Department of Family Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

703-324-7500
TTY 703-222-9452

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035

Nannette M. Bowler,
Director

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News - New Video Provides Child's Eye View of Nature

See how families can connect children to the natural environment

Fairfax, VA - A new video, "Connecting with Nature: Exploring the Natural Environment with Young Children," highlights ways that young children and families can enjoy nature together in Fairfax County. The video, filmed at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, features a naturalist taking families on a nature walk. She introduces young children to living creatures including a resident box turtle, beetles living under a log, and other experiences designed to help them and their families learn more about the world in which we live.

"Young children learn best through hands-on learning opportunities," said Fairfax County Office for Children Director Anne-Marie Twohie. "We were delighted to partner with Fairfax Futures and Fairfax County Park Authority on this useful resource intended to encourage shared family experiences that build awareness and appreciation of our county's natural environment."

Produced by the Teaching Channel, the video was made possible through a grant from Dominion Energy to Fairfax Futures and was created in collaboration with Fairfax County Office for Children and Fairfax County Park Authority's Hidden Oaks Nature Center.

"Nature centers offer a wonderful place for families to introduce their young children to nature's beauty and to the role they play in protecting it for future generations," said Suzanne Holland, director of Hidden Oaks Nature Center.

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Questions or need more information about this news posting?

Contact Angela Morlu by email or call 703-324-7528, TTY 703-222-9452.

Learn more about the Office for Children.

Follow Office for Children's Facebook page.

October 11, 2017 0
News - Director Nannette Bowler Receives Allies in Prevention Award

 

Sonia Quiñónez, Executive Director, SCAN of Northern Virginia; Nannette Bowler, Director, Fairfax County Department of Family Services; Delegate Tag Greason (Virginia)
Image: Sonia Quiñónez, Executive Director, SCAN of Northern Virginia;
Nannette Bowler, Director, Fairfax County Department of Family Services;
Delegate Tag Greason (Virginia)

 

 

 

Nannette M. Bowler, Director of the Fairfax County Department of Family Services, was recently named a 2017 Allies in Prevention award-winner for her exceptional work protecting children and strengthening families. The awards were presented by SCAN of Northern Virginia and its Allies in Prevention Coalition at a luncheon to kick-off National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

SCAN had this to say about Ms. Bowler:

Nannette Bowler is the Director of the Fairfax County Department of Family Services and sits on the Board of Directors for Fairfax CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Since coming to Fairfax County in 2008, she has led with a powerful vision that focuses on the greater community while empowering staff to recognize and engage strengths in the individual families they serve.

Ms. Bowler has worked to create an exceptional team within the Department, with members who are approachable and willing to collaborate. "There is no 'us against them' mentality," notes her nominator Darcy Cunningham, Executive Director of Fairfax CASA. "Nannette embraces collaboration." She has been pivotal in creating progressive and innovative programs within DFS including leadership academies, training new workers in cohorts, Neighborhood Networks, and the Father Engagement Program.

Before coming to Fairfax County in 2008, Bowler was chief judge of the Family Division for the 8th Judicial Circuit in Ionia County, Michigan. As head of the Michigan Family Independence Agency and a member of the governor's Cabinet, Bowler directed 22 programs, including child welfare, juvenile delinquency, adult protective services, self-sufficiency, and disabilities. She previously served as executive director of the Chance at Childhood: Law and Social Work Initiative at Michigan State University, and was also co-founder and executive director of the Children's Law Center and legal counsel/executive director to the Michigan lieutenant governor's Commission on Children, which culminated in the passage of 21 bills in the house and senate involving all aspects of child welfare.

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Questions or need more information about this news posting?

Contact Amy Carlini by email or call 703-324-7758, TTY 703-222-9452.

Learn more about the Department of Family Services.

May 22, 2017 0
News - School Age Child Care (SACC) Open Hire Event Saturday, June 2, 2018

School Age Child Care (SACC) Open Hire Event (image with SACC logo) Fairfax County

Are you interested in working with school age children in a fun, energetic, and educational setting? SACC staff support children’s healthy development by providing opportunities for children to expand their interests, develop their talents, and enhance their learning.

