On November 29, 2022, we will celebrate Giving Tuesday, a global giving event that encourages people from around the world to a support a non-profit organization of their choosing. Giving Tuesday donations have had a direct impact in our community.
We provide an array of services to adults, families and children in our community. Services include: adult mental health support, therapeutic and emergency foster care, pre and post adoption support, community based services, supervised visitation, mentoring and outpatient therapy. We have two locations to serve our clients in Chantilly and Woodbridge VA. We have a culturally diverse staff that is professional and well trained in a multitude of human services fields. We believe in giving back to our profession and community and has always provided training to area colleges for students in need of practicum experience.
Your Giving Tuesday contribution will assist with the monthly stipend for Foster Parents is generally not sufficient to cover basic living costs for the foster children. The Foster Parents usually pay out-of-pocket for these items. We will use some of your donation to purchase gift cards for gas, clothing and grocery stores to help these generous and loving people.
We’ve all heard the opening lyrics from the popular Andy Williams holiday classic “It’s the Most Wonderful Time, of the Year” and associate it with family, friends, love, and laughter. While many of us are excited at the prospect of seeing family and friends, a foster child, unfamiliar with your family holiday traditions, might be more than a little nervous! We’ve compiled a few tips to make the holidays enjoyable for both you and your foster child!
There are many misconceptions about foster parenting that, sadly, can often prevent qualified people from even considering being a foster parent. It happens more often than you think. Let’s take a look at 5 common misconceptions and myths.
As Summer Break comes to an end and the focus shifts to Back to School night, new clothes, and catching up with school friends, it’s natural for kids to get excited for the start of a new school year. While children in foster care might also feel the excitement, there’s a high probability that returning to school could be met with trepidation. Their anxiety is understandable. We’ve provided a list of several ways to help your foster child transition to a new school.
Above all, don’t expect instant results and allow room for flexibility as the transition begins. Be transparent and predictable. Children thrive in stable and familiar environments during times of change and, ultimately, look to you for guidance, love, and support.
Best wishes to you and yours as you embark on this fulfilling journey together!
The Washington Family
Azellya, Camellia, Jaden and Moma Washington
Our story began in the still of the night, March 2017, I received a call from “For Children Sake of Virginia” and “The Manassas Social Services” stating that they had my children at the office ready for pick up. I met three little children that changed my life forever.
Ever since that day we have been inseparable. In 2019 our adoption was finalized and my children were selected and not expected. The judge cried and I cried as well.
Thank you Lord for the gift that you gave me in 2019.
If you have siblings, think about all of the memories you share with them from when you were younger. Watching cartoons, walking to the bus stop, maybe sneaking a snack out of the kitchen, even bickering on car rides or arguing over who broke something in the house.
Did you know that approximately two-thirds of children in foster care in the United States have a sibling in care? Especially for children entering foster care, their siblings share a special bond with them. For many, their siblings were the support system for them through an abusive or neglectful situation.
Now imagine leaving your home, being separated from your parents; and then, on top of everything, getting separated from your siblings, one of the only constants who you shared your life with.
Why Do Siblings Get Separated?
Unfortunately, many foster parents don’t have the space in their home for multiple children. Even those that have space may not want to take on the responsibility of multiple children, or aren’t comfortable with some of the siblings ages or needs. While child services will always do everything they can to keep siblings together, they unfortunately can’t always find homes to take on siblings.
What Happens When Siblings Stay Together?
Siblings who are placed in the same foster home together typically have fewer moves from home to home, probably because they are facing some comfort in their homes and able to focus on settling in. They have better grades and more emotional stability. Siblings who are placed together are also associated with better permanency outcomes and are more likely to leave foster care together than if they are separated.
What Happens When Siblings Are Separated?
When siblings get placed in different homes, some are able to move together later, or visit each other frequently. However, many children are not reunited with their siblings. These kids are more stressed without their siblings, and are more likely to run away or have to switch homes due to behavioral issues. They are also less likely to reunite with their siblings after leaving foster care.
What Can I Do To Help?
If you’re interested in fostering, give us a call or email today at 703.817.9890 or email@example.com! You can learn more about the support you can get from our case management and our team here at For Children’s Sake. You can also email or call to learn more about our donation needs. Taking multiple siblings on at one time can create a lot of financial stress on a home, and donating clothes, games, toiletries, and more can make a huge change!
Thanks to AdoptUSKids and ChildWelfare.Gov for the statistics!
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficulties; whether that’s getting sick, experiencing grief, losing friends, failing tests, etc. For foster children, this includes bigger changes, such as adjusting to new foster homes, schools, seeing family at different cadences, and more. During a COVID world, this means changing to virtual school, adjusting to not being in activities, seeing friends, etc. Parents and children alike, in and out of foster care, are being tested on their resilience during these trying times. So, how can you help build resilience for the children in your care?
