September 2016
A Gift for You -
The Biggest Formed Families Resource Directory Yet!

A Back-to-School gift for all formed families! Our biggest and best yet Formed Families Northern Virginia Resource Directory for 2016-17 is HERE!

A favorite of families and professionals alike, our Resource Directory lists hundreds of organizations, agencies, providers and other resources available to support foster, adoptive and kinship families raising children and youth with special needs. Each listing offers hotlinked contact information and a description of the services and supports offered.

A HUGE thank you to Anne Havlovick for reorganizing and updating the Directory this summer. We work to provide the most current contact information and it's a big job to make it all presentable!

Let us know if you find errors or have suggestions for additional entries. Due to the large size of the document, downloading is encouraged. Bound hard copies can be purchased at cost.

Formed Families
Fun for All-
Oct. 14 Movie Night!
Movie Night image
We welcome foster, adoptive and kinship families for some movie fun on October 14 from 7 - 9:30 PM in Fairfax.

Children and youth enjoy their own G-rated movie. Next door, parents and caregivers are invited to watch some adoption, foster care, and kinship care-related media and join in a relaxed evening discussion. Snacks served! We will only hold the event if we get enough interest by October 7- please RSVP.

Q & A: Should my Teen Attend a Support Group

Q: The counselor at school suggested my daughter (who is adopted) attend a peer support group. Is that a good idea? I am afraid she might meet other kids with even bigger issues. Where would I even find a group for her?

A: Great questions and thank you for proceeding carefully!

There are a lot of different types of "peer support" groups, and it is important for parents, caregivers and youth to really understand the type of group (goals, participants, facilitator, etc.) they are considering. Some good resources for looking at peer support group options for teens and young adults:
In our region, there are a number of options for finding a peer support group that is the perfect fit for your child.

Fall Events around the Region

Many free and low-cost training events are available to parents, caregivers and professionals this autumn. Check out these offerings from FFF and friends!

September 8- next regular meeting of Fairfax County Kinship Support group, Alexandria

September 10-
Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day; National Suicide Prevention week is September 5 - 11.
Ideas for Action.

September 12- Adoptive, Foster Book Club, sponsored by Fairfax County Foster Care and Adoption Association, Alexandria.

September 13-
2016 State of Grandfamilies in America Report Release by Generations United, Washington DC.

September 16-17- PEATC's Parents and Youth Exhibiting Strength Summit, Williamsburg. FFF Board member Amy Fortney Parks is a Keynote presenter!

September 19- Building Family Organizations in Virginia with Millie Sweeney, hosted by NAMI of Virginia, Richmond.

September 22- Executive Dysfunction and Helping your Child Succeed in School webinar, hosted by CASE.

September 22- Arlington County Special Education PTA meeting, workshop Is your Child the Target of Bullying? by PEATC, Arlington.

September 26- Northern Virginia regional Kinship Symposium, Alexandria.

September 28- Adopting When You Are Already Parenting webinar from Adoptive Families magazine.

October 3- Taking the Next Step: Transitions through High School and Beyond workshop hosted by FFF, Fairfax.

October 14- Formed Families Movie night hosted by FFF, Fairfax.

October 15- ADHD Connections: A Mind-Body Approach conference, sponsored by the ADHD Resource Group of No Va, Arlington.

October 20-
Creating a Financial Roadmap and Funding Special Needs Trusts, with The Arc of Northern Va, Leesburg.

October 22- Q and A with neuropsychologist Dr. Federici, Fairfax. Contact Alpha Moms for more information.

October 29- Fairfax County Public Schools Wellness Conference, Fairfax High School, save the date.

November 5- Circle of Support conference sponsored by The Arc of Greater Prince William, Woodbridge.

November 10- Building Healthy Families: LEAN Essentials workshop with Dr. Klimenko, hosted by FFF, in Herndon.

November 11-13- Project LIFE Statewide Leadership Conference for foster youth, Roanoke.

Seeking Fairfax & Falls Church Parents and Caregivers with Mental Health Experience

The Fairfax County Children's Services Act (CSA) office is seeking nominations of parents and caregivers who have experience with behavioral and mental health services for their children and youth. Parent and caregiver representatives serve on two important groups- the Community Policy and Management Team, and Family Assessment and Planning Teams (FAPTs). A small stipend is available to those who serve. Your parent voice is critical to improving both systems and services for individual families. Learn more HERE.

Last Blast Summer Apps

This summer, Formed Families Forward has featured an App of the Week, focused on
tools of value to foster, adoptive and kinship families raising children and youth with special needs. Among those we highlighted are:
  • Assistive Technology consideration guide
  • ClassDojo
  • FOCUS on Foster Families
  • Pillboxie
  • Social Stories Creator and Library
The entire list of featured apps can be found HERE.

Facebook Fans - LIKE us, you'll love us!

Miss our posts on kinship care support, going back to school with FASD, or special needs trusts? We share fabulous information finds every day on Facebook. LIKE us on Facebook and get great information just for formed families and professionals who care about adoption, foster care and kinship care.

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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