Share Out Loud blog

July 5, 2019

New services promote engagement and inclusion

By Ariana Estes The crisp blue sky highlights Mill Mountain in the distance as individuals from Roanoke Day Support enjoy the view of the city from the top of Center in the Square. This popular Roanoke spot offers more than just great views — there is a living coral reef aquarium, the Roanoke Pinball Museum and many […]

June 25, 2019

Great reads about foster care

Reading is wonderful year-round, but there are two really great seasons of the year to read: summer and winter! Whether by the pool or cozied up inside by the fire, reading is a great way to grow and learn. Mandy Tennity, foster parent engagement specialist at Lutheran Family Services of Virginia, shares some of her […]

June 12, 2019

From a son’s expulsions to Graduation Day triumph, with help from the Minnick School at Wise

By Dan Montgomery Every parent is proud when a child receives a high-school diploma, but let’s allow Robert McGuire a little extra pride right now. His son, Ethan, who has autism, just graduated from Central High School in Wise. The same Ethan who, because of behavioral-emotional challenges, was expelled from pre-school, from Head Start, from […]

May 28, 2019

A promise kept: Wise Minnick School’s first student is, today, a diploma-carrying high-school graduate

By Dan Montgomery Lutheran Family Services of Virginia’s Minnick School in Wise opened in 2010 with two educators and one student: Fourth-grader Ethan McGuire. Ethan had autism, but it was his behaviors that were the issue. “He was out of control, aggressive and challenging,” says Lori Long, one of Ethan’s original two Minnick educators. But […]

May 17, 2019

LFSVA spreads awareness at Foster Equality event

By Dan Montgomery Two messages were clear in Richmond last night: LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents are needed in Virginia; and LGBTQ youth in foster care need is — the same love, compassion, and patience every other foster child needs, with just a little extra awareness and sensitivity. The event was Foster Equality, hosted by […]

April 9, 2019

A creative dabbler finds a life mission teaching Minnick students with autism

My name is Kimberly Icard, and I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up! Granted, I’m 31 years old, so one could argue that I am grown up, but I’ve never been someone with a clearly defined path in life. I tend to dabble in various hobbies and community groups, […]

January 29, 2019

Preventing compassion fatigue in foster and adoptive parents through therapeutic support and self-care

by Bronwyn Robertson, LPC Lutheran Family Services of Virginia’s Outpatient Mental Health in Tidewater is offering a therapeutic support and self-care group free of charge for foster and adoptive parents. This six-part, pilot program is facilitated by a licensed therapist who is certified in compassion fatigue and is experienced in the treatment of family trauma […]

Bedford Community Health Foundation grant brings new meals to group homes

By Ariana Estes Meal planning can be an overwhelming experience for even the most organized households. Picking meals that everyone will like and are quick to make can make the frozen food section very tempting. Now imagine juggling multiple dietary restrictions, different levels of cooking skills and specific budgeting on top of those basic meal […]

December 14, 2018

Becoming a foster parent (Part four): The matching process

By Desiree’ Sterling Once the foster parent certification process is complete, it’s time to match foster youth to the family. Matching takes much more care and consideration than simply placing a youth in a home with an available bed. A lot goes into the process ensuring the family and foster youth are a good fit […]

December 7, 2018

Celebrating holiday traditions

By Anna Underwood I looked at my phone. Ten text messages! It was my family, of course. They were discussing the annual cutting down of the Christmas tree, a family tradition. It is a tradition I keep up even though I live 3,000 miles away. Trekking out the Christmas tree farm, saw in hand, rain, […]

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