DCHS Highlights Programs, Opportunities to Support Children and Families During Foster Care Month

Page updated on May 29, 2021 at 12:03 PM

DCHS Highlights Programs, Opportunities to Support Children and Families During Foster Care Month


Foster Care Month 2021May 12, 2021--May is National Foster Care Month, and the Department of Community and Human Services is highlighting the work staff and programs are doing to strengthen and support families, and how residents can enhance the lives of families and children in foster care.

DCHS offers a wide range of services to at-risk families to prevent children from coming into foster care,, including family engagement services, support programs for fathers and community wraparound services for at-risk children and families. 

Foster care is a temporary arrangement when parents or primary caregivers are going through a crisis and those interventions are not enough.

“Foster care is a support for families in crisis,” explains Foster Care and Adoption Program Manager Michele Mintling. “Resource families provide a stable home for children in foster care while their parents or caregivers work to improve their situation. The primary goal is always to reunify children with their parents.”

Foster or “resource” parents and families in Alexandria can make it possible for a child in foster care to stay in the same school and community as they team with the child’s social worker, teachers, doctor, birth family and counselors to reunify the child with their family.

The aim of the program is that resource families, like children in foster care, represent a variety of cultural, religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds, says Mintling.

“Currently, we are facing the need for resource families that live in the City, resource families that speak Spanish, families willing to provide stable homes for teens, and resource families of color,” says Mintling.

Residents interested in learning more about becoming resource parents can call 703.746.5858 or email christine.levine@alexandriava.gov. Information sessions are being offered virtually or by phone.

The City provides a number of other opportunities for residents to support at-risk children, including volunteer and mentoring opportunities as well as programs to employ youth

Residents can also help enhance the lives of resource families and children in foster care through The Fund for Alexandria’s Child, which provides experiences and support for children in foster care, such as sporting equipment, uniforms, school pictures, music lessons, scouting, field trips, summer camps, and graduation caps and gowns. For more information or to donate, visit alexandriava.gov/TheFundforAlexChild.

To learn more about foster care and resource families, visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Virginia Department of Social Services and alexandriava.gov/DCHS. For more resources and to help raise awareness during Foster Care Month, follow DCHS on Facebook and Twitter.

This article was edited on May 29, 2021, to update links.