Share Out Loud blog

November 16, 2017

Great Books for Beginning Your Adoption Story

Every adoption has a story, and every adoption story should be told! Our Treatment Foster Care and Adoption team shared their recommendations for books to read when growing your family through adoption. These picks will help your family grow together as your own adoption story flourishes. For Children and Parents “Families Change: A Book for […]

November 6, 2017

Foster care and adoption: How many families are needed?

By Jeanne Hollingshead There are more than 5,000 children in foster care right now. Does that sound like a lot to you? It is when you consider how many families are needed for these children. For every one child in foster care, we need five families to be available for that child. That’s 25,000 families […]

November 2, 2017

Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

The holiday seasons is one of the best times of the year. Family and friends get together to reflect on their blessings, exchange thoughtful gifts, and celebrate the start of a new year. Many are moved to give back during this time, but the few short weeks that are jam-packed with celebration can make it […]

November 1, 2017

Adoption: Don’t assume you know the destination before you make the journey

By Jeanne Hollingshead Most families spend years thinking about becoming foster or adoptive parents. My husband and I were no different. We debated and researched having children after the age of 40. We talked about whether we had space, time and energy to parent. After much deliberation and the purchase of a new house, we […]

October 24, 2017

Ray Ratke named CEO of Lutheran Family Services of VA

Ray Ratke will succeed Julie Swanson as Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia in January, 2018, the social services agency’s Board of Directors announced. Ratke has been LFSVA’s Chief Operating Officer since 2011. During that time, he helped steer the agency through a period of dramatic growth while raising LFSVA’s statewide profile […]

October 1, 2017

Tips for Making Halloween Fun & Accessible

By Ariana Estes The autumn leaves crunch under the footsteps of witches and superheroes. Orange lights and jack o’ lanterns glow from the doorsteps of neighbor’s homes. And candy is everywhere — it’s Halloween! Trick-or-treating is a fun Halloween tradition loved by children and adults, but for some children, the holiday can be a little […]

Working Toward More Inclusive Employment Opportunities

By Lisa Morgan I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have a job. In fact, I have had the privilege of holding several different jobs since I was in my teens. Jobs help us develop in so many ways. We learn what we are good at.  We learn to become […]

September 29, 2017

Virginia Lutheran Congregations Give Back During Week of Service

By Ariana Estes This year’s annual ELCA Day of Service, “Gods Work, Our Hands,” took place on  Sunday, Sept. 10, and kicked off the annual Virginia Synod Week of Service. Congregations across the state of Virginia gave back to Lutheran Family Services of Virginia through service projects. “Churches lend their support in so many ways […]

September 12, 2017

A Note from Ray Ratke on Direct Service Professionals Week

LFSVA COO, Ray Ratke, shares his thoughts on Direct Service Professionals Week This is national Direct Service Professionals week, and whenever I think about our dedicated, fantastic DSPs, I think of my mom. My mother was one of the warmest, most caring individuals I have ever known. She would go to any length to make […]

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September 8, 2017

CEO Julie Swanson to retire in spring, 2018

Julie Swanson, LFSVA’s CEO since 2005, will retire next spring, she announced in meetings and conference calls with agency managers and supervisors this week. “This was a big decision — one my husband and I have mulled over for several years,” Swanson said. “It was incredibly hard for me to decide to retire. I made the decision on […]

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