Throughout the lifetime of adoption, loss, grief, identity, attachment, and trauma impact youth and their families.
Youth are placed into foster care at no fault of their own. When a child experiences neglect, abuse, abandonment, or other issues that endanger their health or safety, they will be removed from their homes and placed into the foster care system.
Foster care is meant to be a temporary solution that ends once a biological parent can ensure a safe environment for the child or when a relative, guardian or adoptive family agrees to raise the child.
Adoption can have many challenges though. It is important for adoptive families to take part in post-adoption programs and services so they are able to best care for the adoptive child.
Below we outline our post adoption program and the post adoption support we offer to adoptive families.
POST ADOPTION SUPPORT THROUGH FINALIZATION & BEYOND
We are committed to providing high-quality, personalized post adoption support services for children and families starting at the adoptive placement through finalization and beyond.
Our well-rounded program is designed to meet the individual needs of each child and family, from advocacy to respite, with the goal of building strong, permanent families. Strong families are the cornerstone of strong communities.
Our post adoption support program is in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Social Services and other service providers in the state. Together, we are able to more efficiently and comprehensively serve all of Central and Northern Virginia’s adoptive families.
Post adoption services in the Commonwealth of Virginia have been split up into five regions, and we operate in the Northern and Central regions.
Regional Post Adoption Consortium Services (RPACS) – Central Region
Northern Post Adoption Consortium (NPAC)
No matter how long ago you adopted, we are here to help with free post adoption support. Post adoption services are available to all adoptive families in Virginia, not just families who adopted through CHSVA.
CHSVA POST ADOPTION PROGRAM OVERVIEW
All of our regions offer the same services to support adoptive families.
Basic services are general services available to you after an adoption is finalized. You may use basic services to get more information or answers to common questions.
Basic services are foundational services that all families are likely to need at some point in their adoption. They include:
- Information and/or referral
- Education, training, support, and advocacy for adoptive parents and youth, staff, and the larger community
Enhanced services are services that not all families will need but are known to be important for adoption stability. They include:
- Peer support
- Assistance with birth family contact
- Clinical services
- Planned respite
You may use enhanced services for non-urgent problems. Enhanced services are designed to be available for you when think you might have a specific need, or you want to explore more hands-on service options for your family.
Intensive services are services needed by relatively few families, but they are critically important to preserving adoptive families. Intensive services include:
- Crisis support
- Emergency respite
You may use intensive services for emergency situations. Intensive services are available to you when you or your child are in immediate need of support.
Keep reading to see who will be assisting you with our post adoption support and services.
CHSVA POST ADOPTION PROGRAM TEAM – CURRENT ROLES AND EXPERIENCE
Amber is the post adoption program manager at CHSVA. Her responsibilities include overseeing all services offered in our Post Adoption Program, managing grant requirements, representing CHSVA as part of the Regional Post Adoption Services Consortium, and providing parent coaching for former CHSVA adoptive families.
Amber has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in school counseling. Prior to joining our team, she supervised a Treatment Foster Care program and worked as a resource family trainer and behavior support counselor for another nonprofit child and family service provider. She is a certified practitioner in Think:Kids: Collaborative Problem Solving.
The part Amber loves most about her job is being able to support a great team of passionate, dedicated staff that value and enjoy being a support to post adoptive families.
“I work at an agency with supportive colleagues, a healthy work-life balance, and an important mission that aligns with my own personal values.”
Jim is the central region post adoption social worker. He also supports the foster care adoption team by holding cases. Jim provides supportive services to post adoptive families, as well as helps plan respite and peer support events throughout the year.
Jim has been working in the social work field for 35 years, predominantly in foster care and adoptions. He started his career working for the Massachusetts Department of Social Services in 1988 and joined Henrico DSS in 2007. For 28 years, he supervised many extremely talented and dedicated social workers who made a tremendous positive impact on children and families. He and his team were able to put many families back together safely and provide permanency for many children through adoption. He retired from his supervisory position in 2023 and joined CHSVA where he draws upon his vast experience to continue to assist families.
Jim loves helping folks navigate the lifelong journey of adoption.
“CHSVA offers me an opportunity to do the work that I enjoy in a very supportive environment.”
