The Future Awaits
Welcome to Virginia's Foster Youth Portal.

Support Through Age 21!

Foster youth are eligible to receive services through the Independent Living Program (ILP) at the age of 14 and may continue receiving services until age 21 if they are in the custody or placement responsibility of a local department of social services. Qualifying placements include those in foster homes, residential treatment centers and group homes.

Fostering Futures enables LDSS to extend foster care financial and social support and services up to age 21 for two groups of young adults who reach age 18 on or after July 1, 2016:

  • Youth who are in foster care when they reach age 18; and,
  • Youth who were in foster care at the time of commitment to the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and are released from DJJ after age 18 and prior to turning 21.

Services provided through ILP include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Educational: Assistance in completing high school, general education degree and higher education, including assistance for tuition, admission fees, supplies, equipment, tutoring, etc.
  • Vocational Training: Job training/readiness, job search and placement and other related services to prepare youth to become self-supporting, or that increases performance/functional competency.
  • Daily Living Skills/Aide: Assistance and training on budgeting, housing, money management, career planning, procurement and/or provision of any services or items which facilitate establishing youth in an independent living arrangement; e.g., household goods, supplies, services, insurance, utility turn-on, etc. Daily living skills may be provided by local social services staff, others involved in the youth's care or through negotiation or contract with a resource person or entity.
  • Counseling: Individual and group.
  • Other Services and Assistance: Training, meetings, conferences, retreats, workshops, relating to building competencies that strengthen individual skills and foster successful independent living.
  • Integration/Coordination of Services: Collaborative efforts with other agencies.
  • Outreach Services: To attract eligible youths

SPEAKOUT

Are you interested in helping to create change in foster care policy? Do you have experience in the foster care system you’re willing to use to help other youth in foster care? If so, consider applying to the Virginia Youth Advisory Board, SPEAKOUT, which provides input directly to the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) on improving the foster care system. VDSS recognizes that we do better work with the input of those impacted by our policies. We need the voice of youth to make a difference in the way youth are served in the foster care system.

SPEAKOUT (Strong Positive Educated Advocates Keen On Understanding the Truth) is for youth in foster care and alumni (an adult previously in foster care) who are interested in using their voice to provide input on foster care regulations, policy, guidance, and practice concerns, while also building leadership and advocacy skills.

Click here for more information on SPEAKOUT.

Foster Your Future Through...


Educational Resources

Living Support & Assistance

Connections

Medical Assistance

Leadership

Join the Future

The Future Awaits

I am currently or formerly a foster youth in Virginia, and agree to have the Virginia Department of Social Services contact me regarding this submission.