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

Thank You for Going Virtual, Facilitators!

The Volunteer Post banner graphic

screenshot of mentor and menteeThe Body Safety Program has gone virtual in response to COVID. Now, our trained volunteer facilitators teach virtual classes that are available directly to any children residing in Fairfax County! The program coordinator can receive referrals from any Fairfax County Public School staff, Children, Youth and Families Division staff, referrals from community organizations, and self-referrals from the public. The coordinator then works directly with the families to schedule a class based on their availability and using their preferred platform. 

Parents and guardians are welcome to participate in the classes, and children receive individualized or small (sibling) group classes. Facilitators deliver the Speak Up Be Safe curriculum that is research-based, evidence informed, and developmentally appropriate for children in grades pre-k through sixth grade. Facilitators are able to sign-up for classes based on their availability and teach the classes right in the comfort of their own homes. Classes can be scheduled with non-English speaking parents and guardians using an interpreter. 

screenshot of mentor and mentee with presentation slideIn the 30-minutes to one-hour-long virtual classes, facilitators teach children five key safety rules, including the four types of child abuse (physical, emotional, sexual and neglect) as well as bullying and cyberbullying. The children also learn about:

  • Boundaries.
  • Identifying safe adults in their lives.
  • Making choices in unsafe situations when safe adults may not be around.
  • Telling someone if they or someone they know may be getting abused.
  • That it is never their fault or any other child’s fault if they or someone they know is abused.

Following the classes, families will also receive:

  • Information sheets with the five safety rules.
  • Additional tips and talking points to review with their children.
  • A list of helpful books about these sensitive topics.

A small group of our volunteers took the leap to facilitate classes virtually and directly to the families. We are especially grateful to these volunteer facilitators who were willing to try this new format. Since schools closed due to COVID, with the help of our dedicated volunteer facilitators we have conducted nearly 100 individualized virtual classes. 


This article posting is part of The Volunteer Post Newsletter for current and potential volunteers, sponsors and donors interested in supporting children and families in crisis. Learn more about Fairfax County Department of Family Services' Volunteer & Partner Services Program (VPS)

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