More Resources

More Resources

Virginia Resources

Virginia Department of Social Services website

Project LIFE

Project LIFE (Living Independently, Focusing on Empowerment) is a partnership with the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) and UMFS.

The mission of Project LIFE is to enhance the successful transition of older youth in foster care to adulthood by a) increasing the capacity of professionals working with youth to engage in sound, evidence-based practices and b) promoting permanent connections, effective preparation for transition to adulthood, and meaningful youth input into state and local policies and practices.

Project LIFE serves youth in foster care, ages 14-21, throughout five regions of Virginia. Each region has an Independent Living Consultant responsible for carrying out the vision, mission, and goals of Project LIFE.

Learn Your Rights: A Guide to Foster Care in Virginia

A publication of the Virginia Poverty Law Center is available.

So You’re 18: A Handbook on Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities

A publication of the Virginia State Bar available in English and Spanish.

Virginia Education and Training Voucher Program (ETV)

The Education and Training Vouchers (ETV) Program assists eligible foster care and adopted youth with post-secondary education and training expenses.

Virginia Community College Tuition Grants

The Tuition Grant program provides tuition and fees at any Virginia community college for youth in foster care, former youth in foster care, and special needs adoptees who have completed high school or a GED. For more information on the program or finding a Great Expectations coach in your area visit the Great Expectations page.

Virginia Great Expectations

Great Expectations helps youth in foster care complete high school, access to community college education and transition successfully from foster care to living independently.

Organizations

FosterClub

The Foster Club is a national network for young people in foster care. The website serves as a primary communication tool for young people to connect in a safe, monitored environment. It also provides information related to foster care, including books, posters and forms specifically designed for youth transitioning out of care. Publications are developed specifically for kids in care and are written in collaboration with youth in foster care. The Club also is involved in teen conferences and workshops.

Foster Care Alumni of America

The mission of Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA) is to connect the alumni community of youth who were in foster care and to transform policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care.

The vision of Virginia Chapter’s of FCAA is to be the leader in Virginia in connecting the alumni community so that youth can be heard. We envision alumni and allies working together to help truly transform Virginia’s Child Welfare System to ensure a high quality of life for those in and from foster care. We hold an annual family reunion and partner with MentorMatch to find foster care alumni to mentor youth in foster care.

Casey Family Programs: It’s your life. We listen

The Casey Family Programs site contains information especially useful for older youth in foster care.

National Resource Center for Youth Development

The National Resource Center for Youth Development (NRCYD), based at the University of Oklahoma, is a service of the Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau.

NRCYD’s overall goal is to build the capacity of States and Tribes to provide high quality services to their youth in out of home placements, former youth in foster care and other youth in at-risk situations.

Most information is geared to child welfare professionals, but the “YOUTH PORT” section of their website is a gateway to resources, information and tools for young adults who are currently experiencing foster care, those who are transitioning to adulthood and those who have aged-out.

National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections

The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections is a training, technical assistance, and information services organization dedicated to help strengthen the capacity of State, local, Tribal and other publicly administered or supported child welfare agencies to: institutionalize a safety-focused, family-centered, and community-based approach to meet the needs of children, youth and families.

Most resources are geared to child welfare professionals, but the website contains a great deal of background information that may be of interest to youth in care.

Life Skills Resources

The New Making It On Your Own

This youth workbook contains 92 pages of life skill exercises that will help youth make it on their own. The New Making It On Your Own tests a youth’s knowledge and challenges them to seek out new information. The workbook covers employment, housing, home management, health, leisure time, and money management. Designed for older youth working alone or with an adult.

Available From: National Resource Center for Youth Services at:

1-800-274-2687 or order via the Web site: http://www.nrcys.ou.edu

$8.95 plus shipping. Quantity discounts available.

Preparing Adolescents for Young Adulthood (PAYA)

A workbook series created by Massachusetts Department of Social Services. PAYA can be used by the learner alone, or with an adult. Topic areas and brief assessments match the learning goals and expectations of the Guidebook. The Activity/Resource Workbook contains information and exercises by topic area to help develop or strengthen the skills of the learner.

Available free in five modules:

  1. Money, Home and Food Management Workbook (143 pgs)
  1. Personal Care, Health, Social Skills and Safety Workbook (190 pgs)
  1. Education, Job Seeking Skills and Job Maintenance Skills Workbook (127 pgs)
  1. Housing, Transportation, Community Resources, Understanding the Law and Recreation Workbook (95 pgs)
  1. Young Parents Guide (Large module broken down into sections):

Goodwill Community Foundation

Offers free training to support skill development in areas of career planning, money management, work and job development and daily living. Offers Spanish language website and lessons with auditory component.

