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News and Events

Music Therapy for the Traumatized Child

Date: Wednesday, October 20th
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am EST
Hosted by: First Home Care
Registration Link: https://uhsinc.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckd-CvrDwvGNyKIN_rsJUsB-XiaJz7BBv2
Questions: Contact Lori Fagan, Director of Business Development at [email protected] or 757-393-7231

This interactive training will highlight how music can help children who have experienced trauma. We will explore the use of Music to Connect with Foster Children, Music Therapy Groups and Socialization and Individual Music Therapy at any developmental stage as a treatment experience.

Meet the trainer:


Ashley Carroll, MA, MT-BC, has been a Board-Certified Music Therapist since 2011. She received her bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy from Eastern Michigan University. She completed clinical hours in various settings, including a children’s hospital, university music therapy clinic, elementary and middle school classrooms for individuals with development-related diagnoses, a community mental health center, and a group home for adults. Her internship experience was in both the general hospital setting and a continuing care facility. During her time at the hospital, she gained experience working in various departments, including the NICU, ICU, cardiac unit, inpatient rehabilitation, and inpatient psychiatric care. While at the continuing care facility, she found a passion for working with older adults, especially those living with dementia.

After finishing her internship, she began working in hospice as a home care music therapist. She found her work rewarding and was privileged to be a part of her clients’ end-of-life journeys. She used music to help patients and families process their experiences through music, life review, and legacy projects.

Most recently, Ashley has completed her master’s degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Her thesis project was a program that helps military families build resilience and deepen familial and community bonds. She looks forward to bringing this program to Hampton Roads.

Ashley is a military spouse and mother to two beautiful children who keep her on her toes!

911 & You: A Guided Conversation on the Complex Dynamics of Police-Youth Relations

Today, there is nothing more fearful for a parent than the thought of their child/youth becoming a trending hashtag name on social media; due to an interaction with law enforcement. The fear and anxiety among parents are real. The same can be said for our YOUTH. This thought-provoking conversation explores the complex nuances and social intricacies of police-youth relations. We take an in-depth look at how information shared with dispatch personnel can influence the impending potential police-youth interaction, we will analyze implicit and explicit bias, and discuss strategies of having “the talk” with youth. The goal of this conversation is to arm participants with the knowledge and practical strategies that lead to better understanding among all parties involved.

Thank you to Adrian McLemore for facilitating this important conversation! We are grateful for your insight and commitment to children in care.

Attendee feedback:

Adrian was insightful and provided great information. I highly enjoyed the training.

Great topic and enjoyed the presenter.

The trainer was amazing I love his energy and knowledge.

Engaging and educational.

This training was insightful, informative, fun and interesting. Adrian was an excellent presenter with the right amount of interaction that it was not boring…

Very engaging and presented great content. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Excellent job and great perspectives.

It was interactive and relatable.

The Presenter did a phenomenal job relaying the information.


Adrian McLemore
National Consultant

"Social Workers are Essential"... In Helping Children and Youth Achieve Permanency!!

The theme for Social Work Month 2021 is Social Workers Are Essential. In child welfare, Social Workers perform a vital service in society by finding permanent homes for children in foster care. You are essential, and your work matters because you impact children and families’ lives in a profound and lasting manner. This interactive training will highlight the importance of youth permanency and why the social workers’ role is essential to helping them reach this goal. We will also explore the importance of self-care and appreciate social workers for all you do for children and families.

Thank you to Chauncey Strong for your inspiring training! We are grateful for your insight and commitment to children in care.

Attendee feedback:

“I think Mr. Strong is one of the best presenters I have encountered.”

“Chauncey is a great speaker and made the online space seem more personable.”

“It was so uplifting. Just as I am considering retiring as I will have 30 years in the system in 11 months, It almost makes me want to stay and keep on making a difference in people’s life especially children.”

“Very informative and entertaining.”

Chauncey Strong, MSW
Executive Director
(804) 338-3071

First Home Care Therapeutic Foster Care and Adoption Services: Celebrating 30 Years of Serving our Community

Portsmouth, VA – January 22, 2021 – First Home Care celebrates 30 years of providing quality foster care services to at risk children and their families. First Home Care has offered services that are supportive, conducted trainings that are culturally sensitive and nurtured community relationships that have been long lasting.

