Department of Family Services – Children and Families

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

703-324-7500
TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035

Oriane Eriksen,
Director

Children, Youth and Families – Community Engagement Toolkit

Children, Youth and Families Staying Safe at Home During COVID-19, Keeping Child Abuse Victims Safe During COVID-19 graphic banner

The Department of Family Services' Children, Youth and Families (CYF) includes programs designed to protect children from harm, prevent child abuse and neglect, support families and help them remain together safely for the long-term emotional and physical health of the children.

Use this community engagement toolkit (talking points, social media and more) to help spread the word throughout the community about CYF's work and services available during COVID-19.

Social Media Tip: It's more effective to post a message with a graphic.

In Facebook posts, please tag us @FairfaxCountyFamilyServices. This helps people to quickly and conveniently connect with us.

message clouds graphic

Talking Points

Talking Points

If you're using any of the talking points in Facebook posts, please tag us @FairfaxCountyFamilyServices. This helps people to quickly and conveniently connect with us.


In the midst of this outbreak of COVID-19, many families find themselves facing many of the risk factors for child abuse and neglect including parental stress, economic instability, food insecurity, lack of adequate child care, and lack of normal routines. Those stressors are exacerbated by families being confined to close quarters for an extended period of time.

COVID has impacted the day-to-day operation of schools and many child care facilities. As a result, children and families have limited face-to-face contact with mandated reporters such as teachers, counselors and child-care providers. Early in the pandemic, we experienced dramatic decreases in calls to the Child Protective Services’ (CPS) Hotline due to school personnel being our largest reporters of child abuse and neglect. This initially led to fewer new CPS referrals and fewer children entering foster care.

Every child deserves to grow up in a supportive, stable and nurturing environment. The community must continue to keep eyes on children in your neighborhood, as many of the normal child protective factors are not in place during this crisis. If you have questions or concerns about a child’s safety, call the Child Protective Services’ (CPS) 24-hour hotline at 703-324-7400. Fairfax County's CPS hotline workers can also provide families with help, guidance, and referrals to supportive services.

We want parents to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE during this challenging time. That is why @FairfaxCountyFamilyServices created a Parent Support Line to help you with any of your parenting needs. Staff can help with parenting advice, support, and tips to help navigate emotional and relational parenting issues. Talk to a live person ready to help you at 703-324-7720, or email BuildingStrongerFamilies@fairfaxcounty.gov, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The county and our prevention partners offer valuable supportive services for families such as parenting and fathering classes, parent and teen support groups, online parenting videos, teen centers, and mentoring opportunities. Parenting Education classes are currently offered virtually. We have multiple classes currently running in both English and Spanish. https://bit.ly/2RUcTxy

Parenting Support

Messages - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Social Media Tip: It's more effective to post a message with a graphic.


Follow these quick and easy steps to copy a message and post it along with one of the graphics.

  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Right-click and select copy.
  3. Paste the text into your post.

In Facebook posts, please tag us @FairfaxCountyFamilyServices. This helps people to quickly and conveniently connect with us.

Facebook

We want parents to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE during this challenging time. That is why the @FairfaxCountyFamilyServices created a Parent Support Line to help you with any of your parenting needs. Talk to a live person ready to help you at 703-324-7720, or email BuildingStrongerFamilies@fairfaxcounty.gov, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more ways that we are providing parenting Assistance from a Distance, visit https://bit.ly/2RUcTxy #BuildingStrongerFamilies

The new DFS Parent Support Line is a great resource for parents and caregivers of children. Staff can help with parenting advice, support, and tips to help navigate emotional and relational parenting issues. Call 703-324-7720, or BuildingStrongerFamilies@fairfaxcounty.gov Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more ways that we are providing parenting Assistance from a Distance, visit. https://bit.ly/2RUcTxy #BuildingStrongerFamilies

Join our Virtual Parent Cafés. Connect with other parents to discuss topics such as discipline, self-care, and family rules. Mondays, 7:45-9:15 p.m. To register, email ParentingEducation@fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-324-7720. To learn more about the Virtual Cafés and other resources from our Parenting Education Programs visit https://bit.ly/2RUcTxy #BuildingStrongerFamilies

Fairfax County Department of Family Services is here for you and continues to provide assistance from a distance. Access these Children, Youth and Family services without having to leave home: Child Protective Services (CPS) 703-324-7400; Parent Support Line 703-324-7720; resource hotlines; virtual classes and support; online tips and videos; kinship support; and more. Learn more and share with others: https://bit.ly/2RUcTxy #DFSHereForYou

Wondering if your child may be ready to be home alone? County guidelines have been developed by social work professionals in collaboration with the community to help with that decision. http://bit.ly/2GfRkQ1 #BuildingStrongerFamilies #FairfaxCountyFamilyServices

