Author: youthvillages

Alabama Dad goes the distance to reunite his family

Rudolfo Duenes was in Atlanta when he got the phone call that changed his family’s life. His ex-wife, living in Birmingham, Alabama, had been found unconscious in her home. Drugs were involved. Their children, Gavin, 3, and McKenzie, just 2, had been alone in the house and had been taken into state custody for their protection. The call came from a friend: “The kids have been taken away! Come home!” So Duenes made the first of his bus trips from Atlanta to Birmingham. Hours on the bus not knowing how his children were, when he could see them, when he could get them...

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Partnerships, new approaches highlight forum on scaling effective practices to help former foster youth

Every year about 23,000 young people in the United States turn 18 and age out of foster care without ever being united with their biological families or finding a new one through adoption. They are one of the country’s most vulnerable populations, more likely to be homeless, never reach education milestones, to face unemployment and incarceration.   Last week, the American Youth Policy Forum hosted a Capitol Hill briefing highlighting the need to expand effective programs capable of helping transition-age youth overcome challenges and go on to be successful, independent adults. The forum was co-sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley...

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Youth Villages Announces Bill’s Place

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”1″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnails” override_thumbnail_settings=”1″ thumbnail_width=”180″ thumbnail_height=”160″ thumbnail_crop=”1″ images_per_page=”4″ number_of_columns=”4″ ajax_pagination=”0″ show_all_in_lightbox=”0″ use_imagebrowser_effect=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”0″ slideshow_link_text=”[Show slideshow]” template=”default” slug=”Youth-Villages-Announces-Bill’s-Place” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]  MEMPHIS, Tenn. (May 1, 2017) – Youth Villages announced Bill’s Place, a $22 million investment to expand intensive residential treatment on the Bartlett, Tennessee, campus, at a ground breaking ceremony this morning. The 100,000 square-foot addition will create a 148,000 square-foot center designed to enhance treatment options for the community’s most at-risk and vulnerable youth, addressing a gap in services for medically fragile children and the growing community need for intensive treatment options. “With the addition of Bill’s...

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Adriana overcomes obstacles to her success

 Adriana, 19, has been in every major Youth Villages program in Massachusetts. When she was 13, Adriana and her family were helped by our Intercept intensive in-home services. When she needed residential help, Adriana came to our Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus for girls in Arlington. Now, after 18, she is participating in our YVLifeSet program that helps young people get a good start on independent adulthood. “Youth Villages never gave up on me,” she said. “I’m eternally grateful to the counselors and staff who saw the better part of me.” Adriana’s behavior issues may stem from abuse from age...

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Love instantly: Foster to adoption and now the best Mother’s Day for family

  Wes and Keely Jennings don’t know their birth mother and have not yet gotten the chance to shower a mom with love on Mother’s Day with handmade crafts or homemade breakfast.At ages 5 and 4 respectively, the siblings have spent much of their lives in foster care. But this spring, they were given a new home, a new family and a new reason to celebrate all the holidays. Ryan and Candace Jennings adopted Wes and Keely in March 2017, giving their 5-year-old son Hayden two new playmates.“We fell in love instantly,” Candace recalled. “Their foster mom at the time decided not to adopt, and we had already expressed interest in adopting them. Everything was working out perfectly.”Also fostering another child, the Jennings are now a household of six, marking this year full of firsts.This will be Candace’s first Mother’s Day as a mom of four children.“It will be extra special,” she said. “That just means more love, hugs and kisses. That means more sweet, sweet kids saying, ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to me. It means mine and Ryan’s mothers, stepmothers and grandmothers having more kids telling them ‘Happy Mother’s Day.’ This will be the best one yet for me.” Entering foster care in 2013 due to neglect, Wes and Keely were first placed with the Jennings in summer of 2016.In their months together as a family, Wes and Keely...

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