Our mission is to find foster, adoptive, and kinship families for every child in central Virginia’s foster system through collaboration with agencies, families, and youth.
We work to recruit and retain foster, adoptive, and kinship families so children in foster care can find permanent, loving families. We do this by sharing the stories, collaborating with other agencies, and educating prospective foster-to-adopt parents. Thank you for taking the first step towards finding a permanent, loving family for every child in central Virginia!
More than 700 children in central Virginia are in foster care, many waiting to be adopted. Each and every child deserves a permanent, loving home!
Page B. shares why she chose to foster-to-adopt:
“My husband and I got married late; it was a second marriage for both of us. We both really wanted another kid and started exploring adoption. Since we were older, we didn’t feel like it was the right thing for us to adopt an infant, so we adopted our daughter from foster care.
“Our daughter is an amazing kid. I didn’t give birth to her, but when she’s sad, I’m sad, and when she’s joyous, I’m joyous. Sometimes it’s challenging, but so is parenting any child. It’s tough, but it’s rewarding. There’s no difference in my relationship with her than if she were my biological child.”
JFS Connecting Hearts’ mission is to find foster, adoptive, and kinship families for every child in central Virginia’s foster system through collaboration with agencies, families, and youth.
Connecting Hearts' Founder
In August 2014, Debbie Johnston was appointed Virginia’s Adoption Champion by Governor Terry McAuliffe. An adoptee herself, Debbie is passionate about helping children find permanent, loving homes, and founded Connecting Hearts to fulfill that mission. She credits her success to her loving Virginia family who adopted her, believed in her, and gave her that basic human right: a family.
I’m passionate about this because I was adopted.
I want all kids to get their own loving family for life.
Contact: Denise Wise-David
If you are interested in becoming a foster-to-adopt parent, would like to get involved in our organization, or want to share your foster care or adoption story, please do not hesitate to contact us!
JFS CONNECTING HEARTS FAMILY ALLIANCE
Begin Your Foster-to-Adopt Journey
The mission of the JFS Connecting Hearts Family Alliance is to support families throughout their foster, adoption, or kinship journey with peer support, education, and mentorship. The JFS Connecting Hearts Family Alliance is open to all foster, adoptive, and kinship families in Virginia. Members receive access to:
- Educational and social activities
- Opportunities to support adoption in Virginia
- Webinars and podcasts
Once you join the JFS Connecting Hearts Family Alliance, you will receive a welcome email with information on how you can engage with us! You will find opportunities for educational supports, peer support, mentoring activities, and events for you and your family to engage in alongside other foster, adoptive, and kinship families in Virginia.
Connecting Families and Children
Family Building Events
Family Building Events provide an opportunity for prospective adoptive parents to learn about adoption and children waiting for their forever homes. Our matching process focuses on educating families about the adoption process and the specific needs of children hoping to be adopted, as well as protecting the dignity of children through the process.
When families express their interest in pursuing adoption, we bring together families, including the child's current fostering families, social workers, and JFS Connecting Hearts staff to share information about the adoption process, the needs of children, and to address the families' questions. We create fun, social environments for families and children to come together and learn more about one another in a relaxed atmosphere!
ADOPTION AWARENESS MONTH
A Hand to Hold
This fall marked five years of JFS Connecting Hearts' partnership with WTVR CBS 6 on the multi-media Adoption Awareness Month campaign, "A Hand to Hold"! Three times every day in November, CBS 6 featured children in foster care awaiting loving families. The children featured are often the most difficult to match with a great home: teenagers, groups of siblings, and kids with complex medical needs.
Thank you to everyone who tuned in to CBS 6 or shared our posts on Facebook! With your help, we can expand our reach and connect every child in Central Virginia's foster care system to a permanent, loving family!
The goal of the campaign is to find these 30 children forever homes, but also to raise awareness about all the other children in need of permanent, loving homes.
"A Hand to Hold" 2023 by the numbers:
- 94 families contacted us to learn more about specific children or the foster-to-adopt process.
- 10 families have already begun working with a LDSS or LCPA toward adopting a child.
- 3,000+ website views
- 706,500+ Facebook views
- 883,000+ watched the features on CBS 6
The Campaign for Virginia's Kids in Foster Care
You're invited to CONNECT, a special event to benefit children in Central Virginia's foster care system!
Watch this space - information is coming soon!
Contact: Denise Wise-David
If you are interested in becoming a foster or foster-to-adopt parent, would like to get involved in our organization, or want to share your foster care or adoption story, please do not hesitate to contact us!