Department of Family Services

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

Michael A. Becketts,
Director

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.

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Photo of Samantha CarricoVolunteer & Partner Services Welcomes New Supervisor

Volunteer & Partner Services has a new supervisor! Samantha Carrico is very excited to be leading the VPS team where she is building relationships with everyone in the community that make this program so successful! Learn more about her and join us in welcoming her aboard.

Photo of Sylvia Taylor and Gloria RunyonSylvia Taylor and Gloria Runyon: Bringing History to Light and to Life

In Fairfax County, residents have gotten used to the constant redevelopment that is the norm when living in a thriving economic hub. How often do we stop and wonder about the history of a building being razed to make way for something new? Sylvia Taylor and Gloria Runyon, long-time residents of the Town of Vienna, ask those questions. Learn more about how they have dedicated themselves to discovering, documenting, and preserving the history of Vienna, specifically the lesser-known history of African Americans in Vienna.

Photo of Toni ZollicofferDomestic and Sexual Violence Services Division Director Receives Hope Award

Toni Zollicoffer took home the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance Hope Award last fall for her work on partner abuse intervention and prevention. Recommendations from the study group she led have already sparked changes in the way local and state agencies address the harm that takes place within intimate partner relationships. Learn more about Toni and her work in the Department of Family Services Domestic and Sexual Violence Services division.

photo of mary wallDFS Spotlight Video on Mary Wall – Helping Families Overcome Crisis

Check out this video of Mary Wall and learn what she loves the most about working with children and families as a Social Service Specialist in the Ongoing Sexual Abuse Unit of Protection and Preservation Services. It’s challenging work, but she finds it rewarding and considers herself lucky to be a part of such a great team in our organization. Learn more about working for DFS.

VolunteersVolunteer with the Body Safety Program

Our Body Safety Program needs volunteer instructors to help provide elementary students with the tools they need to prevent or interrupt child abuse and exploitation. If you are available during the day, feel comfortable in a classroom, and want to empower children, this opportunity is for you! Facilitators are trained. To learn more, email Francesca Lovitt or call 703-324-7459.

Photo of Stacey Ziebell and Jim PersonDomestic and Sexual Violence Services’ Stacy Ziebell Gets Real about Human Trafficking on the County Conversation Podcast

Listen to Stacy Ziebell, program manager of the Countywide Coordination Team with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, and County Conversation Podcast host Jim Person as they discuss human trafficking misconceptions, gaps in service, and resources and support.

Teen Dating GraphicFebruary Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Dating violence is a pattern of harmful and destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. Many teens experience some form of intimate partner violence even before graduating from high school. The purpose of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is to raise public awareness about the impact of dating violence on youth, educate young people about healthy relationships, and encourage the community to get involved to disrupt cycles of violence. Learn more about healthy relationships.

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Thursdays each week – Virtual SMART Recovery® Group Meetings

Join the public SMART Recovery® group meeting in Fairfax County on Thursdays from 7-8 p.m. SMART Recovery® can be used to address ANY addictive behavior. No matter what your addiction, the program’s tools and techniques will help you overcome the behavior. You’ll find a warm and welcoming community in both our face-to-face meetings and online activities. Attend this virtual meeting. Learn more about our program. 

Friday, Feb. 3 – Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Teen Art Contest Call for Entries Deadline

Fairfax teens ages 12 to 19 are invited to design works of art (dance, musical performances, paintings, poetry, posters, sculpture, TikToks, videos) to promote this year’s awareness theme (Awareness + Action = Social Change) and what it means to them. Winners in five categories will receive $100 gift certificates. To learn more about this event, contact Debra Miller or Yolanda Bonilla.

Mondays, Starting Feb. 6 – Free Virtual Classes, Parenting Children Ages 5-11 (in Spanish)

Do you have children in the 5-11 age range? This parenting class offered in Spanish shows parents how to increase their empathy, discover new ways to encourage appropriate behaviors, build positive self-concept and self-esteem, and learn how to have fun as a family. This class meets from 6-8 p.m. on Mondays, Feb. 6-May 22, 2023. Ready to sign-up or have questions? Contact us by email or call 703-324-7720. Learn more about the variety of parenting classes available.

Tuesdays, Starting Feb. 7 – Free Virtual Dads Parenting Group

Dads, sign up for our upcoming virtual Dads Parenting Group to improve your parenting skills and build better relationships! 90% of dads who completed Dads Parenting Groups increased or maintained positive involvement with their children. This virtual 13-week course takes place from 6-8:30 p.m. starting Tuesday, Feb. 7. Fairfax County residents, or dads with children living in Fairfax are welcome. Learn more about the program or contact Bennie Herron at 703-324-7308 with questions.

Tuesday, Feb. 7 – Orange Out!

Orange Out to raise awareness about Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Take a selfie in your orange outfit, post it on social media with the hashtag #OrangeOut, and submit your photos to Debra Miller for potential use online.

