News and resources for members of the
JFS Connecting Hearts Family Alliance.
November is National Adoption Month!
Here at JFS Connecting Hearts, we celebrate November in a big way! We are honored to partner with WTVR CBS 6 for the annual “Hand to Hold” campaign featuring 30 children in Central Virginia’s foster care system waiting for their forever families.

CBS 6 also takes time to feature the voices of adoptees and professionals who manage adoptions across the state. Be sure to check out “A Hand to Hold” to learn more about children waiting for their forever family!

You can catch the features every day in November on our Facebook page or live on CBS 6 at 5:30 AM and 5:30 PM. Who knows, maybe one of these children is the right fit for your heart and home!

The Family Alliance is here to provide you with tools and resources for your journey with foster care or adoption. Check out this link to the Children’s Bureau’s website for important information and motivation for getting and staying engaged!

As always, we ask that you take time to help us help other families by sharing this issue of the Alliance with friends and encourage them to join the Family Alliance!
Our Heart Gallery spotlight this month is Malik!

Educational Resources
Each Tuesday at 8:00 PM, the Family Alliance Support Group on Facebook shares a webinar or other resources on trending topics for families in Virginia. Recently we featured a webinar by our own Jessica Carty, MSW, LCSW, on the Impact of Trauma on Children in Care. You can view that webinar here.

Throughout your foster, kinship or adoption journey, you’ll hear the common theme of trauma’s impact on children and how the parenting strategies of foster, adoptive, and kinship caregivers should be trauma informed. If there is one topic we recommend foster, adoptive, or kinship parents to learn about, it’s trauma. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn more about how trauma influences children and how you can help a child who has experienced trauma.

We have collected these resources regarding trauma to support you in your journey:

Parenting from a trauma-informed lens helps families to build their resilience and improve the overall experiences for the whole families. This educational tool from the Children’s Bureau is a helpful resource.

Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) is one of the most respected training programs on trauma-informed parenting. You can learn more here.

If you are interested in knowing more about trauma and children in foster care from a scientific research perspective, you may find this link helpful.

Our neighbors in North Carolina also offer some very helpful resources for foster, adoptive, and kinship families. Here is an older article about trauma and children that is still relevant today.
Support for You
The JFS Connecting Hearts Family Alliance is a membership program that focuses on supporting families in their foster, adoptive, and kinship journey. You can join us on our Facebook group and post any time!

Our next Tuesday night support chats will be on the following topics:

November 18: A live Zoom interview with a young adult adoptee.
November 24: Benefits to support your foster care journey.
Laws and Policies
This year in the Virginia General Assembly, focus will be on developing the biennial budget for the upcoming two years. While there will still be other matters considered by the General Assembly this legislative session, you can expect most of the attention will be on the next budget. If you would like to learn more about the budget process in our commonwealth’s government, follow this link to the Budget Office's website.

Voices for Virginia’s Children is the leading non-partisan advocacy organization for foster care, adoption, and kinship care in Virginia. If you are interested in advocacy, we encourage you to stay informed through this organization. They also offer advocacy training!
Upcoming Events
Words from Jessica
I am Jessica Carty, a clinical social worker and counselor at JFS. Over the last 19 years I have worn many hats at the agency, but most recently I have begun working with Connecting Hearts since the program joined JFS in 2018. I am thrilled to return to my roots working with children and parents in foster care! My years in adoption have helped shape my understanding and appreciation of the Adoption Triad: the relationship between birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adoptee.

JFS Connecting Hearts hopes to support our families and partners through training and education. We are excited to grow, and we look to you to share your ideas and experiences to help our program! Please reach out if you have any questions about foster care and adoption. Additionally, please call JFS if you or someone you know could use counseling services for adoptive families or adoptees. We are here to help with resources or counseling. Don't hesitate to reach out to me at