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.
Date: Thursday, March 18th
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm EST
Hosted by: First Home Care
Questions: Contact Lori Fagan, Director of Business Development at [email protected] or 757-393-7231
Chauncey Strong, MSW, is a child welfare advocate with more than 26 years of child welfare experience specializing in foster care and adoption. He is the Executive Director of Strong Training and Consulting, LLC, where he provides training and consulting throughout the country. Chauncey is a motivational speaker and a committed advocate for children and families and has dedicated his career to improving the outcomes of children and families involved in the child welfare system.
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:
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.
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 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!
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
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.