March 2018
Spring Forward with us - Fun Ahead!

Our 5th annual  Spring Forward Family Fun Day for foster, adoptive and kinship families will be Satuday, April 7 at Providence Community Center near the Vienna Metro station. Exclusively for foster, adoptive and kinship families, this easy day of learning and fun includes activities for children and youth, workshops for caregivers and parents, food and a terrific fun fair. REGISTER HERE.

Formed Families Forward Annual Professional Workshop -  From Trauma to Resiliency: Building Trauma-Informed Schools and Communities will be Friday, April 6 in Fairfax. National trauma expert Dr. Elizabeth Meeker will present an interactive workshop covering the principles of trauma-responsive care and student social and emotional health, with a focus on strategy implementation. LEARN MORE HERE.

Youth and Young Adults- Help Others, Help Yourself!

Connect with other teens and young adults at our ongoing twice-monthly Tuesday evening Stronger Together support groups. Enjoy free pizza dinner, share your story, struggles and strengths, and help others. A parent/caregiver group meets at the same time.  Learn more about our groups HERE.

Ready to lead? The Virginia Family and Youth Leadership Summit
on April 14 features middle school, high school, and parent and caregiver tracks. This free day-long event in Midlothian, Virginia kicks off with a keynote by Dr. Allison Sampson Jackson on Resiliency through Connection.
Learn more and register HERE.

Get Empowered at the I'm Determined Youth and Parent Summit. Applications are now open for the June 13 -15 Summit held at JMU in Harrisonburg. Learn more HERE and apply before March 9.

Q & A: Trauma Take-Away

Q: In preparation for April's professional workshop with Dr. Elizabeth Meeker and her keynote at the Spring Forward Family Fun Day, this month's Q & A  column features our trauma take-away of the week.  We address the question: What are ACEs and what do they have to do with trauma?

ACEs, or adverse childhood experiences, are a set of ten stressful or traumatic events that occur during childhood. These include:

Physical abuse;
Sexual abuse;
Emotional abuse;
Physical neglect;
Emotional neglect;
Intimate partner violence;
Mother treated violently;
Substance misuse within household;
Household mental illness;
Parental separation or divorce; and
Incarcerated household member

Much research has demonstrated the link between ACEs and negative health outcomes later in life. Generally, the more ACEs a person has, the more significant impact they appear to have on physical, behavioral and social outcomes. 
This pyramid is used to visualize the impact:

Parents, caregivers, and professionals who recognize ACEs in children and young adults may be better positioned to address needs and foster resiliency.

To learn more about ACEs, check out ACEs Too High HERE, and register for our April 6 From Trauma to Resiliency professional workshop HERE.


March into some New Information!

March 7 - Trauma 101 - Empowering Parents and Educators,
presented by FFF, FCPS and Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services, hosted by FCPS Parent Resource Center, Dunn Loring

March 7-  Teaching Children Essential Social Skills
, hosted by Prince William County Schools Parent Resource Center and The Arc of Greater PW, Woodbridge.

March 10- Fairfax Kinship Family Institute Information Session, Gum Springs Community Center, Alexandria.

March 12- An Overview of Section 504 Plans, hosted by Alexandria City Public Schools Parent Resource Center, Alexandria.

March 17- Parent Leadership Retreat, hosted by NAMI of Virginia, Virginia Family Network, Leesburg.

March 17- Arlington Child Development Resource Fair, Arlington. FFF will be there!

March 20- Project First Responder, hosted by Loudoun County Public Schools, Ashburn.

April 6-  From Trauma to Resiliency: Building Trauma-Informed Schools and Communities professional workshop, hosted by FFF, Fairfax

April 7- 5th annual Spring Forward Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Family Fun Day,  hosted by FFF, Fairfax.

April 14-  Family and Youth Leadership Summit
, hosted by NAMI of Virginia, Virginia Family Network, Midlothian.

April 17- Choosing Child Care,  hosted by Fairfax Child Abuse Prevention Partnership. McLean.

April 21- Fairfax County Public Schools Special Education Conference, Alexandria. FFF will be there!

May 14-15- VDOE and PEATC Advocacy Symposium, Staunton.

May 18-20-  Project LIFE state conference for foster youth and young adults, Blacksburg.

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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