The best way is to show them how you handle it; positive modeling of your emotions provides an example for children on how they can help! When you’re facing a stressful situation or unexpected change, talk it out. Label your emotions and show them how you know how you feel (‘I am feeling anxious – my heart is beating so fast and I feel like I need to jump around!’). Then, show them how you’re handling it (‘Since I feel anxious, I think I’m going to go for a little walk, and take some deep breathes. In for five and out for five, until I feel better’). This also allows them to see when they may need to rely on others instead of just their own coping skills (‘I’m feeling too stressed to handle this by myself, maybe we can do some coloring together to take my mind off things?’).
Build confidence in your child, so that they know that they are strong and can handle changes. You can do this by promoting healthy risk taking, so they know that sometimes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and experiencing some stress, leads to positive changes. If a child has pride participating in a sport, the arts, their academics, etc., they feel connected to a network and know that there are things in life that can bring them joy. They also have the opportunity to build strong relationships so that children know that, even in the face of challenges, they have a support network to fall back on, with you, but also with their community.
Use learning opportunities when a child makes mistakes, so they learn how to work through things on their own. When a child makes a mistake, walk them through the experience and what they were able to learn about it. Ask them questions about their experience so they have an opportunity to consider the situation, instead of lecturing or explaining what happened. They have an opportunity to build strategies for future situations, and you can then help them re-frame the situation positively, so that your children can become optimistic thinkers in the face of challenges.
Wondering if your child is having trouble with transitions or facing challenges, and what strategies you can think of to help with them? Remember you can always reach out to your case manager for tips as well!
It has been a hard year for so many during the pandemic, and this is especially the case for foster children. We’ve had a lot of answer a few questions about how this pandemic is affecting children in foster care, and are sharing our experience here!
How Has COVID impacted foster children?
Many children in foster care are trying to learn a routine. They came from situations that may not have been stable, and may have moved from other foster homes, so are nervous about changes. COVID has turned a lot of that stability they are trying to learn upside-down, and so we see a lot of children struggling more to understand their emotions and feel safe and secure.
Children’s permanency plans may also be impacted. For a lot of children in foster care reuniting with their families, their usually in-person visits with their biological families may be less frequent or have to take place online, which is a tough transition. For some children who are being adopted, court is being held online or taking less cases a day, so this process may be slowed down.
Are there still children coming into care?
Absolutely; we have seen an uptick in foster placements as parents struggle with their own mental health crises and addictions during this pandemic. We unfortunately expect that this trend will continue, and that we’ll see even more children come into care when more children are back in school and can talk to teachers about what may be going on at home.
Unfortunately, due to concerns over the pandemic, less parents are accepting new foster care placements, making foster homes even harder to find than previously.
What is it like being a foster parent during the pandemic?
Much like parenting a biological child right now, it depends from child to child! Some children are doing fine with these changes, whereas others are struggling missing their friends, sports, school, family, and the myriad of transitions they’re going through right now. However, our agency is working incredibly hard to provide support during this tough time; we’ve provided gift cards, masks, gifts, trainings, and support groups to our superhero foster parents, and work closely with social services, teachers, medical providers, and anyone else in your child’s life to make sure everyone is getting what they need.
What do foster children need right now?
First and foremost, they need a home. We are in need of parents to provide both short term foster care (can be as short as only a couple of days, to help provide a break to current foster parents) or longer term foster care (can be up a year or more).
We’re also always looking for donations to help our foster parents out. Whether that is a gift card, school supplies for at-home learning, arts and crafts, board games, toys, or other activities, hygiene products and clothes for new children in care, or almost anything else, our families would love the support.
Call us at 703-817-9890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today to learn more and help out.
We’re back-to-school, and school is tough this year! Whether you’re 100% virtual, hybrid, or in-person entirely, there are a lot of adjustments happening. What are some ways you and your family can get into the groove?
As a therapeutic foster care agency, we work with counties all over to find homes for children that county foster homes aren’t able to care for. Unfortunately, teenagers often fall into this group, simply because of their age, and are frequently put into group homes because there are no foster homes available to them. But there are many perks to fostering an older child that people don’t realize!
Imagine being able to provide a teenager with somewhere to call home while they start their first job, get their driver’s license graduate high school, move on to higher education, and more. These experiences are not possible for many teens who don’t have a foster home to move into, and can make all the difference in their future.
Want to hear someone’s experience fostering teens? https://fosteringperspectives.org/fpv13n2/minds.htm
More reasons to foster a teen: https://childcrisisaz.org/top-5-reasons-why-you-should-foster-a-teen/
A teen’s perspective on wanting a foster home: https://www.today.com/parents/teen-foster-children-search-place-call-home-t129675
Myths about adopting a teen in foster care: https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/360932-myths-about-adopting-teens-in-foster-care