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Children’s Home Society of Virginia Expands

The number of youth entering the foster care system has never grown at such a steep rate as it is now. There are currently more than 1,700 youth in Virginia foster care waiting to be adopted.

Unfortunately, youth enter the foster care system due to neglect, parents’ substance abuse, and physical abuse.

We know that finding adoptive parents before a child ages out of foster care is significant to help them graduate from high school and to help their long-term mental health and stability.

When youth don’t get adopted before aging out of the foster care system, the results are staggering.

  • Only 49% of foster care youth will graduate from high school.
  • One in five foster care youth will be arrested by the age of 21.
  • 40% of foster care youth that are 21 years old will have experienced homelessness.
  • 71% of foster care girls will be pregnant by the age of 21.
  • 25% of foster care youth will be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  – that’s twice the rate of US veterans.

Foster youth need your support!

Due to the overwhelming capacity we are serving, The Children’s Home Society of Virginia has expanded so we are better equipped to help Virginia’s vulnerable youth and families.

Say hello to all the new faces 2021 has brought us!

Children's Home Society of Virginia staff photo from a Zoom call
The CHS staff and their pets were all smiles on this Zoom call!

CHS Expands In Time of Need

Yvonne Fox joined CHS in January of 2021. Yvonne previously held case management roles in refugee resettlement and human-trafficking aftercare. She moved to Richmond in 2016 to pursue her Master of Social Work and discovered her passion for supporting youth aging out of Virginia’s systems of care. Yvonne is thrilled to support the amazing work of the My Path Forward staff and to continue amplifying youth’s voices in Virginia’s child welfare system!

Her favorite snack is french onion dip and chips. Her favorite children’s book is I Spy Spooky Night. And she chose to work as a Social Worker because she believes investing in youth and their dreams will change our world for the better!

Lateefa Tanimowo joined CHS in April of 2021. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Bowie State, Lateefa entered the mental health world to explore her passion for helping others, being a positive role model, and striving to make an impact. Currently, Lateefa works as an overnight/evening support for My Path Forward, where she is focused on supporting youth by being there for them after hours.

She has a pet Yorkie. Her favorite color is pink. And she chose to work for CHS because she enjoys helping others in a positive way and being able to make a difference in someone’s life, even if it is small.

Meet Rondalyn Crichlow. Rondalyn joined CHS as a My Path Forward Case Manager in April of 2021. She is fulfilling her purpose in life to empower, support, and help others. She has 12 years of experience as an Executive Director of a Children’s Residential Treatment Center. In addition, she has several years of social work experience serving at-risk children and families.

The best part of her job is making others smile and laugh. Her favorite movie is Sister Act 2. And she chose to work as a Social Worker because her passion is helping others!

Ryan Land joined CHS in May of 2021. After graduation, he spent a year serving as an Americorps Member with City Year. He decided to then continue in National Service and accepted an invitation to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Samoa. After returning to the States, he attended the University of Georgia to pursue his Master of Social Work and graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management & Leadership. In May of 2020, he moved back to Richmond and began a career in homeless services before making the decision to transition to CHS to work as a Life Coach with My Path Forward.

His favorite cereal is Fruity Pebbles. His favorite spot in Richmond is Belle Isle. And the best part of his job is being able to witness young people achieve their dreams!

Hello, Shakia Mackey! Shakia joined CHS in May of 2021 as a Foster Care and Adoption Social Worker. She brings with her eight years of experience in the community mental health field, serving both adults and at-risk youth in the Richmond City, Chesterfield, and Petersburg areas. While working in the community mental health field, she held a host of positions such as Clinician and Community Base Program Manager. While serving in those roles, Shakia further gained the understanding and knowledge that it takes to assist with ensuring that families sustain permanency and gain support and access to the resources that they need to do so.

Someday she wants to backpack through Europe. Her favorite family activity is game night. And the best part about her job is being able to witness children being matched with families that love them and provide them with the security and healthy attachments that they deserve.

Amanda Ritchie joined CHS in May of 2021. Her field experience includes work with the unhoused population of Richmond, community engagement at the University of Pittsburgh and the surrounding neighborhoods, and with Virginians experiencing life with a brain injury. Prior to joining CHS, Amanda worked as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Brain Injury Association of Virginia. She is passionate about building lifelong connections among Virginia’s families, changing the lives of children, and making a difference that will truly matter.

Her favorite movie is Across the Universe. And someday she wants to meet former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Welcome, Tory Everson-Roots! Tory joined CHS in June of 2021 as the Chief Programs Officer of Child and Family Services. She has worked for more than 18 years to support youth and families in the community and began her service working in group homes and residential settings. For close to a decade, she was employed at a community services board and provided mental health work and leadership in day treatment, adult case management, and crisis services. Tory found her passion for foster care and adoption while working at a local child-placing agency. In this capacity, Tory realized the importance of advocacy and appropriate community services that were able to meet the needs of families.

