November 2017
November brings a bounty of supports for families

Fall into some valuable knowledge and skills this month! Formed Families Forward joins forces with the ADHD Resource Group of Northern Virginia to present Ensuring School Success for Students with ADHD: How New Federal Guidance Impacts Your Child on Thursday, November 9 from 6:30 - 8 PM in Fairfax. Learn how recent federal guidance clarify that Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) broaden opportunities for children and youth with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to receive supports and services in schools.

Peer supports for youth and beyond!

They're back! Our Stronger Together peer support groups for teens and young adults ages 14 to 22 are meeting now and new members are welcome. A parent and caregiver group meets at the same time, twice monthly on Tuesday evenings in Fairfax city. Professional clinicians lead both groups. Pizza and salad are served. Group participation is free of charge, but let us know you are planning to attend! REGISTER HERE.

Bernie Mac is coming to Family Movie Night!

Actor and comedian Bernie Mac helped raise his sister's three children, and used his experiences as inspiration when creating and starring in his own television series, The Bernie Mac Show.

Come to our kinship-focused movie night and explore what we can learn from Bernie and other kinship providers.

The entire family is invited on Friday, November 17, 6- 8:30 PM in Fairfax city. We serve a pizza and salad dinner to all then the children are treated to a supervised G-rated movie next door. Kinship caregivers and interested youth and young adults will watch clips from The Bernie Mac Show and discuss timely topics that impact kinship families.

The event is free of charge, but please let us know you are coming! We look forward to great conversation during this evening designed to offer kinship caregivers a little respite and support from others who walk similar paths.

Formed Families Forward is hiring a new Family Involvement and Training Manager position. Help us strengthen family involvement in schools. Help us empower and engage families formed through foster care, adoption and kinship care. This part-time position offers a flexible schedule; family members of children, youth and young adults with disabilities are encouraged to apply! Applications due close of business November 3.
Learn more HERE.
Mark your Calendar for Formed Families Forward's Winter Open House

Families and professionals are invited for Mindfulness and Mingling on Friday, December 1 from 2 to 4 PM at our offices in Fairfax. Enjoy some holiday treats, mix and mingle, and practice a mindfulness exercise led by psychologist Dr. Archana Dogra. RSVP here!

Q & A: Post-Adoption Support

Q: We are parenting two teenagers who joined our family through adoption. They are great kids but we struggle at times and often feel unprepared for the adoption-related issues that make adolesence even harder. What resources would you suggest?

A: This is a perfect time for this question as November is National Adoption Month. This year's theme, "Teens Need Families, No Matter What," centers on building an effective response system that will support efforts to achieve lasting permanency for teenagers in foster care.

Talking to teens about adoption can be challenging. Find strategies for when and how to have productive conversations about adoption HERE.

There is no doubt that the adoption process can be arduous, full of frustrations as well as great joys. Following adoption finalization, however, the journey continues.

Financial and emotional support can be critical to adoptive families. Find resources for finding support after adoption HERE. Formed Families Forward offers an adoption subsidy information webpage with local, state and national adoption resources HERE.

Closer to home, the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) funds post-adoption counseling services through a contract with the Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE) with offices in Annandale and Sterling. Families who adopted through public child welfare or internationally can contact CASE directly and ask about the free post-adoption services.

Families throughout the state can also access post-adoption supports. By region, find post-adoption support agencies and organizations HERE.
Specifics about post-adoption supports available to underserved areas of the state can be found HERE.

Abundant Trainings around the region

November 6 – Super Powers Activate: Embracing ADHD and Autism, McLean Bible Church Access Community Lecture, Tysons.

November 7 - Autism Services and Resources in LCPS and the Community, hosted by Loudoun County Public Schools Parent Resource Services, Ashburn.

November 8 - Preparing Students with Learning Differences for College, hosted by Alexandria City Schools Parent Resource Center, Alexandria.

November 9- Ensuring School Success for Students with ADHD: How New Federal Guidance Impacts Your Child with FFF and ADHD Resource Group of No Va, Fairfax.

November 10-12- Project LIFE Statewide foster youth and young adult Conference, Hampton.

November 13 and 14- Stop Power Struggles from Morning to Midnight, hosted by the Arlington Public Schools Parent Resource Center, Arlington.

November 16- Anxiety and School Refusal, hosted by Loudoun County Public Schools Parent Resource Services, Ashburn.

November 17- Family Movie Night- Bernie Mac, Kinship and Me, hosted by FFF, Fairfax.

November 18- Circle of Support conference, sponsored by The Arc of Greater Prince William, Woodbridge. FFF will be there!

November 29- Electronics and Social Media: A Guide for Parents, hosted by Alexandria City Public Schools Parent Resource Center, Alexandria. Presented by Dr. Amy Fortney Parks, a FFF Board member!

November 30- Adoption Match and Networking Reception for prospective adoptive families, Fredericksburg.

December 1- Formed Families Forward's Mindfulness and Mingling open house, Fairfax. Families and professionals welcome!

December 1- Depression in Children and Teens: What You Need to Know, hosted by Fairfax County Public School Parent Resource Center, Dunn Loring.

December 2- Future Quest career and college conference for youth, families and professionals. Held at GMU Fairfax Campus.

January 8- Mindfully Managing Caregiver Stress: Proven Tools for Reducing Stress and Taking Care of Yourself, While Taking Care of Others, hosted by FFF, Fairfax.

January 9- What Legal Paperwork Do Kinship Caregivers Need? Hosted by FFF, Fairfax.

Ways You can Support Formed Families

Formed Families Forward is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting adoptive, foster and kinship families.

There are many ways to help us continue our efforts to help families:
  • When you purchase through Amazon, link through FFF's AmazonSmile link. You pay nothing extra but Amazon pays us!
  • Our first ever FFF Online Auction is happening November 8 -12. With twenty great packages to bid on, there is something for everyone. Watch our Facebook page on November 8 and grab your deal! All donations benefit our Stronger Together peer support groups.
  • Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Let us know of items, events, resources we can share with our community.

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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