News and resources for members of the
JFS Connecting Hearts Family Alliance.
Season's Greetings!
We had a spectacular Adoption Awareness Month this year! 32 children in foster care awaiting adopted were featured in CBS 6’s A Hand to Hold campaign. Some new potential adoptive and foster families have already attended their first orientation sessions!
Have you been thinking about welcoming another child into your home? This is a difficult time, but there are many kids who need families now more than ever. If you’re considering growing your family, please reach out to Denise at or (804) 282-5644 ext. 280.
But, even if your house is full, you can still help! Do you know someone in your community who might be the perfect foster or adoptive parent? We need your help to reach out to them. If each person who receives this newsletter talked with a friend or a colleague about foster care, we could double the number families available for local children in foster care. We need more (and more diverse) families so every child will not only find a home, but the right home.

For example, we need families for:

  • Older children and teenagers.
  • Kids more comfortable in a single parent household.
  • LGBTQ+ children.
  • Children with developmental delays or other challenges.
  • Children whose first language is Spanish.
  • Children impacted by trauma and mental illness.

Do you know someone who would make an amazing parent? Maybe someone who’s never thought about fostering, because they aren’t sure how to get started. Or, they think they won’t be approved because of their gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital status.
We need your help to reach these potential parents! Tell them your story. Be proud of the work you’re doing and share it with a friend, faith community member, or your neighbor. Let’s work together to find families for these children!
Please consider joining us for our webinar about telling your foster care story on December 16th at 7:00 PM. (The full information is in the Support section below.) There’s nothing more powerful than a good story, especially when you know the person telling it. After the webinar, we’ll have our virtual support group meeting and we hope to have a rich discussion the important role you can play in helping find families for children. See you then!
Our Heart Gallery spotlight this month is Zaniyah!

Educational Resources
Did you know foster parents for local Departments of Social Services have FREE access to the Foster Parent College? The Virginia Department of Social Services covers the cost of the training. Learn more here!
Other agencies in Virginia may also offer to cover the cost of this particular training. Please click here to find the agencies in Virginia that are affiliated with Foster Parent College.
Support for You
Most of us have happy memories of our families during the holidays. For children in foster care, kinship care, or even adoption, they can be bittersweet. If you’re looking for ways to support the children in your home during the holidays, this article could be helpful.
Don’t forget to join us for our support chats each week, now with a new time and place: on Zoom every Wednesday at 8:00 PM. We’ll share a helpful webinar or other materials in advance of the support session to give us a common topic to discuss. However, we are always open to discussing any issues, concerns, or questions during our weekly support! Below is the Zoom link for every Wednesday. To watch the webinar beforehand, please request to join our JFS Connecting Hearts Family Alliance Support Group on Facebook. We look forward to chatting with you!
Meeting ID: 607 041 9226
Laws and Policies
Have you heard Congress passed a pandemic food assistance program? This program has been crucial to providing resources to all families of children that receive free or reduced lunches, including all children in foster care and even kinship care.

Some good news is that the benefit was extended to the end of the school year. States are required to advise the federal program about how they will ensure children in foster care will receive it. To learn more about this program, please click here!
Upcoming Events
Words from Morgan
Hello! I’m Morgan Goad, JFS’ Associate Director of Development and the communications specialist for JFS Connecting Hearts. I’ve worked in nonprofit development and communications for four years, but I used to teach creative writing to high school and college students. They were talented, unique, and unquenchably curious. I felt especially lucky to witness teenagers learn and grow into themselves as individuals, ready to make their mark on the world.
So, while working with JFS Connecting Hearts is my first experience in the foster and adoptive world, I know how important it is for all children – especially teenagers – to have supportive, loving adults in their lives. I was often one of the first adults my students showed their writing to, and it was magical to watch their confidence blossom with a little time and encouragement.
I am glad to have this opportunity to help children find permanent, loving homes. Maybe one of those homes will be mine someday.