September 2021 News

Program Updates

Summer Bucket List Bingo Wraps Up

Our summer challenge of completing a Bingo board of events closed on the last Friday of August. The team is going through the entires and will send prizes through the mail to the youth who completed their boards. Thanks for playing, and we hope that you enjoyed our summer events and opportunities.

Central Region Consultant Send off

Pierre Hall will be transitioning from his Central Region IL Consultant position with Project LIFE. Pierre began his career at UMFS in 2015, as a Youth Counselor in CFHC, then worked his way up to a Youth Counselor II, and then to Cottage Manager in 2018. Pierre later joined Project LIFE in August 2020. Pierre’s leadership, passion, and commitment to serving at-risk youth over the years has been displayed through his work. Pierre has been a go-getter and a creative force with the Project LIFE program. Please send your well-wishes to Pierre in support of his new upcoming opportunities with youth. Both George and the team wish Pierre all the best in his future endeavors.

Upcoming Statewide Events

2021 Fall Conference Dates

Dates: November 2- November 4, 2021 | Evenings on Ring Central
Are you bored in the house, and in the house bored?? Come to the conference to learn our “Floor Plan of LIFE.” On your calendar, go ahead and block out the evenings of November 2-4 and be ready for 3 nights of virtual activities, sessions, give aways and FUN! Registration will open on Septemeber 13 through our website. More info, inlcuding details about a conference planning session for youth, will be released soon. Contact Kelly with questions.

Talk it Out Tuesdays

Dates: September 7 + 21, 2021 | Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. via Ring Central
Feeling isolated due to COVID? Need someone to connect with? Miss talking with peers? Talk it Out Tuesdays is an open platform for youth to talk with other youth and trusted adults about anything on their minds. Hosted by Jamesia and Melissa, you can join in this social session by registering with the button below.

Training for Professionals on the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative through HUD

Date: September 22, 2021 | Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. via Ring Central
Project LIFE is partnering with VDSS to provide a training to professionals about the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Through the FYI initiative, HUD will provide Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) for youth eligible under the Family Unification Program (FUP), subject to availability. Come learn more about this initiative and how it can help the youth you work with. Please register using the button below and reach out to George with any questions.

Upcoming Regional Events

Eastern Region Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) hosting an Info Session for Region’s Professionals

Date: September 15, 2021 | Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. via Ring Central
All Eastern region DSS agencies and private providers are invited to attend to discuss independent living needs for youth in this region. Along with the normal business, there will be a special guest. The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors will be presenting about the free services they offer to the agencies on the peninsula (Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Isle of Wight, Surry County, and York), and will give tips about speaking to youth about healthy relationships and sexual assault.  You can register below and contact Melissa with questions.

Eastern Region Real World Event

Date: September 28, 2021 | Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. via Ring Central
This event is hosted by Hampton DSS and facilitated by the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Join them for a simulation of the “real world” that concretely addresses education and employment decisions youth make in combination with lifestyle choices. The challenge will be to develop a budget on everyday needs and wants while responding to real life situational crises. There will be opportunities for discussions, re-evaluating decisions, and processing information learned. Contact Melissa if you have questions or want to attend and are from a different region.

Eastern Region hosts Discussion on Sex and Technology

Date: August 9, 2021 | Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. via Ring Central
The Eastern region is partnering with the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood (VLPP) to host a discussion Sex and Technology. (This session is re-scheduled from the one planned in August.) Youth and the facilitator will discuss the role that technology plays in dating and sexual relationships. Contact Melissa if you plan on attending or if you need more information. If you are not a youth from the Eastern region but are interested in attending, reach out to Melissa.

Central Region Independent Living Advocates for Youth (CRILAY) Meeting

Date: October 19, 2021 | Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. via Ring Central
All Central region DSS agencies and private providers are invited to attend to discuss independent living needs for youth transitioning out of foster care. This meeting will also feature a presentation by VDSS on the Youth Welfare Approach (YWA). Contact George Mack through email 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 Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) Meeting

Date: October 26, 2021 | Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. via Ring Central
All Northern region DSS agencies and private providers are invited to attend to discuss independent living needs for youth transitioning out of foster care. This meeting will cover topics related to transitioning youth into adulthood, TLPs, NYTD support, Youth-Adult Partnerships, virtual workshops and opportunities for youth and working professionals, and any other youth opportunities in the region.Contact George Mack through email 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

COVID-19 Financial Relief

Deadline: September 15, 2021
VDSS, through their Fostering Futures program, has COVID relief funds available to eligible youth for a one-time payment of up to $1,500. If you are a youth between the ages of 18-27 who was previously a teen in foster care, and you are in need a of some support, you may be eligible! You can also access the application here and you can contact your current or former LDSS for more deails about and assistance in this process.

Introduction to Trauma and Resilience Training

Date: September 29, 2021 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. via ZOOM
The Greater Richmond Trauma-Informed Community Network (GRTICN) and Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) are hosting a training on Trauma and Resilience. This free two-hour virtual training facilitated by Denise Purgold, LCSW, Adoption Supervisor with UMFS, is open to all members of the community interested in a foundational learning experience around the topics of trauma and resilience. We will define trauma, review the findings of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study, and explore the impact of trauma on the brain and behavior.Then we will share strategies and interventions specific to responding to individuals with trauma and discuss the science of building resilience. You can contact Denise with questions.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Young Adults Program

The Northern Virginia WIOA Young Adults program offers career and leadership development and educational support. This includes training opportunities, work experiences, and internships for young adults ages 17-24. Educational services include college and vocational school exploration, SAT and GED prep, and tutorial assistance. Virtual services are available. For more information, visit www.vcwnorthern.com and click on “young adults.” 

Youth Welfare Approach

The YWA launched in VA in July. Check out or website for more info about the YWA.

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