Department of Family Services – Children, Youth and Families

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

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The Volunteer Post Newsletter – Current Issue

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Welcome to the 2024 January issue of The Volunteer Post Newsletter, for current and potential volunteers, sponsors and donors interested in supporting children and families in crisis. 

Table of Contents
  • ‘Twas the Season for Giving! 2023 Adopt-A-Family Program has Exceeded Expectations 
  • Family and Friends Bring Fun to BeFriend-A-Child Holiday Party 
  • Mentoring Makes a Difference for Youth 
  • Volunteer and Partner Services Program Says Farewell to Long-Term Volunteer, Mary Lou Withem 
  • Puppy Party Fosters Youth
  • DFS Canine Ambassador and Handler Visit University of Lynchburg Students
  • Making the Most of the MLK Day of Service to Help Area Families

 

‘Twas the Season for Giving! 2023 Adopt-A-Family Program has Exceeded Expectations

Adopt-A-Family gift donations from LeidosFor the first time our Adopt-A-Family Program was able to serve the entire Department of Family Services for all child serving programs and the turnout was record-breaking! This was only possible due to the generous Fairfax County community, and some key sponsors including State Farm Insurance & Financial Services, Leidos, and St. Mark Catholic Church. Thank you for giving. Learn more about the impact you helped to make. 

 

Family and Friends Bring Fun to BeFriend-A-Child Holiday Party 

young boy with Santa and Mrs. ClausOur BeFriend-A-Child program ended the year with a festive holiday celebration for mentors, mentees, and their families. So many partners and sponsors came together to make this a special event. We are so grateful to each and every organization and volunteer who supported this special event. Learn more about the party and our special guests!


 

Mentoring Makes a Difference for Youth

Thank Your Mentor - Man and Teenage boyJanuary is National Mentoring Month and January 25 is Thank Your Mentor Day. This is an opportunity to show gratitude to every single volunteer who has made and continues to make an impact on the lives of children. These are the individuals who show up for young people, provide time, spirit and dedication that makes all the difference. These are the individuals who provide their experience, guidance, energy and spark a real connection to make a change.

As a mentor, you are making an impact in more ways than one. We see you; we thank you! 

Now more than ever we need minorities and male role models to step up and spark that connection. Representation in our communities is important and necessary.

There are many children who experience many challenges throughout their lives from abandonment, single parent homes, isolation, abuse, and neglect to name a few. When children are matched with a mentor, they are provided with a strong sense of self and feelings of belonging. 

If you are interested in volunteering with the Fairfax County Befriend-A-Child Mentoring Program, you can contact us for more information. 
 

Volunteer and Partner Services Program Says Farewell to Long-Term Volunteer, Mary Lou Withem

Mary Lou WithemMary Lou Withem has been a volunteer supporting programs in the Children, Youth, and Families Division of the Department of Family Services since 2015. Volunteering as an administrative assistant with Fairfax County’s Volunteer and Partner Services Program and predominantly supporting Foster Care and Adoption has been an avenue for Withem to do the professional work she loves. She has invested over 4,000 hours of her time supporting these programs. Learn more about her life and impact on so many in our community. Read more
 

Puppy Party Fosters Youth

Rylynn sitting in front of Welcome signThe Department of Family Services’ facility dog, Rylynn, hosted a party and invited several of her furry friends from Canine Companions® along with their handlers! The guests of honor were older youth in Fairfax County Foster Care. We would like to extend our thanks to all the volunteers and supporters who made this day special. Read more.



 


 

DFS Canine Ambassador and Handler Visit University of Lynchburg Students

Rylynn and Sam with college studentsWe are so “doggone” excited about this recent opportunity for Volunteer and Partner Services Supervisor, Samantha Carrico, and the Department of Family Services’ facility dog, Rylynn, to be guest speakers at the University of Lynchburg. Sam shared her experience working in Child Protective Services conducting forensic investigations of child abuse allegations and the role that Rylynn has played in supporting children and families. Learn more.

 

Making the Most of the MLK Day of Service to Help Area Families

MLK Day of Service: I Will ServeMartin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day that organizations come together across the country to build the Beloved Community he envisioned through unity, service, and transformation. We can honor Dr. King's legacy by working toward a more just and equitable society, where everyone is valued and respected, regardless of their race, religion, or background. Though the Volunteer and Partner Services office will be closed for MLK Day, Monday Jan. 15, there are a variety of ways to work toward making a change in the Fairfax Community. By participating in service projects, you can create lasting change that will benefit our community for years to come. If you are looking to organize a service project, then putting together baby boxes for families in need is a simple service project that large or small organizations can undertake to make a tangible difference for children and families in Fairfax County. Learn how you can get started.

 

ABOUT VOLUNTEER & PARTNER SERVICES (VPS)

The Volunteer Post Newsletter is part of the Department of Family Services Volunteer & Partner Services Program (VPS) - managing volunteer programs (Administrative Assistant Program, BeFriend-A-Child Mentoring Program, Body Safety Program - Speak Up Be Safe, recruiting and training volunteers for programs (Father Engagement Program and Parenting Education Programs); and working with partners, sponsors and donors to help in special efforts (Adopt-A-Family Program, Baby box initiative, back-to-school backpacks). Learn more about VPS and how volunteers are making a positive difference.

Browse through past newsletters in the archive. To provide feedback on our newsletter or to be added to our mailing list, contact us.

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