June 2015
Educational Pathways for
Former & Current Foster
Youth and Families

On May 18, Formed Families Forward hosted Great Expectations program staff from Northern Virginia Community College. Youth, parents and caregivers learned about this fabulous and free program that provides academc and educational supports to youth currently or formerly in foster care. Program Advisor Sheemeca Berkley, Associate Director Shannon Ingram and new NVCC graduate and Great Expectations participant Marianna Langenbeck offered an overview and specifics about program eligibility, benefits and available educational pathways at NVCC. Check out the presentation slides on our Resources page.
Foster Parents and Kinship Caregivers- Connect and Learn at a Parents as Collaborative Leaders Training in August

This summer, foster parents and kinship caregivers are invited to a special Parents as Collaborative Leaders intensive three-day training.The August 19-21 training hosted by PEATC (Parent Educational Advocacy and Training Center) will be held at the beautiful Tides Inn in Irvington.

The training content is customized for foster and kinship families who are raising children with special educational needs. Formed Families Forward is pleased to be part of this session! With the support of the Virginia Department of Education, PACL trainings are free of charge to the 12 selected participants. Apply today!
Summer Reading: Special Needs in Books

Q: During the school year, my three kids don't have much time to read books that they choose. I would like to find some good books that have characters with disabilities in them for my 11-year-old daughter and her younger brothers. Suggestions?

A: Summer break is a welcome opportunity for children and teens to select leisure reading materials. Reading Rockets has great summer reading resources for parents, caregivers, youth and educators.

Many quality books and stories feature characters wtih special needs. We suggest parents and caregivers do a quick review of the material before encouraging individual children with disabilities to read it.

For younger children, check out this list of picture books and early readers featuring characters with disabilities.

For older children and young adults, this list summarizes some great selections. Suggestions for how parents, caregivers and teachers can use literature to teach and foster inclusion can be found HERE.

We held our last meeting of the 2014-15 Stronger Together Youth & Young Adult and Parent/Caregiver groups on May 21. Thanks to the many families and youth who participated this year and to our fabulous professional facilitators Rachel Bailey and Dwight Vick. We will start back up in October. Let us know if you might be interested in joining the groups.

June 25 - 28, National Foster Parent Association Conference in Norfolk. FACES of Virginia Families is helping to bring NFPA to Virginia. Great sessions and activities for the whole family (registration fee).

July 3-5, FACES Family Camp at Camp Highroads in Middleburg (registration fee).

October 7, 6:30 pm, Back to School: Practical Tips for Dealing with Caregiver Stress and Avoiding Burnout
at FFF, Fairfax, free.
Kinship Care Exemplars!

Kinship resources- Advocates for Families First has posted a series of webinars on topics of interest to those leading adoptive, foster and kinship groups. The June 4 webinar KinFirst: Making Relatives a First Choice for features seveval innovative approaches for supporting kinship care. Replay webinars on demand for free!
Still Looking for Summer Camps?

Local listings of summer camps for children with disabilities have been compiled by Fairfax County Public Schools Parent Resource Center and Prince William County Schools Parent Resource Center. Other sources include Best Special Needs Camps and Very Special Camps.

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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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