Welcome to the 2022 September issue of Foster Family News, a monthly newsletter for current and potential Fairfax County foster parents.
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“Graduation is truly a game-changer for youth in foster care. This ceremony gives our staff a chance to let each youth know just how proud we are of them and all they have accomplished,” said Kendra Smith, a Foster Care and Adoption supervisor.
Check out this article to learn how DFS celebrated the hard work and commitment of each graduate.
The primary goal of foster care is safe reunification of families. In June, the Department of Family Services held its first annual Reunification Month Ceremony to celebrate families and their hard work overcoming challenges to be reunified with their children who were in foster care.
Learn more about this joyful celebration.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has proclaimed September as Kinship Care Awareness Month in recognition of the approximately three million children in the United States, 70,000 children in Virginia, and 4,000 children in Fairfax County, who are being raised in kinship care by grandparents, relatives, or close family friends because their parents are unable to do so. Learn more about Fairfax County Kinship Care programs, resources, and caregivers.
Several state laws impacting foster care and resource families became effective July 1, 2022.
Check out a summary of these measures which are designed to encourage more kinship placements for youth in foster care, and to provide more housing support to youth aging out of foster care. Learn More.
This program is open to teens ages 12-19 who are residents of Fairfax County or involved in Fairfax County programs. If you or a teen in your life is interested in working on topics around teen dating violence and creating healthy relationships, this program is a great opportunity to build leadership skills. Online applications are due Friday, September 9. For more information, contact Debra Miller.
Back to School with ADHD: Out of the Box Approaches webinar presented by Formed Families Forward
Join Kelly Henderson, Ph.D, Executive Director and Beth Spivack, MSW, Family Support and Outreach Director for Formed Families Forward for a free virtual workshop. The session will address unique characteristics that impact identification, delivery of services and parenting of children and youth with ADHD. Register online.
Back to What?! Coping Strategies to Successfully Manage the Transition Back to School webinar presented by Formed Families Forward
This session will discuss the challenges for transitioning back to school for children and youth and their parents and caretakers. Participants will explore coping strategies to overcome the associated stress and support academic success. Register online.
The Department of Family Services supports families and county residents of all ages and stages of life – and that definitely includes foster parents and families! Like and Follow @FairfaxCountyFamilyServices for news, events, tips, stories, training opportunities and more.
Virtual Kinship Cafés hosted by the Department of Family Services’ Parenting Education Programs
First Wednesday and Third Thursday Monthly, Starting Sept. 15
Kinship caregivers can talk with others who understand how difficult and joyful it can be raising a child for a family member or friend. Join us to discuss topics such as communication, self-care, and family dynamics.
Monday, October 5 we’ll discuss The Joys and Challenges of Kinship Care. Register by email or call 703-324-7720.
Formed Families Forward Peer Support Groups for foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers meet monthly. There is an in-person group in Fairfax on third Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m. and a virtual group on first Sunday evenings of the month 7:30-9 p.m. Register online.
Formed Families Forward Stronger Together Youth Support Groups: Back but Different in Fall Starting Tuesday, September 6 for teens and young adults (ages 14-22) meets WEEKLY in person from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Fairfax City. Professional clinicians facilitate this peer support group which introduces skills youth can use to navigate everyday challenges and personal growth. A light dinner will be served each evening. FREE of charge but regular weekly attendance is expected. Register online.
Foster the Family Support Groups for foster and adoptive parents – In-person support groups are available in Fairfax County, Eastern Prince William County, Western Prince William County, and Montgomery County. Each group meets one evening a month from 6:30-8 p.m. Visit Foster the Family D.C. to learn more about the group nearest to you, or to register online.
Each newsletter will include this section to help answer questions, spotlight the people who support foster families, highlight the donors and sponsors who generously give to foster care programs and activities and friendly reminders for foster families to sign-up for trainings.
Question: How long does the court/administrative process take for reunification, termination of parental rights and adoption?