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Lutheran Family Services of Virginia > Foster Care & Adoption Virtual Series

Foster Care & Adoption Virtual Information Series

Presented by Lutheran Family Services of Virginia with support from the Virginia Department of Social Services.

Even during the COVID-19 crisis, our work to recruit new foster and adoptive families hasn’t stopped! Dozens of children in Virginia still need stable, caring homes. What began as an in-person, informational gathering in the Tidewater area is now going virtual. Join us for conversations with experts in the field of foster care and adoption and learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent.

Those who attend at least one live event will be entered to win a virtual door prize at the conclusion of the series!

Q&A: Health Insurance Benefits for Foster Youth

Tuesday, June 2nd from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Click here to register

Phyllita Bolden, Community Outreach Specialist for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
Phyllita Bolden, MPH is a self-motivated professional with experience in building partnerships with community-based organizations, educational institutions, advocacy groups, public and nonprofit organizations, and faith-based organizations with the goal of educating the community and changing lives. She works closely with organizations to explore new ways to reach and improve health and wellness in low-income communities.

Tina Parcell, Behavioral Health Advocate, UnitedHealthcare
Tina Parcell, LCSW received her MSW from Norfolk State University and has 30 years in practice. She has provided the full continuum of behavioral health care services for the Foster Care population. She has worked in Acute Care, Residential Treatment, Treatment Foster Care, Group Home Care, Community Based Services, to include Intensive Home-Based Services, Therapeutic Day Treatment, Mental Health Skill Building, Out Patient Therapy, as well as City Government where she was the CSA (Children’s Services Act Administrator for securing services for foster children as a mandated population.

Cherra Barbour-Smith, Behavioral Health Advocate with Optum/United Healthcare
Cherra Barbour-Smith has her M.Ed in Agency/Community counseling; LPC, State of Virginia. For the past 20 years, she has worked in various capacities including being a Foster Home recruiter/trainer for DSS, working in a crisis home, and homeless shelter setting to providing community based mental health services to the foster care population. For 16 years, she worked at a nonprofit agency as the Community Based Services Supervisor for a treatment foster care and adoption program. Her last role prior to transitioning to Optum/United Healthcare, she was the Eastern region Project Manager and worked collaboratively with several DSS localities to enhance the Virginia Systems of Care.

Youth with Problematic Sexual Behaviors

Tuesday, June 9th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Click here to register

Kellie Evans, LCSW, CSOPT, The Up Center
Kellie Evans currently serves as The Up Center’s Director of Community Based Programs, a role that administers: the agency’s  Community Based Services program that provides Intensive-In Home Services, Mental Health Skill-building Services, Behavior Aide and Supervised Visitation.  She is also the Clinical Director of the SAY program which provides outpatient treatment services to children and adolescents who have sexual behavior problems. Kellie also provides administrative oversight of the Agency’s Housing and Financial Counseling program.

Kellie Evans began her career The Up Center in 2001. She holds an MSW from Norfolk State University and a BS in Human Services Counseling from Old Dominion University. Kellie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider.

Kellie is Past President of the Board of Directors for Virginia Association of Licensed Child-Placing Agencies (VALCPA), Past Chair of the Virginia Chapter of the Foster Family Treatment Association (FFTA-VA).  She currently sits on the Board of Virginia Coalition of Private Providers Association (VCOPPA) and represents VCOPPA as an appointed alternate for the State and Local Advisory Team (SLAT).

Foster & Adoptive Agency Virtual Meet & Greet

Tuesday, June 16th, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Registration opening soon

Lutheran Family Services of Virginia
Lutheran Family Services of Virginia seeks foster parents who are flexible, open-minded, and eager to share “life firsts” — adults who will provide permanency and connection for youth and teens, not just a roof over their heads. We support families of all faiths and backgrounds, LGBTQ youth and parents, siblings staying together, connections to the birth family, and teens developing lifelong connections with a caring adult. We provide extensive training from experts, respite when you need it 24/7 crisis support, a network of resources, additional online training, financial stipend, and health insurance. To support the need for safe and supportive family environments in our community, LFSVA trains and approves foster and adoptive parents in the Tidewater area. For more information, please visit www.lfsva.org.