Saturday, June 2, 2018 between 9 - 11 a.m.
12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Pennino Building, 2nd Floor, Room 206-A

Please bring resume and two references.
For more information, visit the SACC program or call 703-449-1414, TTY 711.

Position:  Day Care Center Teacher I

Agency:  Department of Family Services, Office for Children, School Age Child Care Program

Salary:  $18.08/hour, benefits eligible*

Job Responsibilities:  Plans, prepares and carries out activities and projects for groups of elementary school-age children enrolled in an after-school program. Provides leadership and ensures the safety of the children enrolled in the center.

Schedule:  Works afternoons and evenings, 25 hours per week, Monday thru Friday for 40 weeks, with summer, winter and spring break off. Occasional flexible work hours and full days required (teacher workdays, delayed openings, early releases, etc.).

Minimum Qualifications:  Any combination of education and experience equivalent to completion of two years of study and training at an accredited four-year college or university with major course work in early childhood or elementary education, nursing, recreation, or a related field plus one year of related work experience.

Preferred Qualifications:  Major course work in early childhood education. Experience working with groups of children. Bilingual ability in English and another language is desired.

Note:  *This position may not exceed 1560 hours per calendar year. Individuals in these positions are eligible for limited employee benefits, including medical, vision, and dental insurance coverage, and participation in flexible spending programs but are not eligible to earn leave or receive holiday pay.

Download the flyer. * Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination in all county programs, services and activities. To request reasonable accommodations or to receive this information in an alternate format, call 703-449-1414 or TTY 711.

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Learn more about School Age Child Care (SACC) and the Office for Children.

Follow us on social media at the Office for Children's Facebook page.

May 11, 2018 0
News - Choosing Quality Child Care Workshops Scheduled in April

banner child care assistance and referral family members

Choosing the right child care program for your child is a very important decision. Parents want a safe, nurturing and educational environment where their children can learn, play and grow. Child Care Assistance and Referral (CCAR) offers information about regulated family child care homes, child care centers and school-age care in Fairfax County.

Choosing the right child care program for your child is very important. Attend an upcoming workshop near you to learn more about Choosing Quality Child Care. Workshops are free; no registration required.

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Questions or need more information about this news posting?

Contact Angela Morlu by email or call 703-324-7528, TTY 703-222-9452.

Learn more about Child Care Assistance and Referral and the Office for Children.

Follow us on social media at the Office for Children's Facebook page.

April 1, 2018 0
News - Make the Call Goes on the Road

Fairfax County Connector riders will be able to help stop domestic violence and sexual assault by calling the Fairfax County Domestic & Sexual Violence 24-hour hotline 703-360-7273 (TTY 711).

Look for information in January about the Make the Call campaign’s debut on Connector buses.

Make the Call bus cards

 

 

If you or someone you know is experiencing any form of domestic violence, and you want to talk about options and resources available, call the 24-hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline at 703-360-7273.

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Questions or need more information about this news posting?

Contact Amy Carlini by email or call 703-324-7758, TTY 703-222-9452.

Learn more about the Office for Women & Sexual and Domestic Violence Services.

January 1, 2018 0
News - November is National Adoption Awareness Month

Today, over 200 Fairfax County children are in foster care. The Foster Care and Adoption Program offers temporary foster homes for these children, and services to help their families. When a child cannot return home safely, we seek to find relatives who want to care for the child, and are legally eligible to do so. If a relative is not identified, or is unable to care for the child, we seek a permanent home through adoption.

Meet the Connolly family and learn about the joys of adopting teens!
 

What Is the Difference Between Foster Care and Adoption?

Foster care refers to finding a temporary home for a child outside the home where he or she had been raised. This may occur as a result of abuse, neglect or other circumstances that put the child at risk. During this time, family problems are addressed so that the child can return home safely, or plans are made to find a safe and nurturing home for the child outside his or her birth family.

Adoption provides a permanent home when a child cannot return to the parents or relatives.

What Are Ways to Be a Foster Parent?

