facilitate this workshop. Lunch will be provided to youth participants. RSVP by registering through the button below. Reach out to George at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or with any questions.
Northern Region’s Creative Art Workshop
Date: October 14, 2023 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for Youth in-person at UMFS, NOVA
Project LIFE invites you to a creative art workshop. Facilitated by Susan Graham, youth will develop individual sketches. Supplies will be available for attendees to use during the workshop, including a sketchbook for each participant to use and take home with them. Lunch will be provided to registered youth participants. RSVP through the button below, and contact George Mack through email at email@example.com with questions.
Additional Events and Resources
VDSS Youth Services (IL) Updates Corner
Free Summer Gym Memberships through Planet Fitness
Ends: August 31, 2023 | for Eligible Youth
Read this info from the Planet Fitness website: “Now through August 31st, teens between the ages of 14-19 can work out for free all summer long! Plus, we’re giving away $200,000 to high schools and students! Teens who register can help win a grant for their school and participate in a video contest for a chance to win a scholarship. Don’t wait, register here today.”