Intercept Health
Since 1996, Intercept Health has been a leader in innovation and delivering high-quality treatment options producing exceptional outcomes for at-risk youth and their families. Parents, families, and professionals know they can rely on Intercept to deliver the best support in foster care, to promote our children and youth achieving permanency. At Intercept Health we believe that providing the best support to foster parents will enable parents to make a lasting positive impact in the life of their foster child. Our trainers are knowledgeable and meet with families individually to provide the best support and training in foster care! For more information about foster care, and the other services provided through Intercept Health, please visit www.intercepthealth.com.

Adoptions from the Heart
AFTH has been operating since 1985 and is a licensed, nonsectarian, 501 C-3 non-profit, private agency licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Virginia and Connecticut. AFTH is funded by fees, donations, and is a United Way Donor option recipient. We work with parents making voluntary adoption plans for their child(ren) and work with adoptive parents who understand the benefits of openness in adoptions. For more information, please visit https://afth.org.

CCEVA-Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia
Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia (CCEVA) has been providing adoption and pregnancy counseling services in the Hampton Roads area since 1932. CCEVA provides domestic infant adoption services, international adoption services, home study only services, pregnancy counseling, post-adoption education and support services, and post-adoption case management services. CCEVA provides a continuum of services from those just starting the adoption journey to those who have already adopted and need continued support. For more information, please visit www.cceva.org.

Hampton Department of Social Services

Braley and Thompson

Past events:

Lived Experiences: Foster Youth and Foster Parents

Tuesday, May 5th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Denise Godfrey, Foster Parent
I have been a foster parent for a total of 15 years. Being a foster parent has become a mission for me because I feel that all children deserve to be loved, have stability in their life, know that someone cares, that they matter, they have self-worth, and that they can succeed and achieve their goals. It brings me joy to nurture and see how the older children learn to plant a seed to overcome some of the obstacles in their lives such as making life choices to complete high school, working on skills to obtain a job, taking classes, or going into the military. My greatest joy has been watching the teens graduate high school — it was a long, hard road, but they did it. They left my home knowing that I didn’t give up on them and I was always right there cheering them on, giving them the love and support that they needed. I enjoy what I do to make a difference in children’s lives giving them love, peace of mind, hope, and stability.

Amire Harvin, Former Youth in Care
I believe that one’s experience in the foster care system has the ability to shape how that individual grows. Learning to be a child in care is different than being a foster child. With the right village and support, the very thing that may have traumatized you can contribute to you becoming the best you that you can be.

Youth Who Identify as LGBTQ

Tuesday, May 12th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Jennifer Surratt, Director of Programs, C2Adopt
Jennifer Surratt, LCSW has worked with youth and families for over two decades. She has been passionate about growing trauma-informed approaches and models within child welfare; knowing that true trauma-informed care is inclusive and thoughtful around policies and programming for LGBTQ+ youth and families. Jennifer has participated in advisory groups on the inclusion of LGBTQ+ affirming policies for families and children and is hopeful for a future where youths’ needs are met with appropriate care and competence by their caregivers, schools, and communities.

Healthy Attachments, Youth Who Experience Multiple Moves

Tuesday, May 19th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

John Ross Murray Jr., President and CEO of Families First Virginia Inc.
John Ross Murrary Jr. earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Elon University, and his master’s degree in Social Work from Norfolk State University. John has more than 30 years of experience working with foster and adoptive children and families and has specialized training in Neurofeedback, Trauma-Informed Clinical Intervention, Neuroscience, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. John is honored and humbled by serving those in need as a Social Worker for over 32 years.



Funded wholly or in part by the FAM-17-042 Foster & Adoptive Family Recruitment contract with the Virginia Department of Social Services

Born of faith,
open to all.