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NewFound News for You

Follow along with NewFound Families as we work to support families. In this news column we seek to provide current information about the admininistration of the child welfare system. Become part of our community and join us on Facebook.

The Child Welfare Advisory Committee (CWAC) meeting was held on August 17th.  Following are updates shared by VDSS representatives.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the new Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS). Having had experience as the Program Director for Benefit Services and serving as the Director of No Child Hungry is a bonus for the new role of Commissioner Duke Storen. He has a clear compassion for serving those in need and a rich history of designing and managing services to meet those needs.

We asked Commissioner Storen to tell us about some of the initiatives that are most in the forefront of his first year as Commissioner.

I am most interested in building a whole family approach as the foundation of all we do here at VDSS, including prevention of crises that lead to homelessness, poor health, family disruptions, and so much more.

Have you ever adopted a child?


Please participate in an important Virginia Department of Social Services study!

Your input will help inform the continuum of services and supports available to adoptive families in Virginia.

Please see our FAQ below for eligibility requirements.

Click here to complete our online survey by October 19th, 2018

Join a focus group – Click here to sign up by September 21st, 2018

There are two time slots for each region:

10am-12pm OR 7-9pm. Please sign up for only one.

Look here to select your region (that is, where you live and/or receive the most services).

Central Region:  9/24/2018

Eastern Region: 9/25/2018

Northern Region: 9/26/2018

Piedmont Region: 9/27/2018

Western Region:   10/1/2018

For more information visit ourChild Trends VDSS web page or contact Berenice Rushovich (

at 240-223-9269.


NewFound Families has been working hard to build our Trailblazers Program - a program we developed to train support and mentoring leaders who are willing to start support groups for foster, kinship, and adoptive parents, or mentor newly certified parents and caregivers. Our goal is to develop new support and mentoring leaders in all 5 regions of Virginia.

The National Foster Parent Association (NFPA) issued a call to action to all lawmakers to intervene and stop the deplorable and inhumane treatment of immigrant children being separated from their families at our borders and find and support relatives or foster parents trained in trauma-informed care.

“Professionals must be brought in to help the adults with whom they are now living help the children manage the feelings and behaviors resulting from these horrific experiences. The abusive actions inflicted on these children by government policy are well documented to impair brain and social development of children and leave lifetime scars. We must have a zero tolerance for harming children. We must find and support relatives and foster parents who are skilled and supported to provide round-the-clock safe and nurturing care,” explained Irene Clements, Executive Director who has cared for over 100 infants, children, and young people.

Written by Lori Jacocks & Lisa Mathey

The Child Welfare Advisory Committee (CWAC) meeting was held on June 15th.  VDSS representatives shared updates on several foster care processes and policy recommendations.

NewFound Families

Adoption, Foster, and Kinship Association
P.O.Box 85
Ashland, VA 23005
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