Foster Care and Adoption

Faces of the Frontline: Shana Lynch, Sr. Family Services Specialist – Foster Parents Article

Faces of the Frontline: Shana Lynch, Sr. Family Services Specialist Posted: April 23rd, 2020  –  By: Allison Gilbreath Each morning, Shana Lynch wakes up to go to work as a family services specialist for Virginia’s child welfare system. She drives from her home in Eastern Henrico to the home of a child in foster care. It is her responsibility to ensure that the children under the care of the state are not only safe but are also making progress with…

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Social Workers are the Forgotten First Responders – Foster Parents Article

Social Workers are the Forgotten First Responders Posted: April 7th, 2020  –  By: Allison Gilbreath By Sophia Booker As a person with lived experiences with mental health challenges, this is an extremely difficult time for me. The fear, anxiety, hyper vigilance, and feelings others are experiencing right now is something I experience on a daily basis and has heightened due to this unprecedented time.  Although this is very challenging time for me, I am being supported by my amazing support…

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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act In Your Community – Foster Parents Article

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act In Your Community Posted: March 30th, 2020  –  By: Chloe Edwards The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27th to create a $2 trillion economic stimulus efforts for business, health care, communities, and families. Implementing the CARES Act will provide direct relief to some families and businesses. And it will require a number of policy choices by state and local leaders to determine how funds will be used in…

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COVID 19 – Virginia Foster Care Policy Recommendations – Foster Parents Article

COVID 19 – Virginia Foster Care Policy Recommendations Posted: March 19th, 2020  –  By: Allison Gilbreath The Foster Care Policy Network is comprised of partners from across the Commonwealth who represent policy advocates, service providers, parents and caregivers, and—most especially—youth to identify key legislative opportunities to improve Virginia’s child welfare system. We have worked together over the last few days to develop a list of recommendations for a coordinated response to COVID-19. This page will be updated frequently with updates,…

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Foster Care Alumae Need Housing as Colleges Close – Foster Parents Article

Foster Care Alumae Need Housing as Colleges Close Posted: March 13th, 2020  –  By: Allison Gilbreath In the last 24 hours, Voices’ has learned that many Virginia colleges and universities are closing to protect the health and well-being of students because of the COVID- 19 pandemic. Unfortunately, for many youth in foster care or formerly in foster care, on-campus housing is their only housing option. For many of these youth and young adults, there is no place to go once…

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Continued Momentum: Foster Care in the 2020 Legislative Session – Foster Parents Article

Continued Momentum: Foster Care in the 2020 Legislative Session Posted: March 10th, 2020  –  By: Allison Gilbreath In 2019, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission on foster care study revealed Virginia’s longstanding failings in Virginia’s foster care system. It showed a lack of adherence to requirements in some cases, a need to place more children in family-based foster care settings (including kinship care), high caseloads, and a 40% turnover rate in the workforce. This year, the Virginia General Assembly…

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Foster Care Budget Request: Send an Email to Legislators Now – Foster Parents Article

Foster Care Budget Request: Send an Email to Legislators Now Posted: February 28th, 2020  –  By: Allison Gilbreath The legislative session is winding down and right now budget negotiators (legislators who serve on Senate Finance and House Appropriations) are meeting to determine items in the final budget that will be presented to the Governor. We need your help letting key budget conferees know we need them to support several foster care proposals. Please copy and personalize the letter below and…

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Bill Explainer: HB 1301 Creating a Children’s Ombudsman – Foster Parents Article

Bill Explainer: HB 1301 Creating a Children’s Ombudsman Posted: February 13th, 2020  –  By: Allison Gilbreath Virginia has worked for nearly two decades to create an office of the Children’s Ombudsman. This year, it narrowly made it out of the House and now needs your support to get it to the finish line! HB1301 is being carried by Delegate Christ Hurst. ACT NOW TO TELL YOUR LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT CREATING A CHILDREN’S OMBUDSMAN OFFICE What is a Children’s Ombudsman? The…

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2020 Legislative Session Advocating For Kids In Foster Care (Updated Jan. 24th) – Foster Parents Article

2020 Legislative Session Advocating For Kids In Foster Care (Updated Jan. 24th) Posted: January 24th, 2020  –  By: Allison Gilbreath Foster care is a state-run program that provides temporary care for children who cannot live with their parents or other relatives. Through this system, the local department of social services takes legal custody of a child when a parent or parents are unable to care for him or her, most often because of neglect and/or abuse. Placement of a child…

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Foster Care Highlights in 2020 Proposed Budgets – Foster Parents Article

Foster Care Highlights in 2020 Proposed Budgets Posted: January 7th, 2020  –  By: Allison Gilbreath During the 2019 legislative session, the General Assembly took major steps forward to address the challenges within our foster care system that were identified in the JLARC report. In 2019, the first-ever bi-partisan foster care caucus was established which further highlighted the need to invest in Virginia’s foster care system. In addition, the Governor’s office hired a Virginia Fosters campaign manager to further this work. Over the course…

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