Family Services - Foster Care Adoption

Information about DCHS' foster care adoption.

Page updated on Feb 5, 2019 at 11:28 AM

Foster Parent Information Sessions

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a resource for Foster Care, contact the Resource Home Recruiter at 703.746.5858. Information sessions on becoming a foster parent are offered periodically. For more information, please call 703.746.5858.

2019 Information Sessions

Saturday, February 9
10:30 a.m. - Noon
Duncan Library
2501 Commonwealth Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301

Monday, March 4
Burke Library 
4701 Seminary Road
Alexandria, VA 22304
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 4
Alexandria DCHS
2525 Mt. Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Foster Care

Alexandria's foster families increase stability in a child's life by helping the child remain in a familiar community.

When caretakers haven’t been able to change unhealthy conditions in their home, a child may need to be placed in foster care by the state. That gives birthparents a chance to improve their situation, through counseling and services.

Here’s where foster parents come in, taking a child into their home for a few weeks or months. Foster care is a temporary response to family difficulties, not a long-term solution. The goal is for the child to return to his or her home or to find another permanent home.

Children from troubled families need to maintain important personal, school and neighborhood relationships. If possible, the child is placed close to the caretakers' home, so he can continue to see his parents and develop a healthy relationship.

Alexandria’s foster families increase the stability in a child’s life. They help children remain close to the friends, family, school, church and community they already know.

Children under the care of Alexandria’s Department of Community & Human Services have many needs, from overnight emergency care to pre-adoptive homes.

You are not alone. You and your foster child get support and helpful services from the Department of Community & Human Services.

Foster Care Services

A program designed to provide substitute care in a licensed household to a child/children who need care for a temporary or extended period of time; during this time the biological family environment is either non-existent or dysfunctional due to social, economic, or physical reasons.

Independent Living Services

Independent Living Services are provided to youth who are or were formerly in foster care. Tuition grants at any Virginia community college are provided for eligible youth who are enrolled full time. An eligible individual must have been in foster care or receiving a special needs adoption subsidy when he/she received a high school diploma or GED certificate. For more information, call 703.746.5719.

Qualifications for Foster Parents

  • Must reside within the state of Virginia
  • Foster parent must be at least 25 years of age. When there are two foster parents, one must be at least 25
  • Be able to prove financial stability
  • Attend all pre-service training
  • Complete the home study process

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a resource for Foster Care, contact the Resource Home Recruiter at 703.746.5858. Information sessions on becoming a foster/adoptive parent are offered periodically. For more information, please call 703.746.5858 or see "Upcoming Foster Parent Information Sessions".

Adopting a Child

Adoption, the process of making a child a part of your family, provides children with stability and permanency when their biological families are unable to do so.

Family Services is committed to permanency planning and to achieving the goal of adoption for all children in foster care who have not been returned to their parent or prior custodian. The majority of these children are older; members of minority races; have siblings with whom they need to be placed; or have physical, mental and/or emotional disabilities.

Adoption Services are provided to children who have special needs, who are permanently entrusted to Family Services and who are in need of a caring family of their own.

Qualifications for Adoptive Parents

  • Adoptive parents can be married or single, own or rent an apartment or home, and have children already.
  • At least one of the adoptive parents must be 25 years of age and must:
    • Be willing to disclose financial information
    • Complete the home study process
    • Be willing to accept a child for his/her own sake without expecting him/her to resolve family problems or to fulfill family ambitions
    • Have the capacity to love and nurture a child born to someone else

A series of interviews are conducted both in the home and in Department of Community & Human Services offices.

Support Services Are Available

Adoption assistance, also called subsidized adoption, is a means of providing a money payment and/or services to adoptive parent(s) on behalf of a child with special needs. Eligibility for subsidy is based on the needs of the child.

Celebrating Adoptions

Each year Alexandria celebrates the adoption of children from foster care at a ceremony at the Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.  

Adult Adoptees 

Adult adoptees who were placed through Family Services may request a records search for either non-identifying or identifying information on their birth families. Call 703.746.5758 for more information.