Twitter and Instagram

County guidelines for determining when your child is ready to be left unsupervised. http://bit.ly/2GfRkQ1        

Our Dept of Family Services is offering a Parent Café, each Monday evening from 7:30-8:30. Parents can connect with each other to process through and share different strategies. https://bit.ly/2RUcTxy

The Parent Support Line from Fairfax Co Dept of Family Services is a great resource! Receive parenting advice, support, & tips to help navigate emotional & relational parenting issues. Language support is available. Call 703-324-7720, M-F, 8 am-4:30 pm. https://bit.ly/2RUcTxy

Parent Support Line - Graphics - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Graphics

Follow these quick and easy steps to download a file to your computer:

  1. Click on the graphic.
  2. After it opens, right-click on the graphic and select to save the file.

In Facebook posts, please tag us @FairfaxCountyFamilyServices. This helps people to quickly and conveniently connect with us.

Parent Support Line - English

Parent Support Line graphic in English

Parent Support Line - English

Parent Support Line graphic in English

Parent Support Line - English

Parent Support Line graphic in English

Parent Support Line - English

Parent Support Line graphic in English

Parent Support Line - English

Parent Support Line graphic in English

Parent Support Line - English

Parent Support Line graphic in English

Parent Support Line - English

Parent Support Line graphic in English


Parent Support Line - Spanish

Parent Support Line graphic in Spanish

Virtual Parent Cafés - Graphics - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Graphics

Follow these quick and easy steps to download a file to your computer:

  1. Click on the graphic.
  2. After it opens, right-click on the graphic and select to save the file.

In Facebook posts, please tag us @FairfaxCountyFamilyServices. This helps people to quickly and conveniently connect with us.

Virtual Parent Cafés - English

You Are Not Alone - Parent Virtual Cafes graphic in English

Virtual Parent Cafés - English

You Are Not Alone - Parent Virtual Cafes graphic in English

Virtual Parent Cafés - English

You Are Not Alone - Parent Virtual Cafes graphic in English


Virtual Parent Cafés - African American Culturally Focused - English

You Are Not Alone - Parent Virtual Cafes African American Culturally Focused graphic in English


Virtual Parent Cafés - Spanish

You Are Not Alone - Parent Virtual Cafes graphic in Spanish

Virtual Parent Cafés - Spanish

You Are Not Alone - Parent Virtual Cafes graphic in Spanish

Virtual Parent Cafés - Spanish

You Are Not Alone - Parent Virtual Cafes graphic in Spanish

Child Protection

Messages - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Social Media Tip: It's more effective to post a message with a graphic.


Follow these quick and easy steps to copy a message and post it along with one of the graphics.

  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Right-click and select copy.
  3. Paste the text into your post.

In Facebook posts, please tag us @FairfaxCountyFamilyServices. This helps people to quickly and conveniently connect with us.

Facebook

Are you a teacher, social worker, child care provider, nurse? If so, you are a mandatory reporter for child abuse and neglect. If you have any reason to suspect a child has been abused or neglected, you are required to make a report through the Child Protective Services Hotline at 703-324-7400. DFS has created a tip sheet for mandatory reporters. Learn more: https://bit.ly/39U1cgt

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), during this pandemic a disturbing number of children are unable to consider home their safe haven. A majority of the online calls received at the sexual assault hotline were from minors – 67% of callers identified their perpetrator as a family member and 79% said they were living with that perpetrator. How can you help? If you have any reason to suspect a child has been abused or neglected, make a report through the Child Protective Services Hotline at 703-324-7400.

Victims of Abuse Need Community Support More than Ever 
Many are “staying home to save lives,” but for some people, home is not safe. For victims of domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse, the isolation and stress of being trapped at home with their offenders puts them at increased risk of serious harm. Now more than ever, as a community, we must check in with each other and take action if there are signs of danger. Learn more and share this information with others: https://bit.ly/2VDw9lf #DFSHereForYou

Twitter and Instagram

Check out these resources to help families manage stress, cope with the crisis and understand how to support children through the outbreak of COVID-19. Learn more and share this information with others: https://bit.ly/2Jkp6GS #FFXCOVID

Every child deserves to grow up in a supportive, stable and nurturing environment So, if you have questions or concerns about a child’s safety, call the Child Protective Services’ 24-hour hotline at 703-324-7400. https://bit.ly/2Jkp6GS #FFXCOVID

Resources to help families manage their stress, cope with the crisis and support their children through the outbreak of COVID-19. Share with those you love.  https://bit.ly/2Jkp6GS #FFXCOVID #FairfaxCountyFamilyServices

