The Virginia Home for Boys and Girls (current name) was founded in 1846 in response to a young boy’s request for pennies from the headmistress of the Female Humane Asylum in Richmond. Although she was unable to offer care to the boy because her home was restricted to girls only, the headmistress inspired her husband and a group of local leaders to band together to create the Richmond Male Orphan Society, a nonprofit organization. At first located on Church Hill, it moved twice before relocating to its current site in 1957. Its name was changed to the Richmond Home for Boys in 1969, to the Virginia Home for Boys in 1971, and now to the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls in 2004. While taking credit for being the oldest boys home in continuous service in Virginia and the second oldest in the United States, VHBG has evolved into a child and family multi-services organization. Today, there are no orphanages in Virginia and VHBG now provides group home care, an alternative K-12 school, and an outpatient counseling clinic.
Youth who reside in our group homes or attend John G. Wood school (our alternative K-12 school) may be in the custody of the Department of Social Services, a legal guardian, or their birth parents. John G. Wood students may be youth from our group home as well as youth who commute from surrounding localities. Our outpatient counseling clinic is available to all youth enrolled in our group homes and school but is also available to other youth and families who live in the region.
Youth are referred to VHBG services by the Departments of Social Services, Juvenile Justice, Public School Systems, other public agencies or private social service organizations, schools, parents, guardians and other professionals. VHBG provides services to youth and families from throughout the entire Commonwealth of VA.
Some youth residing on campus attend Henrico County Public Schools. However, some attend our alternative education school, John G. Wood, if they have specialized academic or behavioral needs that impact their ability to be successful in a public school environment.
A youth’s length of stay is determined by the individual needs of the youth and his/her parent/guardian’s ability to care for them. On average, youth are in group care for about eight months.
Whenever possible, children return to their families and or natural supports in the community. Others may move on to independent living or foster care/adoptive settings. It is possible that older teens graduate from high school or receive their G.E.D. and either go on to higher education, the military, or the workforce and reside in their own apartments. Whatever the situation may be, our goal is to always get a child into a lower level of care/dependency and into a more permanent environment.
We are located on a park-like, 30+ acre campus. There are six residential group homes, an alternative education school, and an outpatient counseling clinic which includes therapeutic and medical services offices. We also have a chapel, fellowship hall, dining hall, and administration offices. Recreational amenities include a gymnasium, tennis court, playing fields (soccer, baseball/softball, and volleyball), outdoor swimming pool, and an indoor recreation room with weight equipment and game tables.