Spotlight on Youth Villages in Upper Cumberland
Youth Villages in Cookeville, Tennessee provides many services to the Upper Cumberland. Join WCTE’s Great Ready to Learn host Cindy Putman and her special guest from Youth Villages as they share about foster care, adoption, Life Set, intensive in-home services and crisis services.
May is Foster Care Awareness Month and Putman is joined by Youth Villages Tiffany Maynard, Foster Parent Recruiter and Kelly Hodges, YV Life Set Clinical Supervisor at Youth Villages.
Maynard and Hodges share the importance of working to make a difference in the lives of children who are in the care of Youth Villages.
Tiffany stresses that every day, Youth Villages serves thousands of troubled children and their families and we need your help. There are approximately 8000 children across Tennessee in the Foster care system and only 4000 foster homes. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent here are some guidelines to consider.
Youth Villages’ foster parents must live in Tennessee or Mississippi and meet these simple eligibility requirements:
• Be legally employed or have verifiable monthly income above the poverty line
• Be single or legally married for at least one year or co-habitating for at least 3 years
• Have homeowner's or renter's insurance
• Have a current driver license, reliable transportation, and car insurance
• Be at least 25 years of age
• Pass a criminal background check
• Be tolerant of differences in racial, ethnic, religious and educational backgrounds
• Once you are deemed eligible, you will have to complete a training course and an in-home interview before you are certified to receive a foster child.
The Cookeville office is seeking foster parents for children in our care. Youth Villages provides free foster parent training, monthly reimbursements to help offset the costs of adding a child to your household and ongoing, 24-hour support.
Youth Villages offers free orientation and training sessions at the Youth Villages offices in Cookeville and Maynard will be glad to discuss this program, her number is 931-525-6905.
Youth Villages’ YVLifeSet program is one of the largest in the country helping former foster and transition-age youth become successful, independent adults. It is one of the only programs to show positive impacts in many areas of a young person’s life in a large randomized controlled trial.
Youth Villages, through funding from Blue Meridian Partners, is committed to making comprehensive services available to each of the 23,000 young people who age out of foster care in the United States by 2026.
Hodges discusses how specially trained YVLifeSet specialists meet with YVLifeSet participants at least once a week—and more often when needed—in community settings, including their homes, at school or on the job, at a doctor’s office or wherever is most convenient for the young person.
Specialists are available 24/7 to help the young adult. Young people typically participate in the program for six to 12 months, based on individual needs.
What does it mean to be set for life?
Hodges, in her role as a YVLifeSet specialists, help former foster youth and other vulnerable youth ages 17-22 identify their goals and guide them each step of the way as they:
• Strive to finish high school or earn a GED
• Apply for college and scholarships and begin a college career
• Find suitable and stable housing
• Learn money management skills
• Find and maintain employment
• Apply for medical insurance and seek physical and mental health services
• Access community resources
• Build and maintain healthy relationships
• Learn about sexual health and well being, with a focus on pregnancy prevention
• Develop strong parenting skills
• Establish life-long connections with caring adults
Youth Villages helps children and families live successfully.
Youth Village’s in Putnam County is located at:
448 Neal St. Cookeville, TN 38501
Want resources for talking to your kids about adoption? Check out this great article on PBS Parents about adoption.
For more information about WCTE’s radio program or Education and Community Impact at WCTE call Kristy Keeling at 931-528-2222 # 303.