Shamenese is the northern region post adoption social worker. Shamenese provides supportive services to post adoptive families, as well as helps plan respite and peer support events throughout the year.
Shamenese is a native of Newport News, Virginia. Shamenese holds a master’s degree in psychology from Walden University and a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling from Liberty University. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Shamenese is committed to working with children and families, understanding the power of collectiveness and clinical interventions to promote healthier lifestyles, and identifying positive skills to enhance better decision-making outcomes. Shamenese has used her background in psychology to work in multiple disciplines of case management, conducting assessments and treatments, and providing therapeutic supports and counseling to individuals and adolescents across the spectrum. Her realm has allowed her to offer social and community supports as a social worker resourcefully helping individuals live at their maximum potential. She embraces every given opportunity as a privilege to work with children and families to encourage, support, and impact the lives of others remarkably.
Shamenese values the company culture and leadership at CHSVA and loves the professional and cultivated workspace.
“Each employee is treated with respect, and the value is reflected in how leadership recognizes employees for their efforts.”
Kristy provides supportive services to adult adoptees who seek to explore their biological heritage. She serves as the agency’s search and reunion contact and resource for the Virginia Department of Social Services’ Department of Family Services.
Kristy has been working for us for more than a decade! She earned her master’s degree in social work with a concentration in child welfare from Virginia Commonwealth University. As a search and reunion social worker, she conducts searches to locate birth families of adult adoptees, assists with establishing contact between adoptees and birth families when possible, and provides counseling to all parties throughout the search process. Prior to her current role, she worked as a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter for CHSVA and a therapeutic treatment counselor/case manager for children with emotional and mental health needs.
Kristy loves working with adoptees and helping them in their quest for answers about their heritage.
“It is an absolutely fulfilling job and one that is different and inspiring every day.”
CHSVA POST ADOPTION PROGRAM TEAM – FUN TRIVIA
We asked our team some fun questions to get to know them better. Here is what they had to say!
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- Garden, plant flowers, make terrariums, craft, DIY projects
- Someday you want to…?
- Open a terrarium-making workshop
- Where is your happy place?
- The beach
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- Spend time with my new granddaughter
- What is your favorite restaurant in Richmond?
- What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
- What is your favorite pizza topping?
- What is your favorite color?
- Pink, purple, and blue
- What is your dream vacation?
- Bora Bora
- What is your favorite children’s book?
- I enjoyed rereading the Berenstain Bears series with my kids, and I’ll always remember loving the Nancy Drew books when I was younger – I still love a good mystery!
- What is your favorite snack?
- A salty snack is my favorite.
- Where is your happy place?
- Our family loves the beach. Our most recent favorites have been Cape Charles and Isle of Palms.
Upcoming CHSVA Post Adoption Program Events
Our priority is always our adoptive families. We have several fun post adoption program events planned for our adoptive families.
We will be going to a Fredericksburg Nationals baseball game later this month, which will offer adoptive families a fun-filled afternoon enjoying America’s favorite pastime!
Our team is also planning a trip to Cox Farms Fall Festival in September. This family-friendly day includes access to a variety of outdoor adventures including giant slides, world-famous hayrides, farm animals, themed play areas, live entertainment, local apples and fresh cider, Foamhenge, and a patch pumpkin to take home!
Lastly, adoptive families can join us and other adoptive families in September for a fun night at City Stadium to watch the Richmond Kickers! This event is free for adoptive families living in the central region, and who have an open post adoption case. This opportunity is provided to families for free in our service region thanks to our partnership with the Virginia Department of Social Services. You can reserve your spot here.
THE CHILDREN’S HOME SOCIETY OF VIRGINIA | SUPPORT CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
When we allow children to thrive, our entire community benefits.
We are proud to say that in 2022, we served 209 children, youth, and adoptive parents through our facilitation of adoptive family peer support activities. We also served 172 clients with individualized family services, including case management, parent coaching, and clinical supports. Lastly, we served 156 children, youth, and families through provisions of respite care and adoptive family trainings.
If you would like to learn more about our post adoption program, please click here or give us a call:
As always, none of what we do would be possible without you. If you feel inclined to donate financially to our cause, we would greatly appreciate it. With your help, we can continue serving Virginia’s most vulnerable youth!