I Know Where I’m Going (But Will My Cash Keep Up?)

A free two-part workbook for youth ages 12 and older focusing on all aspects of money management. Developed specifically for youth in out-of-home care, it is applicable to all. It includes a section on career development. Self-teaching tool, or use with adult supervision. Available free from: The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (AECF)

Kids Health

One of the most comprehensive websites covering health, fitness, food, drugs, alcohol, disease, infection, safety, sexual health, and mental health for children, teens and young adults.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is a government-sponsored search engine of more than 20,000 drug and alcohol treatment providers, offering different methods and levels of care.

American Addiction Centers

This Guide to Teen Treatment Options is the most comprehensive teen substance abuse and treatment resource available on the web. It is well-researched, accessible and covers the spectrum of common problems with teens, substance abuse and recovery.

A Future Near Me/ The Path Before Me (FUTURE /PATH)

A Future Near Me contains questions to guide a young adult towards self-sufficiency. The Path Before Me is designed to help American Indian Youth learn tribal ways and skills that will enable them to move into their own place. It contains questions to guide American Indian Youth towards responsible living. Both pocket guide resources, designed by Mark Kroner, can be used by learners on their own or with an adult. The books can be used with families, schools, youth groups, life skills classes, sharing circles and elders. Self-teaching tool.

Available From: National Resource Center for Youth Services 1-800-274-2687 or order via the

$6.00 each plus shipping

Youth Transitions Resource Center

This resource is primarily designed for your service worker. It contains a youth transitions clearinghouse with numerous links to research, best practice, policy, and funding information to support former youth in foster care and their successful transition to adulthood. Focus topics include education, workforce, financial literacy, savings and asset building, entrepreneurship, and permanency.

Education Resources

Virginia Education and Training Voucher Program (ETV )

The Education and Training Vouchers (ETV) Program assists eligible foster care and adopted youth with post-secondary education and training expenses.

Virginia Community College Tuition Grants

The Tuition Grant program provides tuition and fees at any Virginia community college for youth in foster care, former youth in foster care, and special needs adoptees who have completed high school or a GED.

Virginia Great Expectations

Great Expectations helps youth in foster care complete high school, access community college education and transition successfully from foster care to living independently.

It’s My Life – Publications for Professionals

These are two resources are for your service worker to use in helping prepare you for college.

It’s My Life: Postsecondary Education and Training gives busy professionals the recommendations, strategies, and resources they need to improve their work preparing young people for college access and success. It is a valuable resource for child welfare professionals and others who work with youth of transition age.

It’s My Life: Financial Aid is for those primarily interested in helping young people find funding sources for college or vocational training.

Both can be viewed and downloaded from Casey Family Services.

International Student Foundation

The mission of ISF is to provide scholarships, mentoring and leadership training for select foster care and orphaned students…raising up leaders of influence.

Career and Education Planning in Virginia

Knowhowvirginia.org

Knowhowvirginia contains information about many careers in 16 career clusters. Tools include a self-assessment, success stories, and examples of jobs with average wage information.

Career Planning Guide

The Career Planning Guide is a 4-page Guide developed by the Virginia Career Education Foundation, contains information about multiple education paths, career clusters, and the fastest growing occupations in Virginia.

Foster Care 2 Success

Foster Care 2 Success, formerly Orphan Foundation of America, has a new website with information about their annual scholarship program for youth in foster care.

Resources for Foster Parents and Other Caregivers

FACES of Virginia

FACES of Virginia provides support, education, and advocacy for foster parents, adoptive parents, and kin who are caring for children born to someone else.

Ready, Set, Fly! A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Life Skills

Ready, Set, Fly! can be accessed free online. This resource was developed by foster parents for other parents to use when teaching life skills. It contains a series of activities and suggestions that may be used in one-to-one instruction. For parents use with youth ages 8 and older.

To order a hard copy booklet contact the National Resource

Center for Youth Services 1-800-274-2687

Foster Club Online Training for Foster Parents

The Foster Club offers free online training for foster parents. Three courses are focused on Youth Transition to Adulthood:

  1. Challenges in Helping Youths Live Independently
  2. Permanency Planning
  3. Youth Perspectives on Permanency