Foster parents offer children safety and stability until they can return to their families or go to permanent homes. Foster families offer different types of care:

  • Regular Foster Home: Children stay for any length of time, often one to two years.
  • Resource Home: These families are willing to both foster and adopt a child, depending on the child's needs.
  • Child-Specific: Children are placed with relatives or close friends who know the children's background and circumstances.
Meet the Families
Lesley Field and her daughter, Mikalah
Lesley Field and her daughter, Mikalah

"Finding my forever family has made such a big impact in my life! We enjoy being together, supporting each other, and making lots of new memories. I strongly encourage anyone considering fostering or adopting to do it - you can make all the difference in the life of a kid like me." - Mikalah

"As a first-time single parent, I was nervous about raising a teenager, but everything fell into place the minute I met her, and it's been an exceptional experience ever since!" - Lesley

 

Leslie, Rachel, Bob, and Michael
Leslie, Rachel, Bob, and Michael

"I have learned that adoption is not for the faint of heart. Some days I am aggravated. Some days I am exasperated. Some days I am heartbroken. Some days I ask, 'what have I gotten myself into?' But every day I know that this is among the greatest things I have ever done. In some situations you are literally saving a child's life. But in every situation you are offering a child the opportunity to see all the possibilities this world has to offer." - Leslie

Visit Adoption Diaries to meet more families.

Join us in making a difference! Learn more about the Foster Care and Adoption program today.

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Questions or need more information about this news posting?

Contact Amy Carlini by email or call 703-324-7758, TTY 703-222-9452.

Learn more about Foster Care and Adoption.

November 1, 2017 0
News - Fairfax County Office for Children Receives State Preschool Grant

Fairfax County Office for Children Receives State Preschool Grant

Governor McAuliffe announced Friday, June 16, that the Fairfax County Office for Children is among five communities in the commonwealth of Virginia to receive a $250,000 grant through the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF), in consultation with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). These local communities are recognized for proposing innovative approaches to ensure all children eligible for the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) are able to access programs. The funding for the grants was included in the 2016-2018 biennial budget that was introduced by the governor and approved by the General Assembly.

“If Virginia is going to lead in the global economy of the future, we must prepare our students to succeed as early as possible,” said Governor McAuliffe. “These grants will support communities across the commonwealth as they develop innovative local solutions to increase access to the Virginia Preschool Initiative for at-risk children. By investing in quality preschool education for these children, we can create new opportunity for families in every corner of the commonwealth and continue our efforts to build a new Virginia economy.”

Each of the winning school readiness proposals is built on deep and broad community collaboration and draws on entrepreneurial thinking to uniquely address local barriers to delivery and access to high-quality preschool.

Responding to the number of children eligible for VPI and enrolled in family child care programs, the Office for Children will work with family child care programs in areas of Fairfax County with concentrated poverty to provide high-quality preschool services. OFC programs including Child Care Assistance and Referral, Community Education and Provider Services, and the Institute for Early Learning will collaborate with key community partner Fairfax Futures to implement this initiative. The grant will help to fund innovations such as: mentoring and on-site technical assistance to support high-quality preschool experiences for children in family child care programs; and blending of funding to provide full work-day care.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to partner with family child care providers in our community to bring quality services to additional children and their families,” said Betsi Closter, OFC School Readiness Coordinator. For more information about VECF and the mixed delivery grant, visit www.vecf.org.

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Questions or need more information about this news posting?

Contact Angela Morlu by email or call 703-324-7528, TTY 703-222-9452.

Learn more about the Office for Children.

Follow us on social media at the Office for Children's Facebook page.Back to top

June 19, 2017 0
News - Elizabeth Henry Receives Virginia League of Social Services Executives (VLSSE) Award

Elizabeth Henry Receives Virginia League of Social Services Executives (VLSSE) AwardElizabeth Henry, Senior Manager for the Fairfax County Department of Family Services, recently received the President's Award from the Virginia League of Social Services Executives for her outstanding work in leading and developing the organization's strategic plan. The award is one of the highest honors bestowed by the League.

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Questions or need more information about this news posting?

Contact Amy Carlini by email or call 703-324-7758, TTY 703-222-9452.

Learn more about the Department of Family Services.

May 22, 2017 0 Top
News - DFS Director Nannette Bowler Receives APHSA Award

nannette-bowler-american-public-human-services-association-award

The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) has named Nannette M. Bowler, Director of the Fairfax County Department of Family Services, as a recipient of its 2017 Local Outstanding Member Award. The award recognizes individuals or agencies for outstanding contributions to the organization and to the field of human services.

