SPEAKOUT Application

Are you interested in helping to create change in foster care policy? Do you have experience in the foster care system that you’re willing to use to help other youth in foster care? If so, consider applying to a youth advisory group that will provide input directly to VDSS.

SPEAKOUT (Strong Positive Educated Advocates Keen On Understanding the Truth) is for youth in foster care and alumni who are interested in using their voice to provide input on foster care regulations, policy, guidance, and practice concerns, while also building advocacy and leadership skills.

The group will ideally consist of 15-20 foster youth from across the state. It is expected that the group will meet several times a year to discuss issues and share ideas with VDSS. The meetings for the group will be held in various locations throughout the state. 

If you have any questions, please email speakout@dss.virginia.gov or contact La Tika Jeffery or Monica Cabell:

La Tika Jeffery
VDSS Youth Development Specialist
(804) 807-2333

Letha Moore-Jones
State Independent Living Coordinator and Youth Services Supervisor
(804) 726-7576


In order to resign a member should use this email to activate the resignation process. If the member would like to be considered for reinstatement at any time in the future, this should be indicated in this email and the reinstatement email should be submitted when requesting reinstatement. Members who do not submit the information in the email at the time of resignation may not be considered for reinstatement. A member's reasons for resigning may be described within the email in as little or as much detail as the member chooses to honor their privacy.


This email should be sent by former SPEAKOUT Board Members who previously resigned and would like to return before their 27th birthday.The Board will consider reinstatement on a case-by-case basis and may reach out for additional information.