National Foster Care Month
In May for National Foster Care Month, Project LIFE is showcasing a partner: Voices for Virginia’s Children. Here is what they say about this special month: “May is National Foster Care Month, a time to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. It’s also a time to renew our commitment to ensuring a bright future for the children and youth currently in foster and kinship care.”
Visit their website in the button below to join us and them in observance of National Foster Care Month. They have a toolkit provided on their website.
Currently Hiring For Project LIFE Vacancy
We are currently hiring to fill the position of Independent Living Consultant in the Western Region. The Western position is fully remote, with travel in the region and with some occasional trips to Richmond. We’re looking for someone with knowledge of Virginia’s Independent Living Program, Education and Training Vouchers Program, National Youth in Transition Database, and the Casey Life Skills Assessment. More details and requirements are listed in the job posting. If you or someone you know would be a good fit, please visit the job posting here for more information and to apply.
Statewide Youth Conference
2023 Spring Conference: Dream LIFE Plaza
Dates: May 5-7, 2023 | for Youth in-person at Virginia Beach, VA or Online via Zoom
It’s conference week! Conference attendees are receiving emails about the conference. If you missed the in-person window, registration for the virtual sessions CLOSES TODAY at 9:00 pm, May 1st. Youth aged 14-21, who live in Virginia, and are in foster care or fostering futures, are invited to register. Visit the conference page on our website for links and more information.
Upcoming Statewide Events
Date: May 11, 2023 | Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for Youth via Ring Central
Virtually join experts from BankOn and Project LIFE to learn all about credit. All Project LIFE eligible youth around the state are encouraged to register and attend online. Contact Melissa Lee through email at email@example.com if you plan on attending or if you need more information. Register here for virtual credit session.
Talk it Out Tuesdays Remixed
Date: May 16, 2023 | Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for Youth 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.
Upcoming Regional and Hybrid Events
Eastern Region’s Voices Youth Group
Dates: May 2 + 9 + 23 + 30, 2023 | Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for Youth at UMFS, VA Beach
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. The group started on February 7, and continues in May. For registration contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eastern Region’s Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC)
Date: May 17, 2023 | Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. for Professionals via Ring Central
All Eastern 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 Melissa Lee through email at email@example.com if you plan on attending or if you need more information. She will provide the meeting link to you upon RSVP.
Eastern Region’s Guy Code Group
Date: May 25, 2023 | Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. for Youth in-person in Eastern Region
IL aged males in the Eastern Region are invited to attend to this group. Attendees will connect with their peers, receive support, and learn new IL skills. Register for this group by clicking the button below, or contact Melissa Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Central Region’s Parenting Together Group
Date: May 23, 2023 and continuing monthly | Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 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 Coordinator’s Committee (ILCC) Meeting
Date: May 24, 2023 | Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. for Professionals via Ring Central
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 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.
Eastern Region’s Graduation Celebration
Date: June 16, 2023 | Time: 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for Youth in-person in Norfolk, VA
Save the Date! The ILCC in the Eastern region is hosting their annual graduation celebration. Youth graduating this spring can plan to attend the Lunch Cruise in Norfolk. On the boat, attendees will enjoy food and fun. Contact Melissa Lee through email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information for this event.
Additional Events and Resources
VDSS Youth Services (IL) Updates Corner
Statewide VDSS Check-ins
Date: May 2, 2023 | Time: 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. for Professionals via Ring Central
These check-in calls are open to all DSS agencies to discuss independent living needs and updates with the VDSS IL team’s Letha Moore-Jones and Monica Cabell. These meetings will be held every first Tuesday of each month, starting March 7, 2023, and will run through May 2, 2023. You do not need to register for these check-ins. You can click here at the scheduled time to attend virtually, or contact George at email@example.com or at 804.239.1044 to receive the dial in information to join by phone, or if you have any questions.
UMFS Scholarship Program
Deadline: May 31, 2023 | for Eligible Project LIFE Youth
The UMFS Scholarship Program is open to all students who have been part of any UMFS program, including Project LIFE, for at least 6 months. The program provides scholarships for the following: Vocational education and training, Colleges or universities, including community college, UMFS Courage to Succeed program expenses. Recipients are selected from completed applications by the UMFS Scholarship Committee annually. Applications, found on the website below, are due by May 31, 2023, and more information can be found here: UMFS.org/scholarships.