IL Retreat Promotes Connection and Permanency
Each year, the Independent Living Project organizes a retreat for older youth, which is held in August at the University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown campus. This year, the program featured a multitude of events, including sports, crafts, cooking, and many more activities to promote teambuilding and connection for the youth who attend the event.
SWAN prime contract staff support this retreat by serving on the planning committee and facilitating activities and events at the retreat. Jon Douglas, who was recently promoted to regional technical assistance division manager, was recognized by the planners for his many contributions to the event in prior years and for helping planners maintain a permanency focus. “Many youth continue to be unaware of SWAN services and think that IL [is] their final stop before aging out of the system,” Jon said. “Having the opportunity to talk to the youth and build relationships with them, more youth realized there are services they have the right to have and want, they can have both IL and a family, and there are families who want older youth.” Regional Technical Assistant Ashley Petch has stepped into the role of support from the prime contract and enthusiastically led cooking classes and facilitated the Youth Panel. She will continue efforts to promote permanency to older youth who attend the retreat.
To learn more about the 2019 retreat, check out the awesome video of the program’s highlights produced by the PA Youth Advisory Board.