The following article was published in
“Residential Group Care Quarterly” Child Welfare League, Volume 2, Number
4, Summer 2001.
Virginia’s Residential Life Skills Program
By: Shirlee F. Lively, MSW
Being good at something is the best
antidote to low self-esteem.
West Virginia child welfare officials have
recently adopted a structured, uniform curriculum for teaching life skills
to adolescents in residential care facilities. In October 2000,
approximately 500 youth age 14-20 began participating in the Phillip Roy
Inc.’s Life Skills Curriculum.
The Life Skills Curriculum comprises more than 100 reproducible books
written to different comprehension levels, allowing students to learn at
their own pace. The curriculum includes five skill topic units: social
skills, consumerism, employability, English as a second language/special
needs, and student issues. Additional support materials include a
curriculum framework, teacher’s guide, certificates of achievement, pre/post
tests for each unit in addition to pre/post tests for each lesson,
record-keeping log, introductory video and correlations to other assessment
The decision to mandate a program
for life skills instruction for youth in residential care was, in large
part, the result of observations by casework staff. District social workers
reported that as youth learn practical skills and gain practical knowledge,
their confidence and self esteem improve. The state instituted the Life
Skills Curriculum to ensure youth in residential care have the opportunity
to acquire and test new skills and improve their knowledge.
encourage student participation and celebrate successes, each youth receives
a certificate of achievement and a $10 cash bonus when he or she completes a
unit in one of the five skills topics. The support of the state social
workers and residential and group care staff is an important part of the
For additional information contact:
Click here to go back to previous page
Phillip Roy, Inc.
PO Box 130
Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785