July 20, 2020

New (Fiscal) Year Brings Hope, Challenges for Families

Our work depends on relationships with families, learning together, face to face. How does that work during a pandemic? We’ve gone from in person to completely virtual operations, including: ...

June 12, 2020

Parents Reveal Safety as Top Concern as Virginia Reopens

Families Forward Virginia along with Voices for Virginia’s Children and the Virginia PTA announced the results of their parent survey on child care. The survey, offered in English and Spanish, was conducted May 12-17 and had 880 responses from parents and caregivers of children ages 0 to 13 across Virginia. 

June 05, 2020

Raising our voices alongside those who have been silenced because Black Lives Matter

Families Forward Virginia has worked to build healthier, stronger, more self-sufficient families by disrupting the cycles of child abuse, neglect and poverty two generations at a time. That’s because for far too many generations, families have been held down and held back through inequity and institutional racism. That’s why we’re at the table influencing more policies, programs and legislation that help children and parents build strong, resilient families. 

May 18, 2020

New Child Abuse Prevention Resources During COVID-19

We've developed some new resources to help parents, educators and essential workers protect children during times of isolation. Also read an opinion piece written by Families Forward CEO Lisa Specter-Dunaway about how we can all protect children in times of crisis by supporting parents.

May 08, 2020

Crisis Resources for Parents and Educators

We've added resources to our Child Abuse Prevention Toolkit for educators and parents. The parent resources are also available in Spanish.

Teachers are a lifeline for many students. Your role is even more critical in times of crisis. The purpose of this tool is to provide guidance and support as you continue to be a role-model and champion for students.

April 28, 2020

Digital Advocacy Day for Children and Families

Virginia’s families need your help! In times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn, families need support and increased resources more than ever. We’re requesting that Congress provide flexibility and funding for child abuse prevention and home visiting to respond to families’ emergency needs during the coronavirus pandemic.


April 16, 2020

Changes We're Seeing in Virginia's State Budget

Because of your voices and efforts, we had significant wins in the 2020 General Assembly session. Since then, there have been some changes to the state budget because of projected revenue losses driven by the economic slowdown.  

April 01, 2020

It's Child Abuse Prevention Month - Let's Make Great Childhoods Happen!

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to act collectively to raise awareness and empower people across Virginia and the nation to play a role in making great childhoods happen. And our efforts to raise awareness and effect positive change this year are as vital as ever. Throughout this crucial CAP Month, we're reinforcing that "Everyone can make great childhoods happen - especially you, especially now!"

March 25, 2020

Families Forward Virginia 2019 Annual Report

Almost three years ago we knew that creating Families Forward Virginia would help us build healthier, stronger, more self-sufficient families by disrupting the cycles of child abuse, neglect and poverty two generations at a time. Now we’re having measurably greater impact in communities across Virginia. We’re at the table, influencing more policies, programs and legislation that help children and parents build strong, resilient families.

March 24, 2020

Ask Congress to Prioritize MIECHV During COVID-19

Please help us urge Congress to consider the critical needs of families and providers as they continue to develop legislation to address COVID 19.

March 13, 2020

It's clear that this pandemic is rapidly spreading and the responses to it are evolving just as quickly.

January 01, 2020

VPM highlights the lasting value of Hugs & Kisses

As the longest running musical play in Virginia Repertory Theatre's history, "Hugs & Kisses" has been seen by over 1.2. million elementary age students in Virginia over the last 36 years. Learn how the play teaches valuable life lessons that have changed the lives of the children that see it.

Debut of Families Forward in Richmond Times-Dispatch

The  debut of Families Forward  was profiled in this November 16, 2017 Richmond Times-Dispatch article. 

"Statewide, the three individual organizations — plus their local affiliated groups — served about 10,000 families. With the home visiting program, it served almost 5,700 families. Now that all three organizations have been merged into one, Specter-Dunaway said a big goal is expanding their reach. There are more than 100,000 families in Virginia in need, she said, which means that Families Forward really only touches about 10 percent of those. The group’s annual budget is about $5.2 million, and about $3 million of that goes to more than 60 affiliates across the state that provide services locally."

Community Foundation Blog Announces Merger

A profile of Families Forward was featured in The Community Foundation's ConnectVA November 29, 2017 blog.

"Lisa explained that the affiliates supported by Families Forward (CHIP, Circle of Parents, Healthy Families, Parents as Teachers and local chapters of Prevent Child Abuse Virginia) will continue to provide their model specific services and public education. 'All of our community-based programs will continue to support families the same way they have done in the past. In local communities, the brands have equity, and communities have selected specific programming for specific reasons,' said Lisa. 'Families Forward isn’t asking communities to do anything differently, but instead plans to provide additional infrastructure and support to help strengthen the affiliate organizations to provide the best care possible.' "

JLARC Highlights Impact of Home Visiting Richmond Times-Dispatch

Four of the home visiting programs in the Families Forward statewide network were highlighted in the December 2017 Richmond Times-Dispatch article about a new school readiness study conducted by JLARC on behalf of the General Assembly.


The article cites home visiting as part of the solution for improving Virginia’s early childhood programs. Excerpt from the Richmond Times-Dispatch article:

“The study also generally gives high marks to seven home-visiting programs that aid thousands of expecting mothers and families in addressing risky behavior and improving the odds for children to succeed in the classroom. 'Participants often have better outcomes than those who do not participate, both nationwide and in Virginia,' the report states.”  

Merger Announced in Henrico Citizen

The December 7, 2017 issue of the Henrico Citizen featured an article about the debut of Families Forward. 

Merger Announced in Richmond BizSense

This Richmond BizSense article featured the appointment of Lisa Specter-Dunaway as CEO of Families Forward.  

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