November 2022 News

Program Updates

Currently Hiring For Project LIFE Vacancy

We are currently hiring to fill the position of Independent Living Consultant in the Piedmont Region. This position works out of the UMFS regional center in Lynchburg, VA. 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

Level UP! 2022 Fall Statewide Youth Conference

Dates: November 11-13, 2022 | 4468 Starkey Rd., Roanoke, VA 24018 for 14-21 Youth in-person or via Zoom
Plan to Level Up your adulting skills with us in Roanoke, VA. Youth aged 14-21 who live in Virginia, and are or have been in foster care, are invited to apply. We will level up our IL skills through fun workshops all weekend. To provide a safe in-person experience, we will have safety strategies in place for all attendees, volunteers, and facilitators, including health questionnaires. Learn more on our website. 

Level 1 – Virtual Attendance (Open!)
Virtual attendee registration is still open until November 4th. The link and details are on our website, or you can click the button below to go directly to the registration form. Attendees 18 and up can register online to attend virtually. For attendees not yet 18, work with your LDSS worker to get your online registration form completed. 
Level 2 – In-Person Attendance (Closed)
The in-person application window opened 8/15/22 and closed on 9/30/22. We have accepted as many youth as we had space to accommodate. We’re communicating with accepted youth, volunteers, and workers to make sure that everyone is ready for a great weekend. Reach out to the youth’s IL consultant if you have questions.

Click on the image to head to our website and to see the teaser video.

Upcoming Statewide Events

Talk it Out Tuesdays Remixed

Date: November 15, 2022 | 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. The first topic series is “Careers and Coins.” 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

Central Region’s Wealth Wednesdays

Date: November 2, 2022 and continuing the first Wednesday of the month | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for Youth at UMFS, 3900 West Broad St., 23230  
Youth are invited to learn about building lifelong wealth. Youth will review their spending from last month, make goals for next month and receive rewards for meeting their goals. If you would like to attend, or have other questions, please contact Olivia through email or by text at 804.239.1239.

Central Region’s Parenting Together Group

Date: December 8, 2022 and continuing monthly | Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for Youth at UMFS, 3900 West Broad St., 23230  
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 online, or have other questions, please contact Olivia (osnoke@umfs.org).
If you would like to attend, or have other questions, please contact Olivia through email or by text at 804.239.1239.

Fostering Community Meetings

The Central region is introducing Fostering Community meetings! Youth 14 to 23 years old, who are or were in foster care, are invited to join Project LIFE at their local library each month to learn adulting skills and hang out with others in their community. Activities will be decided by the first individual to arrive. Contact Olivia through email or by text at 804.239.1239 to RSVP or to get a Fostering Community Meeting set up near you.

RVA Fostering Community Meeting
Date: Canceled 

If interested in scheduling an event in this area, please reach out to Olivia.

Petersburg Fostering Community Meeting
Date: Canceled

If interested in scheduling an event in this area, please reach out to Olivia.

Fredericksburg Fostering Community Meeting
Date: November 23, 2022

continuing the fourth Wednesday of each month
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
For youth close enough to attend in-person at the Fredericksburg Public Library

Central Region’s Week of LIFE and LIFE Out Loud Event

Dates: December 13-15, 2022 | Times: 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for youth at UMFS, 3900 West Broad St., Richmond, VA
Save the date and register now for for a Week of LIFE! Workshops will include advocacy training, public speaking training, and leadership training. Attending youth will become comfortable for advocating for needs, sharing their stories in an impactful way, and taking charge of their futures. The three days will wrap up with an event called “LIFE Out Loud” where youth will share their lived experiences through creative expression and performances. Youth performing in the LIFE Out Loud event will need to attend all three days as well as orientation, planning meetings, and rehearsals. Event support, like food and prizes, for this week is being sponsored by the Virginia Credit Union and Anthem. We appreciate their partnership! Contact Sophia or Olivia through email with questions, and stay tuned for more details. Register through the link below..

Northern Region’s Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) Meeting

Date: January 24, 2022 | Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. for professionals 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 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.

Additional Events and Resources

VDSS Youth Services (IL) Updates Corner

Statewide VDSS Check-ins

Date: November 1, 2022 | 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. Though this is the last scheduled check-in, they started September 6, 2022, and will run through November 1, 2022. 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 gmack@umfs.org or at 804.239.1044 to receive the dial in information to join by phone, or if you have any questions. 

VDSS Division of Family Services Webinar “Highlighting Diverse Families” 

Date: November 29, 2022 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for LDSS workers and community partners via Zoom Webinar
The purpose of the webinar, hosted by the Division of Family Services of VDSS, is to address the priority of LGTBQIA2S+ youth being represented in adoption recruitment efforts and the importance of respecting them and their identities within the child welfare system. The Division of Family Services is committed to being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization and this webinar is consistent with that theme. Register here to attend this webinar.

Statewide VDSS Permanency Conference

Dates: December 7-8, 2022 for people who support or provide direct services to families or children with the child welfare system in Hampton, VA.
The Virginia Department of Social Services’ Division of Family Services is hosting its first annual Permanency Conference: The Journey to Permanency 2022. The conference will consist of an array of workshops and resources to support both public and private community partners in the areas of family engagement, kinship, recruitment, foster care, pre and post adoption, and Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children. Registration coming soon from VDSS, and follow their news sources for more information.

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