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Project LIFE (Living Independently, Focusing on Empowerment)


Project LIFE (Living Independently, Focusing on Empowerment) helps youth in Virginia succeed when they age out of foster care. We do that by helping youth directly and by supporting the professionals who work with them. Our services help youth in foster care avoid homelessness, helplessness and hopelessness. Instead, they have the knowledge and support they need to get jobs, continue school, live decently and give back to their communities.

While youth are in foster care, decisions are often made for them rather than with them. When it comes time to live independently, they may not have the connections and skills to get a job, find housing or go back to school. Project LIFE fills that gap by helping them find permanent connections and giving them access to the resources they need.

We also partner with Departments of Social Services to ensure that workers have up-to-date and easily accessed resources. As part of that assistance, we help keep track of foster youth so they take the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) survey on which federal funding is based.

A partnership between UMFS and Virginia Department of Social Services, Project LIFE serves youth ages 14 to 21 in five regions of Virginia and collaborates with local departments of social services to prepare youth for success after foster care.


After High School Collaboration Employment High School Independent Living Parent/Family Postsecondary Education Professional Resources Self-Determination State/National Organizations Transition