Department of Family Services

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
Michael A. Becketts

Community Corner

Community Corner banner graphic, text over a variety of stenciled homes

Welcome to the Department of Family Services' Community Corner. Our weekly newsletter, updated each Wednesday, provides information about upcoming events, parenting and wellness tips, programs and services, and more! Share these helpful posts with your family and friends.

Don't miss out on future postings; sign-up today!

Email Updates

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.


Click here to view the latest Community Corner newsletter!

Community Calendar section title graphic

To support families throughout the holidays, Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Advocacy Services seeks gift card donations (in $25 dollar increments) for Target, Walmart, Giant, Safeway, and similar big-box and grocery stores. Gift cards can be dropped off or mailed to Cecilia Herrera at the Domestic Violence Action Center, 4000 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 2702, Fairfax, VA, 22030. To ensure families have enough time to do their holiday shopping, gift cards will be collected until Friday, Dec. 22, 2023.

Join this session from 2-3 p.m. as the discussion will focus on end-of-life care, which can be overwhelming, and caregivers and loved ones may not be prepared for it. The panel discussion will explore what end-of-life care is, what supports are available for you and your family members, and how to manage emotions and needs during the journey. Register to receive an email with access instructions.

In this Unpacking Gender workshop, participants will explore the messages we are taught about gender and how they can affect our relationships with ourselves, loved ones, and community. We will discuss the impact gender roles and stereotypes have on everyone and how this knowledge can help us prevent violence. This workshop, at Herndon Fortnightly Library from 7-8:30 p.m., is aimed at parents, guardians, family members, and other caregivers interested in learning how to talk about gender with children, teens, and young adults in their life. This is the final time this free workshop will be offered this year; registration is required.

These free groups are designed for kinship caregivers, raising a child or children for a family member or a friend, to connect with other families for support and encouragement. Virtual support groups are hosted and facilitated by Formed Families Forward, in partnership with Fairfax County Department of Family Services. This group meets from 6:30-8 p.m. Learn more or register online.

Join us for a Virtual Parenting Cafe Tuesday, Dec. 12 from 6:30-8 p.m. to discuss How to Talk to Your Children About Body Safety. The Body Safety program focuses on enhancing the child’s overall sense of confidence with regard to safety and promotes respect for self and peers that can be applied to general as well as potentially harmful situations. Parents and caregivers can help children learn how to prevent or interrupt abuse, empowering them to act if they are threatened or victimized. Fairfax County parents or guardians with children ages 0-18 years old are welcome. Sign up by sending an email or call 703-324-7720 to register at least one business day before the Parent Café date. Learn more about parenting resources. 

Learn how to become a dementia friend and turn your new understanding of dementia into a practical action that can help someone living in your community. After participating in a Dementia Friends Session, participants can describe dementia and know the most common type of dementia; state the five key messages about dementia; explain one approach to effectively communicate with a person with dementia; and commit to an action as a Dementia Friend in your community. Register to attend this virtual session from 12-1:15 p.m. 

Do you know a student with an idea for a product or application that will make life easier or more enjoyable for an older adult? The Fairfax Area 50+ Technology Committee is issuing a challenge to high school students in Fairfax County, Fairfax City, and the City of Falls Church to develop an innovative device or app that will have a positive impact in the lives of older adults and adults with disabilities. Initial project proposals are due by December 15. Cash prizes will be awarded by sponsor, INTEGRITYOne Partners. Learn more about the “Shark Tank” Technology Challenge.

These free groups are designed for kinship caregivers, raising a child or children for a family member or a friend, to connect with other families for support and encouragement. Support Groups are hosted and facilitated by Formed Families Forward, in partnership with Fairfax County Department of Family Services. This group meets from 6:15-8 p.m. at James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Rd. Falls Church, VA 22042. Child care and dinner are provided for the in-person group meetings. Learn more or register online.

Catch Up Corner section title graphic


Check out  the latest episode of Mature Living to learn more about the work on the SHAPE the Future of Aging, a plan to continue to improve Fairfax County’s ability to be a place to age well, and for older adults to live safely, independently and with dignity. Host Anne Hall talks to Tara Turner, Director of the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging, about how the SHAPE plan aligns with Fairfax’s Countywide Strategic Plan and OneFairfax and encourages older residents to stay in Fairfax and enjoy their older years here. The show also talks to Cathy Cole, Chair of the Fairfax Area Commission on Aging. She shares her experience on the commission, and the important work she and the other volunteers do on behalf of our older residents. Watch Mature Living on your computer or tune into Channel 16.

In the hectic pace of this season, you might not be thinking about fentanyl as a danger to babies and small children; however, they could find a pill or powder on the floor and put it in their mouth. They might get into unsecured medications or illicit substances laced with fentanyl and even share them with others. It’s important to be mindful of situations where your children may be exposed to unsecured medications and other substances, or powdery residue left on surfaces. A tiny dose of fentanyl can be fatal. Learn more.

Community Conversations section title graphic

newsletter graphicFoster Family News for Current and Potential Fairfax County Foster Parents – November 2023

Our monthly Foster Family Newsletter shares resources and experiences relevant to foster and adoptive parents, children in care, and the resource workers who support them. Check out the November 2023 newsletter to learn about navigating the holidays, the impact of lasting relationships for youth in foster care, and Adoption Month resources and recognitions.

newsletter graphicGolden Gazette Newsletter Covers a Variety of Topics Concerning Older Adults and Caregivers in Fairfax County

Check out the November 2023 Golden Gazette, featuring 105-year-old Winifred Evans, recently recognized as a Living Legend by the Military Women’s Memorial for her service with the U.S. Air Force. You’ll also learn how caregivers are needed for the Medical Foster Home Program for veterans, get winter weather safety tips from the Health Department, discover how the Access Services library serves older adults and people with disabilities, and more.

newsletter graphicThe Volunteer Post Newsletter

We have many wonderful volunteers and donors helping children and families in Fairfax County. Our Volunteer Post Newsletter provides a glimpse into the many ways to get involved in making a difference and supporting families in our community. Check out the November 2023 issue to learn about ongoing ways to support children and families, a cooking event for our mentors and mentees, and a partnership with SafeSpot Child Advocacy Center. 

newsletter graphicVolunteer Voices Newsletter

Find out what the Domestic and Sexual Violence Services volunteers have been up to in the December 2023 Volunteer Voices! Meet Erica Fisher, former administrative volunteer; check out steps to prioritize self-care during the holidays; learn how domestic violence and homelessness are connected; sign up for a training; boost your brain power; and so much more.

Join the Community section title graphic

stock photo of employeesJoin Us! Learn about job opportunities in the Department of Family Services.
Fairfax Virtual Assistant