community attention foster families program receives united way award

Community Attention Foster Families program receives United Way award

United Way Caring for Community Award 22The Community Attention Foster Families program out of Charlottesville’s Department of Human Services has received the United Way Caring for Community Award: Above and Beyond Voice in Equity.

The third annual Caring for Community awards recognizes exceptional community service, support and work by individuals and organizations over the past year.

CAFF was nominated by a community member for the award and the community voted for the winner.

“This staff is dedicated to ensuring that all children in the system are being fostered by well-trained families who will love and care for them despite backgrounds,” the nomination read. “CAFF is helping redefine what a family is. It’s wonderful to see and it’s inspiring.”

CAFF has shifted to being intentional and transparent in its recruitment and training efforts to ensure they are providing children and their families of origin with culturally and racially competent care from foster families and case managers.

They provide a transracial fostering and adoption group that processes and works with families to determine how they can support children who do not share their same race and culture.

They also address how parents can advocate for children when they encounter racism and discrimination.

CAFF provides an annual mandatory Cultural Humility, Inclusivity and Competency training and a Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth in Foster Care training to foster families and partners.

Additionally, September is National Kinship Awareness Month and CAFF works closely with partners and kinship families to support kinship care for children experiencing foster care.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.