As a long-term dedicated member, Bowler currently serves on the APHSA Local Council Executive Committee. She also serves as the Vice Chair of the Executive Committee for the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators (NAPCWA), an affiliate of APHSA, and is a member of the APHSA Joint Task Force on Refugees and Unaccompanied Children.

According to APSHA, "Nannette Bowler has been leading her agency on a journey through the progressive stages of the Human Services Value Curve and has been at the forefront of the county's Human Service IT System modernization effort."

"Nannette is known for her willingness to tackle challenging issues by engaging in difficult conversations, creating a culture of change, and generating and applying the tools to transform her organization," said Tracy Wareing Evans, President and CEO of APHSA. Furthermore, her award winning, nationally recognized, new employee onboarding, professional development, and career management programs are all interconnected and aligned with her department's strategic vision."

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Questions or need more information about this news posting?

Contact Amy Carlini by email or call 703-324-7758, TTY 703-222-9452.

Learn more about the Department of Family Services.

May 22, 2017 0
News - DFS Receives Business Process Improvement Award

Business Process Improvement Award; 3 Innovate, Implement, Impact; In recognition of business process improvements advancing the way programs are delivered.; May 5, 2017The Fairfax County Department of Family Services recently received the Virginia Department of Social Services 2017 I3 Local Recognition Award in the category of Business Process Improvement for its extraordinary work in centralized appeals.

The DFS Centralized Appeals Unit, in the Self-Sufficiency Division, was established to facilitate coordination between DFS and its stakeholders. The unit is in charge of scheduling potential appeal hearings, receiving all appeal related documentation and responding in a timely manner to all Department of Medical Assistance Services and VDSS appeal requests. Programs evaluated within the unit are all Medicaid eligibility case actions, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, General Relief and Refugee Cash Assistance Programs. Between 2015 and 2016, Fairfax County received a total of 1,434 requests for appeals from both the DMAS and VDSS.

The unit initiates the appeal process by conducting a thorough case review to ensure appropriate case action and benefit accuracy for all appeal requests. If improper case action was taken or case re-evaluation must be conducted, the unit initiates all case correction prior to the scheduled appeal hearing in an attempt to obtain an administrative resolution or withdraw the request for appeal if the appellant is satisfied with the outcome. The work of this unit assisted staff in a reduction in appeals slots from 95 to 72 slots, which enabled the unit to have a specific protected day in order to process appeal cases and/or work on summaries.

DFS no longer has issues with timely appeals summaries, being present for appeals hearings, and clients getting timely resolution and re-evaluation of their cases on a regular basis. The efficiency and effectiveness within the unit allows workers to focus on case details and provide quality appeal summaries to the state within specified timeframes and to be prepared during the hearings with the expertise knowledge required.

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Questions or need more information about this news posting?

Contact Amy Carlini by email or call 703-324-7758, TTY 703-222-9452.

Learn more about the Department of Family Services.

May 22, 2017 0
News - Fairfax County SACC Celebrates Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week April 24-28, 2017

Fairfax County SACC Celebrates Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week April 24-28, 2017

During Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week from April 24-28, 2017, Fairfax County School Age Child Care is joining with the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) to celebrate the professionals who are at the heart of afterschool programs.

Fairfax County’s SACC program provides fun, safe and educational care for more than 14,000 children in kindergarten-sixth grade before school, after school and during school vacations in most Fairfax County public elementary schools. SACC also serves children and youth with multiple disabilities ages 5-21.

SACC’s dedicated teachers create a vibrant environment where children can explore, grow and learn while having fun. SACC teachers have the passion to share their talents and expertise to create unique and joyful experiences for the children through an innovative curriculum while providing a vital service for families and the community.

We hope you will join us in thanking an afterschool professional! A card, email, a word of thanks goes a long way to letting afterschool professionals know that their work is appreciated.

“It is truly the dedication and creativity of the SACC staff that makes SACC a great place to be a child,” shared SACC Director Anne Goldstein.

Learn more about the SACC program.

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Questions or need more information about this news posting?

Contact Angela Morlu by email or call 703-324-7528, TTY 703-222-9452.

Learn more about the Office for Children.

Follow us on social media at the Office for Children's Facebook page.

April 24, 2017 0