April 2017
Check This Off your
"To Do" List

Register for Spring Forward Family Fun Day

Saturday, April 29 * 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Providence Community Center, Fairfax

For many families, Spring Break is almost here! Before the fun begins, make sure you register for our 4th annual Spring Forward Family Fun Day. Especially for foster, adoptive and kinship families, the event is a great day for kids, parents and caregivers alike.

Children spend the morning in supervised gym and art activities while adults hear author and Florida State University professor Dr. Bruce Thyer's keynote presentation "What Really Works and What Doesn't for Tough Kids". Breakout sessions follow and include a session focused on resolving conflict within families (great for kinship caregivers) and a Poetry in Motion: The Rap Connection workshop for youth!

After lunch, families enjoy a fun fair with games & prizes, face painting, crafts, inflatable obstacle course, a balloon artist, and more. Raffle prizes will be given throughout the day.

The whole day, light breakfast and lunch included for $5 per participant age 3 and up. Nursery care for babies and toddlers also available.

Professional Workshop

What Really Works

and What Doesn't

for Challenging Kids

Friday, April 28 * 8 AM - 12:30 PM
4031 University Dr., Fairfax

Formed Families Forward and the ADHD Resource Group of Northern Virginia are pleased to host Dr. Bruce Thyer, Professor of Social Work at Florida State University and author of Science and Pseudoscience in Social Work Practice, for a half-day workshop. Dr. Thyer will provide insight into some of the most common and most controversial interventions for working with children, youth and families.

Dr. Thyer will cover science and pseudoscience in:

  • Clinical assessment
  • Treating children and adolescents, including those with emotional and behavioral needs, such as conduct disorders, ADHD, anxiety disorders and autism
  • Treating those who have experienced trauma
  • Addressing the unique needs of persons with developmental disabilities
  • Evaluating and selecting sounds practices and discouraging pseudoscience

This interactive workshop is designed for social work, counseling, education, psychology and other professionals. Registration is $50 and includes breakfast.
Get Workshop FLYER HERE.

Annual Gaps Survey for
Fairfax Children's Services Act

Fairfax and Falls Church families and professionals, your experiences and opinions are needed! T ake a 10-minute survey to help the County learn more about critical service gaps in the community, the populations and age ranges affected by those gaps in services; the barriers and their level of impact on developing needed services; and peer support service needs.

Q & A:

Summer Camps

Q: Now that spring break is here, I need to find some summer programs to keep my two kids busy. Both have special needs. Do you have a list?

A: Finding the right camp or other summer program can be tricky for children and youth with special needs.

Several local school systems offer lists of summer camps.

From Alexandria City Public Schools:

From Arlington Public Schools:

From Fairfax County Public Schools Parent Resource Center:

From Loudoun County Public Schools Parent Resource Services:

From Prince William County Parent Resource Center:

In addition, several jurisdictions offer therapeutic recreation programs in summer:

Once you have found a camp that meets the interests of your child and needs of your family, schedule an interview with the director or special needs coordinator. Questions might include:

  • What’s the age range of campers?
  • What’s the staff-to-camper ratio? How old are most of the counselors?
  • What type of certification do the counselors have?
  • Do staff members have a background working with kids with special needs?
  • Does the camp adopt a positive behavioral approach that establishes and supports positive expectations from the start?
  • How are camp staffers trained to handle behavioral and emotional problems?
  • What’s the turnover rate? Do kids and staff come back?
  • What’s the camp’s philosophy? Does it fit with your goals for your child?
  • What kind of medical and nursing staff is available in the infirmary and during what hours? Can the staff administer any medications your child needs?
  • Can you speak with a veteran parent or caregiver of a child with disabilities who has attended the camp?
April Showers of Trainings and Events!

April 6- Building Resilience in a Stressful World hosted by Loudoun County Public Schools Parent Resource Services, Ashburn.

April 18- I'm Determined workshop
at Prince William County Public Schools Parent Advisory Committee, Manassas

April 20- Adolescent Autism presentation by Dr. Linda Gulyn, hosted by Arlington SEPTA, Arlington.

April 25- Community Workshop: Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse, Falls Church.

April 26- Hidden Diagnosis: Prenatal Alcohol Exposure & Its Many Implications For Foster Youth webinar from Maryland CASA Association.

April 26- Making the Move to Independent Housing for Persons with Disabilities, hosted by Alexandria City Public Schools Family Resource Center, Alexandria.

April 27- Community Conversation: Detecting and Preventing Suicide Risk, hosted by Fairfax County Community Services Board, Alexandria.

April 28- Professional Workshop- What Really Works (and What Doesn't) for Challenging Kids
with Dr. Bruce Thyer, Fairfax.

April 29- Spring Forward Family Fun Day, Fairfax.

May 2- Homeschooling Children with Special Needs webinar hosted by PEATC.

May 6- Family and Youth Leadership Summit hosted by Virginia Family Network at NAMI of Virginia, Richmond. FFF will see you there!

May 10 - June 14- LifeSkills Training for Middle School Students. Wednesdays in Fairfax. Free activities and dinner for middle school students!

May 10 - National GrandRally: Building a Community of Hope to raise awareness of grandparents and other relative caregivers, Washington, DC

May 10 - State Complaint Procedures workshop, hosted by PEATC, Springfield.

May 12- Calming the Anxious Waters workshop hosted by Fairfax County Public Schools Parent Resource Center, Dunn Loring.

May 17- Control the Clutter: Turn Piles into Files workshop by Marjorie MacArthur Veiga, hosted by FFF, Fairfax.

May 19-21- Project Life Statewide Youth Conference, Midlothian.

May 23- Understanding the Impact of Trauma: What to Do at Home and at School webinar, presented by FFF Director Kelly Henderson, hosted by PEATC.

June 9- Family Movie Night at FFF. Screening of Resilience for adults; kids get their own movie!

June 22-23- PEATC Parent Institute for parents and caregivers new to special education, Charlottesville.

June 29- July 2- Save the Date: NewFound Families Campference for families and professionals, Glen Allen.

Programs just for Teens and Young Adults

Blooming Good Social Media!

Did you see our Facebook posts on human services internships, the recent Endrew F. Supreme Court decision, and the upcoming Project Life Youth Conference? LIKE Formed Families Forward on Facebookand get the latest news, event notices and information just for foster, adoptive and kinship families!

Formed Families Forward provides training and support to northern Virginia families formed through adoption, foster care and kinship care who are raising children and youth with special education needs. We also serve professionals who work with our families. Consultations and most trainings are free of charge to parents and caregivers raising children and youth with special needs.

Moving Formed Families to Better Outcomes

Reach us at, or call (703) 539-2904.

Kelly Henderson, Ph.D., Executive Director
This project is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein are those of the project and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.
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