Wednesday, Feb. 8 – Dementia Friendly Virtual Information Session

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. The information session runs from 12-1:15 p.m. After participating in a Dementia Friend Session, you will be able to 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 receive an email with login instructions. Learn more about Older Adult Services.

Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Communicating with a Loved One with Dementia

Attend this webinar to learn what to say and not say to help communicate better with loved ones with dementia. Pam Ostrowski, founder of Alzheimer’s Family Consulting, and author of the Alzheimer’s guidebook, "It's Not That Simple: Helping Families Navigate the Alzheimer's Journey," which is based on Pam’s dementia and Alzheimer’s journey with her parents, will share tips and guidance on both verbal and non-verbal communication. She will also share how communication may change from day to day or month to month, and ways to have the best relationship possible based on your loved one’s condition, reducing guilt and regret and providing peace of mind. Register to join this webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 15 from 12-1 p.m. Learn more about family caregiver programs.

Thursday, Feb. 16 – Free Virtual Kinship Café: Open Forum Discussion

Are you raising a child for a family member or friend? If you answered “yes,” you are a kinship caregiver, and you are not alone. Kinship Cafés provide encouragement and foster a sense of community among kinship caregivers. Register to join us on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 6:30-8 p.m. for this open forum discussion by sending an email or calling 703-324-7720. Registration required at least one business day before the Kinship Café date. Learn more about Virtual Kinship Cafés and check out future dates.

Wednesday, Feb 22 – Free Virtual Parent Café: The Intersection of ADHD and Anxiety

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 for this Parent Café on Wednesday, Feb 22 from 7-8:30 p.m. for a discussion about The Intersection of ADHD and Anxiety. 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 Virtual Parent Cafés.

Friday, Feb. 24 – Teen Talent Showcase

Come to a celebration of art and performance and raise awareness about teen dating violence at the Sully Community Center (13800 Wall Road, Herndon) on Friday, Feb. 24, at 5 pm. This year’s theme, Awareness + Action = Social Change, encourages people to take a stand against violence in their community. Artwork and performances featured are from the annual art contest where teens respond to what this year’s theme means to them. Attendees will have an opportunity to participate in a variety of art and performance-based activities, as well as vote on the People’s Choice prize. Questions? Contact Debra Miller or Yolanda Bonilla.

Saturday, Mar. 11, 2023 & Saturday, Mar. 18, 2023 – Tier One

Tier 1 is a training on the dynamics of domestic violence, the systems that respond to those crimes, and available resources in our community. This 16-hour in-person training is free, but registration is required. Both sessions must be completed to receive a certificate.

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CHECK OUT OLDER POSTS!

Foster Care Unit Success Story: Helping a Youth to Navigate Adulthood

Learn about a local family that has provided care to an older youth in foster care since he was 16 years old. Their continuous support and efforts to bridge the gap with his biological family have made all the difference.

Guard Your Wallet (and Heart) Against Romance Scams

Many people are looking for love or just a companion after the loss of a spouse or partner. Adding to this already nerve-wracking process is the danger of getting scammed. Scammers are lurking on dating websites, hiding behind their computer screens, knowing that they can find very trusting people to send them money. Learn how you can protect yourself against romance scams.

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newsletter graphicFoster Family News for Current and Potential Fairfax County Foster Parents – February 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 February 2023 newsletter to learn about tools to manage tantrums, tax deductions for foster and adoptive parents, and Faster Families Highway, a new state recruitment tool.


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

Check out the February 2023 newsletter featuring Sylvia Taylor and Gloria Runyon, long-time residents of the Town of Vienna, who have dedicated themselves to discovering, documenting, and preserving the history of Vienna, specifically the lesser-known history of African Americans in Vienna. You’ll also learn about free tax preparation services for older adults, transportation services for older adults, the new CARE Mobile program, created to combat social isolation among older adults and adults with disabilities, and more.


newsletter graphicThe Volunteer Post Newsletter

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 January 2023 Issue to learn about staffing changes, mentor appreciation, our community impact, and more!


newsletter graphicVolunteer Voices Newsletter

See what Domestic and Sexual Violence Services volunteers are up to in the February 2023 Volunteer Voices! Meet some of the Teen Advocates, find out domestic and sexual violence counselor Lorena Hunter’s guilty TV-watching pleasure, tease your brain, stock your bookshelf for self-care, register for trainings, check out the latest documentary review, and more.

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Department of Family Services logoThe Department of Family Services (DFS) promotes the well-being of the County's diverse community by protecting and improving the lives of children, adults and families through supportive services, education and advocacy.

Fairfax County Health and Human Services LogoThis Department of Family Services agency is a part of the Fairfax County Health & Human Services System (HHS). The HHS System is a network of county agencies and community partners that support the well-being of all who live, work and play in Fairfax County.

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