Dr. Monique Mitchell at USC’s Center for Child and Family Studies facilitates two state youth advisory boards on behalf of the South Carolina Department of Social Services: Go Out and Learn Life (GOALL) and SC NYTD Youth Voice. Youth representing GOALL, whose mission is to advocate for SC youth in foster care, recently received three standing ovations at the end of a presentation at the Palmetto Association for Children and Families (PAFCAF) Annual Conference held in Myrtle Beach, SC. The presentation was entitled Lighting Up the Way to Self-Discovery: An Illuminating Workshop by Youth in Foster Care. Using dramatized scenarios and audience involvement, the youth shared their perspective on the importance of self-advocacy, youth-friendly communication, respect for diversity, open-mindedness, and commitment in supportive relationships.
Youth on the SC NYTD Youth Voice, a state advisory panel for a research study, has created a series of short podcasts on important independent living topics such as education, employment, housing, and high risk and healthy behaviors. These informative, youth-friendly resources help disseminate research from the Voices and Visions of SC Youth in Transition research study, which is being conducted by USC’s Center for Child and Family Studies.
Voices and Visions of SC Youth in Transition includes the federally required National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) questions as well as questions specific to South Carolina, which ask youth about their experiences and thoughts of independent living services and the transition out of foster care. The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) is a federally mandated data collection to track the independent living services received by youth in care in all 50 states. The members of SC NYTD Youth Voice provide feedback on the research methodology and develop youth-friendly resources for research dissemination. For more information, please visit the SC NYTD website at www.nytdstayconnected.com.
Dr. Mitchell, the SC NYTD Research Director, has served as the facilitator for both GOALL and SC NYTD Youth Voice for the past three years. Members of these youth boards are youth in and formerly in foster care who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in a group setting such as a group home, youth group, or school team. Toni Jones, MSW, is the SC NYTD Project Coordinator and serves as co-facilitator of SC NYTD Youth Voice, and Faith Slater, BS, is the Program Assistant for GOALL and SC NYTD Youth Voice.
Each year the South Carolina Department of Social Services Independent Living (IL) Program sponsors a youth training event for youth in foster care. Instead of hosting the Independent Living Conference this year, the SCDSS IL Program is sponsoring these camps as an exciting new initiative for youth training.
South Carolina foster youth in care can attend a Leadership Camp or Sibling Connections Camp and take part in fun activities like zip lining, kayaking, hiking, biking, canoeing, and swimming! And SCDSS will pay for your trip! Transportation is available through SCDSS. Take advantage of this opportunity to do something fun―for free!
Sibling Connection Camp
This camp is designed to allow siblings ages 10-17 who are not placed together to attend a fun and educational adventure. At least one sibling must be in foster care for the sibling group to attend. The legal guardian of any child not in foster care must sign the permission form. Due to programming and staffing, no exceptions will be made for youth who are outside the age requirement. Youth will engage in a variety of experimental, hands-on learning activities including key themes for each weekend. Themes include: leadership, communication, job skills, advocacy, relationship building/trust, and planning. Youth will have fun with activities like go-carts, climbing walls, teams course, canoeing, archery and much more!
This camp is exclusively for Chafee-eligible youth, ages 15-20. Youth will engage in a variety of experimental, hands-on learning activities including key themes for each weekend. Themes include: leadership, communication, job skills, advocacy, relationship building/trust, and planning. Youth will have fun with activities like go-carts, climbing walls, teams course, canoeing, archery and much more!
Registration is no longer available for 2014 Camps!
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Click here for our Youth Camps Map around the state.
Youth Leadership Institute (YLI)
698 Concord Church Road―Pickens, SC 29671
Sewee Coastal Retreat Center (Camp Sewee)
7407 Doar Road―Awendaw, SC 29429
Cooper Leadership Center (Camp Bob Cooper)
8001 M. W. Rickenbaker Road―Summerton, SC 29148
Long Leadership Center (Camp Long)
82 Camp Long Road―Aiken, SC 29805
Camp Hannon (Camp Hannon)
391 Moorefield Memorial Highway―Sunset, SC 29685
Researchers at The Center for Child and Family Studies have begun interviewing a new cohort of 17 year olds as they transition out of foster care.