The best part of her job is seeing youth and families beat the odds and reminding us all of what resiliency really looks like. Her pet is named Remington (Remi), a 3-year-old big and beautiful boxer boy. And she chose to work as a Programs Officer because she has always been passionate about being a part of a collaborative team to support youth and families in their journey toward permanency and healing.

“I believe that the best gift that we can give to our community and ourselves is a generation of healed, connected, and resilient families.

Welcome, Julie Mitchell! Julie grew up in a small town outside of Boston until she moved to Okinawa, Japan. She spent four years as a Family Readiness Officer, a key volunteer with L.I.N.K.S., and doing everything she could to immerse herself in the Japanese culture. Upon her return stateside, Julie received her Associate’s Degree in Psychology and started on her path as an Office Manager. Julie joined CHS in July of 2021 with a passion to be a part of something bigger than herself.

Her favorite sport is scuba diving and one day she wants to dive Iceland’s Silfra Fissure, the only place in the world you can dive between two tectonic plates. The best part of her job is the pride she has working for an organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of kids who need it the most.

“The Social Workers here at CHS do incredible work out in the field, and I enjoy being the support they need to help create permanent, loving families.”

Adrienne Galloway joined CHS in July of 2021. Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, Adrienne worked as a Program Director and Instructor of Business Management for a college in West Virginia but realized that wasn’t the path that felt right for her. In 2014, she started a part-time job with Habitat for Humanity and immediately realized that working in the nonprofit sector was the perfect fit. She started assisting with events and the part-time job quickly turned into a full-time Events and Development position. She moved to Columbus, Ohio, in 2017 and worked for a nonprofit that focused on providing meals to food-insecure children. She was the Special Events Manager, but also had a donor portfolio as well as worked on numerous marketing projects. Adrienne moved to Richmond in 2021 and loves being part of such a life-changing organization like CHS.

Her happy place is at any concert. She collects records and concert posters. And the best part of her job is getting to utilize her creativity and experience, which in turn helps to generate revenue that funds the incredible programs at CHS. She also loves getting to meet some of the youth and adoptive parents and hearing their stories.

Hi, Sarah Britt! Sarah joined CHS in September of 2021 as a Senior Foster Care and Adoption Social Worker.  She brings over fourteen years of experience working with at-risk children and families in New Jersey and Virginia. As a native of New Jersey, Sarah began her professional career working directly with at-risk teens in a residential specialty bed setting. Throughout the years, Sarah successfully managed and developed a variety of residential programs that provided services to adolescent males and females with complex trauma and behavior challenges. Sarah believes in meeting clients where they are while creating an empathic and safe environment for individuals and families to work toward change and achieve their goals.

Her dream vacation would be to stay in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives and explore their underwater restaurants. Her favorite place to visit in Virginia is Carter’s Mountain. Sarah chose to be a Social Worker because at-risk populations need the most help but have the hardest time getting it.

“They need someone willing to help make their voice heard, advocate for their needs, and navigate systems to help them obtain the necessary knowledge and resources they need to flourish.”

Makaila Peder joined CHS in December of 2021 as a My Path Forward Program Support. Makaila is a current student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate with a double major in International Studies and Philosophy with a minor in Biology. 

Makaila collects different kinds of plants, and her happy place is outside in nature. She plans on providing an impact at an international level later in her professional life!

Supporting Virginia Foster Care Adoption

We are so excited about all the new faces we have on our team! With everyone’s combined extensive experience, we can’t wait to see all the youth and families’ lives we help change this year and in the coming years.

three young brothers who are in Virginia foster careWe believe every child deserves a home. For 121 years, we have been dedicated to our mission of service to children and families in the commonwealth. We believe healthy families are the cornerstone of a healthy community, and we work diligently to transform our community by creating and supporting families in which children are able to thrive. We are passionately committed to finding a permanent family for every child. Because when we do, we positively impact children’s lives and our entire community benefits.

At CHS, we change the lives of children of all ages – from infants to teens. In fact, in our history, we have served nearly 16,000 Virginia children, youth, and families.

We hope you follow us this year to see everything we are doing in the lives of Virginia’s most vulnerable youth and help us spread the word about foster care adoption. Education is important so people who are thinking about adopting feel comfortable. Help us by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Share our blog posts. Donate if you are able. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by phone, email, or direct message!

If you are interested in adopting, we have all the resources you need here. You can also call us at 804-353-0191.

Together, we can radically change the lives of Virginia’s foster care youth in 2022!