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Virginia Home for Boys and Girls

Program Name

Program Description

Specialized Education - John G. Wood School

In the 1970’s, VHBG’s leaders recognized that for some children, a specialized school would be very beneficial, and John G. Wood School (JGW) opened. Today, JGW serves as a K-12 school, helping children with complex emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges. JGW is a fully accredited private day school for students in grades K-12 and is licensed to serve up to 61 students each year. The school’s programs align with the Teaching-Family Model, Trauma-Informed Care, Aggression Replacement Training, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. JGW’s small classrooms provide a 5:1 or 8:1 student-to-staff ratio – depending on the age and level of need – with additional support from behavioral specialists and a full-time therapist. Students participate in a full academic curriculum to meet Virginia Standards of Learning and graduation requirements. In addition, a school-wide behavioral program incorporates group counseling, leadership training, and an incentive system to monitor student’s progress and support their social and emotional growth. At JGW, we have many ways to teach our kids these essential skills.JGW’s early-intervention elementary school is the only program in the Richmond metro area that addresses aggression, teaches social skills, and has a primary goal of returning the students back to a public school setting. It serves students who are unable to succeed in traditional public school because of their need for special education services or individualized instruction. The goal is for the program to support the student to build stronger social-emotional skills, coping skills, and greater impulse control so that they are able to return to a regular classroom.

Group Care Services

When it is necessary to remove a child from their home, studies show children need a strong family environment and lasting adult relationships in order to succeed. In 2012, 6116 children in Virginia were found to be victims of abuse and/or neglect (VA DSS, 2012 Child Protective Services Report). When a child is found in this situation, there is a great need to provide a place where the child can heal and grow. Studies show that adverse childhood experiences like abuse, neglect, family substance abuse, and family violence during childhood lead to emotional challenges for children and young adults, including depression, anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (Gratz, 2003 via VA Comm. on Youth, Evidence Based Practices for Children with Mental Health Treatment Needs, 2013). Licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services, our group care services offer youth a stable home and place to grow. Our group homes include family-style living with individualized, supportive services for boys and girls ages 11-17. Highly-trained Youth Counselors help youth along their healing process with service planning to meet their specific needs. Academic development, behavioral support, therapy, community involvement, recreation, and family integration are paramount. Philanthropic support helps us normalize each youth's life with offsite outings, participation in sports leagues, and other extracurricular activities. The ultimate goal is for each youth to be on their way to a safe, permanent home.