2022 Session Update: Week Two

This was a busy week at the General Assembly for VPLC advocates. We often must try and follow bills being heard in two or even three committees that meet at the same time! Please encourage your legislators to do the right thing and publicly praise them when they do. Below, an update on some of our issues […]

2022 Session Update: New Leadership, Same Mission

The 2022 General Assembly is off and running, with 1,938 House and Senate bills filed — and more expected to come. Our advocates are dealing with a lot of change this year: a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, members in the House of Delegates, and committee chairs. But among the change, one thing remains […]

Why Language Access is Essential for Domestic Violence Survivors

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this post comes from VPLC’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Attorney, Susheela Varky. Imagine you have to go to court — whether it’s to pursue your own case against someone who has wronged you or because you’ve received a subpoena to appear as a witness in a case. Most […]

“Family First:” Prioritizing Kinship Foster Care 

In honor of National Kinship Care Month, today’s newsletter comes from VPLC’s Family and Child Welfare Attorney, Valerie L’Herrou with University of Richmond School of Law student Megan Kaleah. Kinship care means the “full-time care, nurturing, and protection of children by relatives.” Relatives may care for children through informal arrangements with parents, through foster care, […]

2021 Special Session Recap: How VPLC’s Budget Priorities Fared

When the General Assembly convened for a special 2021 session, we urged lawmakers to prioritize Virginians hit hardest by the pandemic with a budget focused on equity. Not all of our priorities were funded, but we will continue to push for these in the state’s next budget. Below, here’s how our recommended budget priorities fared […]

Equitable Rescue & Recovery: VPLC Special Session Budget Priorities

The Virginia General Assembly will convene in Richmond on Monday, August 2 for a special legislative session to allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding and fill judicial vacancies. The remaining $4.3 billion comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, which has provided essential relief to millions of American workers – many of […]

PRESS RELEASE: New anti-poverty laws take effect in Virginia today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2021 The suite of new laws will protect tenants, help families with food assistance, expand health coverage, protect consumers, and more. Richmond, VA – Effective today, several new laws in the Commonwealth will benefit hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians. The new laws include better protections for tenants, expansion of […]

Sexual Assault Can and Does Happen to Everyone: Musings on Serving Male Victims

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we are featuring a blog post from Susheela Varky, Staff Attorney for Domestic and Sexual Violence at the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC). To learn more, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Recently, I held a virtual training for advocates about the types of services VPLC provides to […]

Family Reunification: Why It Matters

Reunification refers to the reunion of children in foster care with their families after parents have shown they can provide a safe and nurturing environment. For children, timely reunification is important: brain scans of elderly adults who were separated from parents as children show structural changes in their brains that have lasted a lifetime. Families […]

New landlord-tenant laws, foster care reform, and restored driver’s licenses: new Virginia laws take effect July 1

Today, hundreds of new laws that passed during this year’s General Assembly go into effect, from new landlord-tenant laws to foster care reform. Here are a few to note. Other New Laws Related to VPLC Focus Areas Medicaid and Mental Health: An adopted budget increases reimbursements for Medicaid primary care physicians and licensed mental health […]

Aging and fraud: how to fend off scammers as we grow older

As we age, we become more vulnerable to scammers. According to a report by NPR, as few as one in 44 cases of financial scams are ever reported, and older people lose anywhere from $2.9 billion to $36 billion each year from financial exploitation. It’s a scary prospect, knowing that many adults with no cognitive […]

Addressing rising elder abuse in Virginia

Patricia* moved to Virginia to live with her daughter and son-in-law. Not long after moving in, their relationship began to sour, and Patricia began suffering both physical and mental abuse. She was eventually told she had less than a week to move out with no alternative support network in place. Unfamiliar with resources in Virginia, […]

To improve foster care in Virginia, work to keep families together

This April, Governor Northam signed bipartisan legislation improving foster care in Virginia, an outcome of work between VPLC, community partners, and legislators in response to problems with the state’s foster care system. Still, there’s more to be done, including before children enter the system and around how we make decisions about removing children from their […]

VPLC’s 2019 Legislative Review

With another General Assembly session behind us and the dust settled after this month’s veto session, here is a review of what occurred during the 2019 legislative session. This year brought several wins—foster care reform, fairer laws for tenants in the wake of a report detailing Virginia’s high eviction rates, and the end of driver’s […]

Surviving domestic and sexual violence while undocumented: one woman’s story

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). To learn more, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Ana* met her husband online through a Christian dating website. He was charming, handsome, and seemed to adore her when they first met. After they married, all that changed. Her husband became manipulative, jealous, and controlling. He began […]

Promoting Consent for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This year’s theme for SAAM is “I Ask,” championing the message that asking for consent is a healthy, normal, and necessary part of everyday interactions. Sexual Assault is Widespread Nearly one in five women in the US have experienced rape or attempted rape at some point in […]

Why Increasing TANF Matters

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally funded, cash assistance program that had a $136 million surplus at the end of FY 2018. A proposed budget amendment in the Virginia Senate would use a very small portion of that surplus to increase TANF benefits for families by five percent and would address several […]

Keep New Funding for Adult Protective Services

Oppose Budget Amendment Item 334 #1s Item 334 #1s removes $100,000 from the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) Adult Protective Services budget. Without this funding, Adult Protective Services (APS) will not be able to increase staffing in its statewide office. The statewide office provides direct support to local department of social services’ APS […]

The Costly Price of Long-Term Care

With our population aging and living longer, long-term care is growing increasingly more expensive—and the prices are staggering. A private room in a nursing home now costs consumers more than $8,000 per month, or $97,455 per year, according to The Genworth Cost of Care Survey.  A semi-private room is less expensive but still carries a […]

Crossover Report | 2019 General Assembly

Tuesday, February 5, 2019, was “Crossover Day” in the General Assembly—the last day for bills to be heard in the Senate or House of Delegates before crossing over to the other chamber for review. Check out our 2019 Crossover Report to learn more about the bills we support, oppose, and monitor. Take Action! We need your help […]

Supporting Changes to Improve Foster Care for Virginia’s Children

Learn more about the suite of bills being introduced during the 2019 legislative session that intend to improve foster care for Virginia’s children below. SB 1339 (Reeves) | Foster Care Omnibus. Incorporates many of the suggestions of the JLARC report, including support and supervision of local child welfare agencies. HB 1728/SB 1139 (Reid, Favola) |  […]

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