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

DFS Celebrates Social Work Month

Social Work Breaks Barriers

March is Social Work Month – a time to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate the important work of social workers. Department of Family Services social workers help break down barriers that prevent people from living more fulfilling, enriched lives. Here are a few examples of the work they do on behalf of children, families, people impacted by gender-based violence, older adults, and adults with disabilities:

  • Educate older adults, their caregivers and families about useful resources, preventative screenings, and assessments available to them.
  • Investigate reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of to determine if protective services are needed.
  • Provide support and resources to people impacted by gender-based violence.
  • Help protect children, prevent child abuse and neglect, and support families by helping them remain together safely.
  • Staff the Aging, Disability & Caregiver Resources Line and connect callers to services and programs that will help improve their quality of life.
  • Advocate on a systems level to ensure laws and policies are adopted so everyone can access such services.

Every day, social workers employed with the Department of Family Services provide invaluable services to the community. Interested in a social work career with Fairfax County? Learn about the value of working with Fairfax County Department of Family Services.


Brittany Vera sitting on large treeMeet Brittany Vera, child witness to domestic violence for Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Brittany has spent her entire career working for Fairfax County government—first in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court and now in the Department of Family Services DSVS division--advocating for systems change and the well-being of children and seeing how the “puzzle pieces fit together.” Get to know Brittany and find out why she values working with DFS Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.


Kelly JacksonMeet Kelly Jackson, quality assurance clinical supervisor for Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Kelly has held myriad positions as a social worker throughout her career but is relatively new to Fairfax County. She shares what she likes so much about the field and how her current position affords time to feed her passion while taking care of herself. Get to know Kelly and find out why she values working with DFS Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.



Karen ChaudryMeet Karen Chaudhry, LCSW, a Resource and Support Specialist for Foster Care and Adoption. Karen is embracing a second career path in the field of social work. She shares what makes working for our child welfare team unique and how much she enjoys working with our resource families as they strive to meet the child’s needs. During National Social Work Month, it’s a great time to get to know Karen and find out why she values working for DFS Children, Youth, and Families. 

Jonathan BellMeet Jonathan Bell, supervisor of Adult Services in the Adult and Aging Division. Jonathan has a passion for serving older adults and shares what inspired him to become a social worker. He explains that there is a great need to serve older adults and there are many opportunities to start a career or continue a career in Fairfax County. Learn more about Jonathan and why he chooses to work in Fairfax County Department of Family Services.


Kathryn HarlowMeet Kathryn Harlow, domestic and sexual violence counselor for Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Kathryn, a registered art therapist and licensed professional counselor, has spent her entire career working with people who have experienced trauma. She shares the rewards she feels working with individuals in crisis and being part of their healing process. Get to know Kathryn and find out why she values working with DFS Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. 


Each of these students has taken different path in their careers, but one thing is consistent. They have each always had a heart for people and a strong desire to make a difference in the community and the world at large. Learn more about their experiences and the professional aspirations that have led them to pursue a career serving children and families.

Melissa Alba
Melissa Alba


Get to Know Sarah Conner!
Sarah Conner


Megan Fedor
Megan Fedor



Rylynn and Sam OutsideSamantha “Sam” Carrico, LCSW recently began working as the Volunteer and Partner Services (VPS) supervisor. Prior to that, Sam was the supervisor for the CPS Sexual Abuse Unit. Sam also serves as the handler for Rylynn, the agency’s first facility dog. As a social worker, Sam is able to use her love for interacting with the community and her passion about child welfare and working with children and families to the fullest. Learn more about Sam and Rylynn’s impact in the community.


County Conversation; Andy and Jim in studio“I never thought that I would get into Child Protective Services … until that point where I was like, okay this is a way I feel like I can make a difference and impact families in a different way than maybe I’ve had before.” On this edition of the County Conversation podcast with host Jim Person, Andy Baumert, program manager with Child Protective Services and Protection and Preservation Services Program, explains the challenging work our social workers do to strengthen families and keep children safe in Fairfax. If you are curious about what makes a good social worker and what makes Family Services a good workplace, check it out.

Keesha Coke and Jim Person sitting in studioA funny thing happened to Keesha Coke, assistant division director with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, on the way to becoming a therapist. As a way to prepare for graduate work in psychology, she took what she thought would be a temporary social worker position with the Department of Family Services and saw first-hand the power of social work. “I fell in love with social work. I came here 23 years ago, and I’m still here,” she says. On this edition of the County Conversation podcast with host Jim Person talks with Coke about ways social workers who support survivors of intimate partner violence keep the Fairfax community safer and shares why she came to work for the county in 2000 and hasn’t looked back. Want to know what makes a good social worker and why Family Services is such a good place to work? Give it a listen

Fairfax Virtual Assistant