January 2024 News

Project LIFE (Living Independently, Focusing on Empowerment) helps youth in Virginia succeed when they age out of foster care. We do that by helping youth directly and by supporting the professionals who work with them. Our free services are available to any youth ages 14-23 who has experienced the foster care system, as well as any DSS or private provider in Virginia.

Text PLIFE to 833.640.1244 to sign up to get PL news.

Upcoming Statewide Events

Youth Service Trainings
Date: January 9 & 23, 2024 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Date: January 12 & 26, 2024 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  

For Professionals, via Zoom 
All DSS agencies are invited to attend this youth services training provided by VDSS Youth Services Team and Project LIFE to discuss independent living services and needs for youth transitioning out of foster care. This training will cover all topics related to services provided for IL youth transitioning into adulthood. Contact George through email at gmack@umfs.org or at 804.239.1044 if you need more information.   

Lunch & Learn Training with VDSS & Casey Family Program 
February 9, 2024 from 12:00pm-1:00 pm

Immigration Basics (Key terms and players)

March 8, 2024 from 12:00 pm-1:00 pm
Immigration 2.0
Immigration and Undocumented Children and Youth in Foster Care 

For Professionals, via Zoom
All DSS agencies are invited to attend this youth services training provided by VDSS Youth Services Team and the Casey Family Program to discuss services for immigration and undocumented youth in care. Contact George through email at gmack@umfs.org or at 804.239.1044 if you need more information.

Upcoming Regional and Hybrid Events

Eastern Region’s Mommy Chat Support Group 
January 25, 2024 , time TBD 
For Youth in-person, Hampton DSS

Project LIFE youth in the state of motherhood are invited to come out and spend time with other Moms or Moms-to-Be. Moms will learn the importance of self-care along with some simple self-care methods. If you would like to attend or have questions, please contact Melissa Lee at mlee@umfs.org

Eastern Region’s ILCC 

January 17, 2024, 11:30-1:00 pm 
Members of the Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) are invited to meet on January 17, 2024. The meeting will provide space for state and regional updates. Please reach out to Melissa Lee (mlee@umfs.org), the IL consultant for this region, to partner and get involved. 

The Piedmont Region was able to convene in an ILCC on December 7, 2023. The meeting provided space for many updates, including local, upcoming events with Project LIFE, and VDSS updates from Ms. Castillo. Additionally, there was a presentation from Optum’s Erica Pognon who was able to share about United Healthcare program for youth in foster care. Now that this group is back to meeting, attendees are looking to boost partnerships and membership. Please reach out to Cierra, cemory-clegg@umfs.org, the IL consultant for this region, to partner and get involved. The next meeting will be in March 2024! 

December Recap

Northern Region’s ILCC

January 23, 2024, 10:00-11:00 am

via RingCentral

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 gmack@umfs.org or at 804.239.1044 if you plan on attending to get the link for this meeting, or if you need more information.  

Western Region ILCC meeting
February 7, 2024 at 2:00 pm 

For Professionals, via Zoom
After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Reach out to asteffey@umfs.org with any questions. 

Central Region: Let’s Look into Our Future
Join Project LIFE as we get together to create our 2024 Vision Boards!
January 17, 20236:00 – 8:00 pm

UMFS 3900 West Broad Street CHS Auditorium
Vision boards can include your aspirations for the year ahead and any thoughts or feelings you want to bring into your life. Whichever you choose, it’s important to include goals you can actually achieve. Describe your goals in vivid detail. Then every time you take a peek at your vision board, you’ll always be reminded of your yearly goals. By regularly looking at your vision board, you immerse yourself in a visual representation of what you want or hope to achieve. This helps create a positive and powerful image in your mind, making it easier to believe in your ability to achieve your goals. Contact T. Murphy at tmurphy@umfs.org to register for this event.

Central Region’s Parenting Together Group

January 24 and continuing monthly | 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 tmurphy@umfs.org.

Project LIFE Contacts

George Mack
Project Manager & Northern Region
Phone: 804.239.1044
Fax: 703.750.0621
Email: gmack@umfs.org

Lacey Kangas
Youth Development Coordinator
Phone: 804.353.4461 x1504
Fax: 804.521.8635
Email: lkangas@umfs.org

Melissa Lee
Eastern Region IL Consultant
Phone: 757.490.9791 x115
Fax: 757.490.8324
Email: mlee@umfs.org
Cierra Emory-Clegg
Piedmont Region IL Consultant
Phone: 434.846.2002 x1176
Fax: 804.239.1073
Email: cemory-clegg@umfs.org

Tina “T.” Murphy
Central Region IL Consultant
Phone: 804.353.4461 x1130
Fax: 804.355.4157
Email: tmurphy@umfs.org

Amber Steffey
Western Region IL Consultant
Phone: 804.404.8052
Fax: 804.404.8052
Email: asteffey@umfs.org

Stephanie Jones 
Project Specialist 
Phone: 804.353.4461 x1212
Fax: 804.254.9691
Email: stjones@umfs.org

Text PLIFE to 833.640.1244 to sign up for PL news texted right to you.
Website Facebook Instagram YouTube
Copyright © 2023 Project LIFE, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
United Methodist Family Services of Virginia
3900 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23230

unsubscribe from this list    
update subscription


Similar Posts