In times of crisis, the community can help turn a watchful eye and a listening ear toward children and their families. If you have questions or concerns about a child’s safety, call the Child Protective Services’ 24-hour hotline at 703-324-7400. https://bit.ly/2Jkp6GS

If you have questions or concerns about a child’s safety, call the Child Protective Services’ 24-hour hotline at 703-324-7400. The CPS Hotline can provide families with help, guidance, and referrals to supportive services.  https://bit.ly/2Jkp6GS #FFXCOVID #FairfaxCountyFamilyServices

For resources on keeping your family safe, and on how to report suspected abuse, visit https://bit.ly/2Jkp6GS

Graphics - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Social Media Tip: It's more effective to post a message with a graphic.


Graphics

Follow these quick and easy steps to download a file to your computer:

  1. Click on the graphic.
  2. After it opens, right-click on the graphic and select to save the file.

In Facebook posts, please tag us @FairfaxCountyFamilyServices. This helps people to quickly and conveniently connect with us.

Assistance from a Distance - Children, Youth and Families

Assistance from a Distance graphic - Children, Youth and Families - Child Protective Servcies Hotline 703-324-7400 Parent Support Line 703-324-7720

Staying Safe at Home - Keeping Child Abuse Victims Safe During COVID-19

Staying Safe at Home - Children, Youth and Families - Keeping Child Abuse Victims Safe During COVID-19 Fairfax County child protective services hotline 24 hours a day 703-324-7400

Possible Signs of Child Abuse or Neglect - Not Sure About Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect?

Not Sure About Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect - Child Protective Services Hotline graphic

If You Suspect Child Abuse, Help a Child and Their Family Get Support - Child Protective Services Hotline graphic

COVID-19 Related Stress Puts Children at Much Greater Risk for Abuse and Neglect - Child Protective Services Hotline graphic

We All Have to Watch Out for Children Safety During COVID-19 - Child Protective Services Hotline graphic

Possible Signs of Child Abuse or Neglect flyer graphic

Mandated Reporter Tip Sheet

Department of Family Services Mandated Reporter Tip Sheet graphic

Articles

Articles

Has COVID-19 Put Children at Risk in Their Own Homes?

In the midst of this outbreak of COVID-19, many families find themselves facing many of the risk factors for child abuse and neglect. Learn about additional resources that can help families manage their stress, cope with the crisis and understand how to support their children during this challenging time.

With many of the normal child protective factors not in place during this crisis, the community must step in to keep eyes and ears on children in your neighborhood. If you have questions or concerns about a child’s safety, call the Child Protective Services’ 24-hour Hotline 703-324-7400.

We All Need to Help Protect Children During Covid-19

COVID-19 has turned everyone’s lives upside down. The isolation has caused many families to lose their support networks, which has been especially stressful for families with children. As a result, some children may be at higher risk of harm. Others may not be safe because there isn’t a responsible adult who can watch or take care of them. Learn more about what to consider if you suspect child abuse, how to make a report, and resources to help. 

Mandated Reporter Tips for Mandatory Reporters for Child Abuse and Neglect

Are you a teacher, social worker, child care provider, nurse? If so, you are a mandatory reporter for child abuse and neglect. If you have any reason to suspect a child has been abused or neglected, you are required to make a report through the Child Protective Services (CPS) Hotline. DFS has created a tip sheet for mandatory reporters.

Parent Café Provides Community of Support

Virtual Parent Cafés are a great way for parents to learn from each other as they grow in their parenting skills. All Parent Cafés are open to Fairfax County parents or guardians with children ages 0-18 years old. Join us on Mondays 7:45-9:15 p.m. for English speakers and Wednesdays 7-8:30 p.m. for Spanish-speaking families. Please email or call us at 703-324-7720 to register at least one business day before the Parent Café. Learn more about how Virtual Parent Cafés provide a community of support to parents.

What If I Contract COVID-19 and I’m Too Sick to Care for My Child? 

Many parents are isolated from the friends, family and child care supports they usually turn to. As scary as it might be to think about, it's critical for parents to make a crisis plan now in case they become too sick to care for their children or unable to ask for support. DFS offers steps you can take to develop a plan:
- Decided on a safe person to care for your child.
- Communicate your plan.
- Do your best to stay healthy.
- Stay informed.
Learn more about these steps to prepare.

Is Your Child Ready to Be Home Alone?

Taking on more responsibility is a huge part of growing up. So how do you know if your child is responsible enough to be home alone, even if only for a few hours? Our DFS parenting experts offer some guidance.


For media inquiries, contact Department of Family Services' Public Information Officer Amy Carlini by email, office phone 703-324-7758 or mobile phone 571-355-6672.

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