A program of Dougy Center: The National Grief Center for Children & Families

Issue 14, July 2024

L.Y.G.H.T. in Sumter, South Carolina:

Q & A with Jerry L. Allred, Jr. LISW-CP, Executive Director, Crosswell Home for Children

We asked the Executive Director, Jerry Allred, of Crosswell Home for Children, why the L.Y.G.H.T. program is important to offer to the youth at their community site. Here’s what he shared:

How long have you been the Executive Director at Crosswell?

I have been E.D. at the Crosswell Home for the past 15 years. I have been working with children, youth, and families in SC since 1991.

Why do you think supporting youth in foster care who have experience with grief and loss is important?

Every youth in the foster care system has experienced some type of grief and loss. Many of those losses go unrecognized or unacknowledged. Supporting these youth in dealing with those losses lies at the core of our mission here at Crosswell. Empowering the youth and supporting them through this difficult work is vital in helping them heal and transition into the best version of themselves.

What do you value the most about implementing a program like LY.G.H.T. at Crosswell?

I think what I value the most is that the work is led and driven by the youth themselves. They are allowed to take a leading role in their growth and healing and that is empowering. Being able to partner with Dougy Center has been a blessing and I look forward to the growth of the program in our community

The L.Y.G.H.T. RCT#2 Findings are In

We are excited to share the findings and feedback from the youth who participated in our second randomized control trial (RCT) of the evidence-based L.Y.G.H.T. (Listening and Led by Youth in Foster Care: Grief, Hope, and Transitions) program! In the study, youth who participated in the L.Y.G.H.T. program reported increased social support, hopefulness, and self-worth compared to youth who did not participate in the L.Y.G.H.T. program.

Find the full report here.

What Youth Have to Say About the New Survive/Thrive Journal

The Survive/Thrive journal has helped many youth in foster care. Here’s what two LYGHT teen participants said about the journal:

“This can be so helpful when I’m going through it and missing my mom.”

" I finished my book - It was nice writing my life story and reading back through it. Can I have another one?"


Sometimes youth in foster care need individual outlets to help with their loss and grief. If you know a youth in foster care who can benefit from a self-guided grief support journal, please visit the Dougy Center online bookstore here..

Building Partnerships to Expand L.Y.G.H.T. for Teens and Young Adults in South Carolina

Thank you to the South Carolina Department of Social Services for supporting the expansion of the L.Y.G.H.T. program throughout South Carolina. With each new partnership, teens and young adults across the state are receiving peer grief support that often goes unaddressed when youth are in foster care or transitioning out of care. We express our deepest gratitude to SCDSS for creating more opportunities for recruitment partnership efforts so that more teens and young adults can receive this important resource of peer grief support to enhance their well-being!


If you know a teen in foster care from South Carolina who is grieving, please contact us at lyght@dougy.org to submit a referral.

Stay Connected with L.Y.G.H.T.

Follow all things L.Y.G.H.T. on our Instagram and Facebook social media platforms where you will find weekly posts and L.Y.G.H.T. updates, including upcoming events and grief resources for supporting youth in foster care.

Follow us on Instagram: @lyghtprogram

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For more information about L.Y.G.H.T., send us an email or visit our website.

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