CEO Michael Triggs remarked, “First Home Care is honored to have served the youth of Virginia for the past 30 years. We are grateful to our Foster Parents, who are the lifeblood of the organization. They are able to fill a special role in the lives of each of the children we serve. The high quality services provided by our exceptional staff have made First Home Care a leader in our industry. We look forward to our continued work toward strengthening and preserving the family unity through our solution-focused, evidenced-based, trauma- informed, practice-based services.”

“First Home Care is excited to be a part of the innovation and growth that has been established over the years in the foster care and behavioral health realm,” remarked Rasheena Harris, Executive Director, First Home Care. “First Home Care has spent 30 years helping families rebuild, providing families with resources for reunification, and supporting children and their caretakers while they heal along the way. As we move toward expanding throughout Virginia with quality practices, evidence-based modalities, and trauma-informed care, we look forward to continued opportunities to improve the quality of life for those entrusted to our care. I am glad to be part of the team as we commemorate our 30th Anniversary.”

Celebrating 30 Years of Serving our Community

First Home Care was established in 1991 to provide community-based placements for children with a history of congregate behavioral health treatment issues. Initially, located in Virginia Beach, VA off Providence Rd., First Home Care aimed to provide a system of care approach through a continuum of services that enable children and families to receive the care they needed in their homes and communities.

Throughout the 30 years of service, First Home Care developed an integrated continuum of care to include Therapeutic Foster Care and Adoption Services, School-Based Services, Therapeutic Group Homes, Alternative Day School, Outpatient Counseling and Community Behavioral Health Services. In 2020, after careful consideration of the projected needs of Virginia’s most vulnerable populations, our children, First Home Care made the decision to refocus efforts to address children in out-of-home placement by providing quality therapeutic foster care services. It is our intention to do the best work possible to meet the therapeutic needs of our children.

First Home Care has had the opportunity to celebrate a number of grand openings as new locations and service lines have been added in Virginia over the past 30 years. Each new location provided an opportunity to celebrate as First Home Care grew to provide more homes to the foster youth of Virginia. First Home Care opened additional locations across Virginia to meet the need. In 1999, the Richmond office opened; the Eastern Shore office was utilized from 2000-2014; the office in Northern Virginia opened in 2005; and lastly a Roanoke office opened in 2006. Providing therapeutic foster care services to the youth across the state of Virginia is our mission. First Home Care intends to continue to grow its footprint across the state of Virginia to serve the youth who are in need of a foster or an adoptive family.

Recent First Home Care Highlights:

  • Awarded third tri-annual CARF accreditation in 2020.
  • Launched First Home Care Professional Learning Academy, a trauma-informed, evidence-based training academy, which builds on curriculum offered to all staff.
  • Our Tidewater office collaborated with Champions for Children Hampton Roads to become a No Hit Zone in 2018.

First Home Care’s leadership and staff have not been alone in the journey of serving the foster youth of Virginia. It takes many dedicated families and individuals that become foster families to provide a safe, nurturing and supportive home for these children.

Fostering Hope…. By becoming a foster parent through First Home Care, you step into an incredible opportunity to make a lasting impression in the life of a child and his or her family. Children and youth in foster care need a chance to feel happy, secure, and cared for in order to thrive, and the need for compassionate foster parents grows by the day. Let First Home Care help guide you through the facts and process of opening up your home to help a child or teen. Open your Heart…Open your Home Contact us through our website at www.FirstHomeCare.com and follow us on FaceBook.

First Home Care Videos

Chauncey Strong Interview by Lori Fagan

Interview by Lori Fagan, First Home Care Director of Business Development with Chauncey Strong, the author and creator of The 12 Days of Foster Care. Mr. Strong shares his insights into the creation of this piece and why it is important for him to share it. To check out Chauncey, along with his friends and family sing his song, go to https://strongfamilytraining.com/strong-creations.

