Independent Living Arrangement

We provide safe housing, guidance, and access to resources to young people in need

VHBG’s ILA Program is licensed through the Virginia Department of Social Services. This program is for young people who are aging out of the traditional foster care system. Participants in the program may be single adults or parenting young adults with their children. Young people are taught independent living skills to live successful and productive lives. Housing and other needs are financially covered through Fostering Futures month stipends and CSA Funding.

To make a referral or for more information, please contact Michael Rodriguez at

Karen Swansey Brewer 2023
Karen Swansey Brewer 2023

Karen Swansey Brewer, M.S.
Director of Independent Living.

Karen has worked with children and families for over 30 years in a variety of settings and different populations. Her her more recent work as Director of Juvenile Drug Treatment Court, Local and Statewide Program Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and several positions with Virginia Home for Boys and Girls.

At Virginia Home for Boys and Girls, Karen has held the positions of Admissions and Marketing Manager, Assistant Director of Quality Assurance and Compliance, and Director of the Independent Living Arrangement. She enjoys being an agent of change for youth and their families and is inspired by the hope found by clients through our services. Her daily mission is to help others move from surviving day-to-day to living full, happy, and productive lives.

Karen is excited about the new and innovative opportunities VHBG’s Independent Living services are offering to the young adults aging out of traditional foster care, and young adults experiencing homelessness. Karen brings immense passion and energy to her work and strives to improve the lives of the young adults we serve and the greater community.