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Jessica Cabrera, Program Coordinator at The HABLA Project, recently published an article with the South Carolina Midlands Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).  ASTD is an organization for professionals in the field of training and human development.  Cabrera’s interest in leadership development was spurred when she attended the 2013 ASTD International Conference and Exposition and heard a speech by Liz Wiseman, whom she cites in the article.  Cabrera’s article, “Developing Future Leaders: 5 Tips for Considering Shifting Expectations,” highlights the ways in which younger people respond differently to hierarchical models of leadership and focuses on strategies for training a new generation of leaders.

 

Cabrera notes that Millennials don’t do well in restricted environments.  “Each generation is socially constructed differently,” says Cabrera, and technological advances in particular have affected “the way they think, behave, and interact.”  Millennials become stifled when they are told not to think but to obey.  The danger of adhering to a traditional, top-down managerial approach is that “you muffle everything they have to offer,” resulting in unused talent.

“Horizontal leadership” is the best way to engage Millennials according to Cabrera.  Horizontal leadership is more like coaching a team effort, and one person’s success is everyone’s success.  Accommodating this evolving vision of leadership is important not just for managing young employees but also for training them to be leaders in the future.


Cabrera stresses that horizontal leadership is not just for Millennials; everyone can benefit from a management style that empowers employees.  “It’s so important to me to show the people that I lead that I believe in them and that they are capable,” says Cabrera.  “Believing in somebody is empowering.”

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.

 

 

Youth Camp

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!

 

For questions about the program, send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Register for 2014 Camps!

 

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!

 

Leadership Retreat

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 available for 2014 Camps!

 

You may be required to download the free version of Adobe Reader to view some of these documents.

 

Leadership Retreat: April 4-6, 2014
Camp Long Registration

Leadership Retreat: April 25-27, 2014
Camp Hannon Registration

 


Camp Locations

 

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.

The researchers started calling youth who turned 17 on Oct. 1, and will continue contacting youth as they turn 17 over the next 12 months. They will share their findings with community partners to help inform the services provided to youth and promote positive outcomes.

The research study, Voices and Visions of SC Youth in Transition, asks youth about their transition out of foster care.  Youth provide detailed information about topics such as education, employment, housing, high-risk behaviors, spirituality, transition concerns, and personal goals.


The 2010-2011 survey found youth were struggling with having their basic needs met – for example, transportation to get to a job that would pay the rent and keep food on the table. Most youth reported they were afraid of what would happen to them once they left foster care.


Their comments included:

• “Will I have enough skills to be on my own?”
• “I am not ready to leave.”
• “I’m worried about how I’m going to be financially because as of right now I have no income at all.”


The questions in the Voices and Visions of SC Youth in Transition research study (www.NYTDstayconnected.com) significantly expand on those in the federally mandated data collection, the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD).  Through NYTD, the federal government requires all states to collect information from youth in care who turn 17 years old during certain years.


The Center for Child and Family Studies at the University of South Carolina has partnered with the South Carolina Department of Social Services in this exciting project to learn more about the experiences of youth in foster care in South Carolina.


The research team surveyed the first cohort of 17-year-old youth between October 2010 and September 2011 and again when these youth turned 19 between October 2012 and September 2013. This year, 223 youth completed the 19-year-old survey and provided valuable feedback about independent living services and their experiences as they transitioned out of foster care.

Save the Date

 

The South Carolina Department of Social Services Independent Living Program, with The Center for Child & Family Studies at USC, will sponsor the second annual 2014 Graduation Celebration. Join us in a wonderful day when graduates with a variety of diplomas and degrees will be honored for their achievement.  With special guests, GOALL and SC NYTD Youth Voice, this will be a memorable and meaningful day as these youth continue on their pathway to success!

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