First Home Care Staff and Leadership Recite the 12 Days of Foster Care by Chauncey Strong

First Home Care staff and leadership from across the state joined together to recite the 12 Days of Foster Care by Chauncey Strong. Chauncey is the Executive Director of Strong Training and Consulting, LLC and he graciously granted us the privilege to share our version of his creation. Happy Holidays from First Home Care and we hope that you enjoy!

November is National Adoption Month!

In 2020 we had 28 children adopted by our foster families, with more still to be finalized.  We are always so proud and appreciative of the families that choose to adopt.  Our adoption celebrations will look a little different this year with many being held virtually.  Tidewater will be holding a virtual sand ceremony with cake and a gift being delivered to the house.  Richmond will deliver to each family an “Adoption Made Us a Family” personalized heart ornament, a certificate, balloons saying “It’s a Boy or I’’s a Girl” and a gift card.  Roanoke is hosting their families at The Hotel Roanoke for a socially distanced dinner. Alexandria is honoring their families by mailing a Thank You! box.  Each will have a Jockey personalized book bag for the youth, a small token of appreciation for the families that will include; a small candle, adoption keychain, candy and a flower pot.  A big thank you to our foster and adoptive parents who open up their hearts and home to the foster youth of Virginia.

To get just a glimpse into why our adoptive families opened up their homes to foster youth and then permanently into their hearts and homes, we asked a couple of our adoptive parents to share their stories.  With the stories we received, we see a trend on how it is actually the child that changes the family’s lives for the better, not just the adoptive family changing the child’s. 

“We have been lucky to adopt most of the children we have had with us through foster care.  Sometimes I hear the statement “You all have changed their lives!” No! THEY HAVE CHANGED OURS!” -FHC Foster and Adoptive Parent

“People often tell us that the Littles are so lucky to have us in their life – but it is just the opposite. We are lucky to have them in our life. They saved me from – hell, I do not know what… But they saved me and have given me a purpose in my life.” -FHC Foster and Adoptive Parent 

Our Executive Director shares her thoughts on the meaning on adoption for National Adoption Month

When I think of adoption the first word that comes to mind is “Family” and the next word is “finally”…

I have been in this helping field for several years. I have seen families detached, broken, and quite frankly stuck. I have also seen families empowered, repositioned, and reconditioned. In the midst of the various phases there is a moment that always brings about a feeling of delight and utter excitement. A sigh of relief that the process truly works. That moment is a finalized adoption. 

I envision day #1 of a child or sibling group coming into care with all the unknowns. Will this one last? Will the right combination of support be offered? Will this be a fit? Is there a such thing as a “forever home.” And then the journey begins with its high moments and fair share of lumps and bumps. The laughter, the tears, the questioning of it all being worth it. 

Working with First Home Care has offered opportunities to be a part of that moment of delight and excitement again and again and again every time a family makes the decision to remain connected and together forever. 

Happy Adoption Month to all the families and individuals involved in the process! This is what it is all about. The ‘Heart’ work that you were chosen and purposed to do. We salute you and thank you for making a child’s dream come true, for changing a life, and opening up a world of memories and experiences that only a Forever Family can bring.  

-Rasheena Harris, Executive Director

No Hit Zone - Tidewater location

First Home Care Tidewater location became a No Hit Zone in December 2017. No Hit Zone is Champions for Children: Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads’ major initiative to ensure healthier, more productive communities by raising healthier children. No Hit Zones are safe, public places for children and adults that discourage the use of physical punishment on children. While fundamentally the No Hit Zone aims to prevent hitting in the short-term, it also serves to improve long-term child and adult health. Core elements of the No Hit Zone initiative include education and staff training to ensure a safe and friendly environment. Posters and informational materials are located around the Tidewater office, clearly outlining the key rules of a No Hit Zone. First Home Care Tidewater receives comprehensive staff training’s on nonviolent conflict resolution and supportive communication, as well as a distraction kit filled with child friendly toys to help diffuse potentially troublesome situations. By providing supportive and helpful intervention in times of stressful and potentially physical interactions, No Hit Zone sites help promote strategies to end physical punishment.