About Us

Our Approach

At Virginia Home for Boys and Girls, we embrace a trauma-informed approach, following the framework established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). For over two decades, SAMHSA has been a leader in recognizing the importance of trauma-informed systems of care.

Our approach is based on four key assumptions: realization, recognition, response, and resisting re-traumatization. We ensure that our employees understand the widespread impact of trauma, including Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which are common among our clients. We also educate them about the effects of trauma on brain development and behavior. By emphasizing the significance of relationships, giving individuals a voice and choice, promoting empowerment, teaching self-regulation skills, and fostering competency, we provide potential paths for recovery.

We are committed to recognizing the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and other individuals involved in our system. Instead of asking "what's wrong with this person?" we ask "what happened to this person?" and "what underlying need is this person trying to meet with this behavior?" Our response involves integrating trauma knowledge into our policies, procedures, and practices. When interacting with clients, we prioritize safety, relationship building, professionalism, collaborative teaching of social and emotional skills, shared decision making, and personalized care.

We regularly meet as teams to share observations, celebrate successes, and plan interventions. We ensure the well-being of our staff members by managing their workload and hours, providing one-on-one supportive supervision, and conducting objective evaluations to assess their practices and training implementation. Additionally, we seek feedback from clients regarding their satisfaction with their treatment and the overall safety of their environment.

We are dedicated to actively resisting re-traumatization, particularly during crisis intervention. Through empathy, praise, and connecting with the emotional brain, we help clients regulate their behavior. We only resort to least-restrictive restraints as a last resort when safety is at stake. 

Cory Richardson Lauve, V.P. of Programs
explains our approach