VHBG is licensed by the Department of Social Services and aims to create the most natural environment for our youth that still provides them with the supports they need to overcome past trauma, build relationships, and work on transitioning to a more permanent environment. We work directly with the child’s agency that placed them with us (typically the city or county department of social services) to make decisions that are in their best interest. Youth are able to leave our campus to spend time with their families, attend summer camps, gain employment, and participate in other extracurricular activities. We have been able to give the youth who come here the opportunity to have a childhood and experience the joy in life.
“I just wanted to say thank you for all you did for James while he was in your care. He progressed more at VHBG than he has in any other placement for a very long time and I’m sure that is due in no small part to the efforts you and the rest of the staff put in. Please share my thanks with everyone. He is doing well in his current foster home and making plans for when he turns 18.”
Our group care services are unique. Our group homes are located on a 30+ acre park-like campus in Henrico County, Virginia. This neighborhood setting provides ample space for quiet walks or exciting ball games on our fields. Summertime includes swimming in our pool or grilling out in our picnic pavilion. The campus also holds a full gymnasium, baseball field, tennis and volleyball courts.
VHBG is the only accredited site in Virginia certified to use the highly successful evidence-based Teaching-Family Model of care. Trained Teaching-Parents use this model with a goal to help children transition to foster care, adoption, or back to their biological family. A team of caring Teaching-Parents guides and engages youth through their daily activities and uses an approach of Positive Behavioral Support. This approach is more interested in the “why” behind the behavior in order to better understand the underlying need of the youth and overcome maladaptive ways of meeting those needs.
Teaching-Family Homes can house up to eight children and contain all the elements one would expect in any home. Teaching-Families prepare their meals in their kitchen and eat at their own dining table. Children can study in their rooms, play games and socialize in comfortable family rooms and learn to interact appropriately in a family setting. Youth learn to develop skills associated with frustration tolerance, anger and or aggression management, healthy decision-making, conflict resolution and age-appropriate living.
Through the establishment of safe, therapeutic relationships, practitioners implementing the Teaching-Family Model seek to instill core values that speak to the healthy individual, healthy relationships, and the incorporation into the surrounding community.
Group Home services include:
- Social and problem-solving skill development
- Identification of anger and frustration tolerances
- Healthy conflict resolution skills
- Individualized treatment planning to meet specific needs of youth, including academic development, behavioral concerns, therapy, community involvement, permanency planning and family integration
- Recreational activities and community service projects
- On-site health, psychiatric, and clinical services
- Age appropriate Independent Living preparation experiences
For more information, call Christopher Campbell at (804) 270-6566 ext. 135 or CLICK HERE for an online admission form.
Our dedicated staff believes every youth who walks onto our campus is destined for success regardless of the experiences of their past. Knowing that relationships are the first step to overcoming the effects of trauma, each ILA youth works directly with an ILA case worker who provides support and encouragement. Our ILA case workers guide youth on their path to independence through effective relationship building, supervision, coaching, counseling, and service planning. The majority of our youth come to us with little experience managing day-to-day tasks and we teach them how to depend on themselves.
We offer independent living skills coaching related to education, employment, transportation, nutrition, money management, self-care, and social relationships. We assist our youth with a wide-array of tasks and details of everyday life, from making a doctor’s appointment to opening a bank account to disputing a bill. We teach them how to advocate for themselves. We help our youth graduate from high school and enroll in college. We help them secure short-term jobs and provide long-term career counseling. Most importantly, we give them belief in a bright future.
Our townhouse apartments are located on our 30+ acre campus that is centrally located in Henrico, Virginia just minutes from downtown Richmond. The Metro-Richmond area was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best places to live in America. With close proximity to colleges, employment, health care, shopping, and entertainment, the area offers public transportation and a walkable commute to jobs.
Our highly individualized Independent Living Arrangement supports youth in achieving success as independent adults by offering these housing and support services to young adults who desire to reach successful independence.
Highlights of the program:
-An Independent Living Arrangement in townhomes on VHBG’s campus (includes rent, food allowance, and utilities)
-Assessment of independent living skills (using the Casey assessment) and necessary training/coaching with the Casey Curriculum according to service plan in these areas, as needed
-Support with day-to-day living as needed
For referrals, contact Karen Swansey at 804-716-8743.
Karen Swansey, M.S. has worked with children and families for nearly 30 years in a variety of settings and different populations. Her work has included Behavior Support Technician in locked hospital residential programs and group homes, Case Manager and Therapist for juvenile sex offenders, Intensive Juvenile Probation Officer, 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 Arrangement is offering to the young adults aging out of traditional foster care. 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.