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West of the Boulevard

Local nonprofit in “urgent need” of foster parents in Richmond area

UMFS is seeking loving families willing to take in one or more kids in order to give them stability, security, and set them up for success later in life.

Trevor Dickerson



There’s a desperate need for families in the Richmond area to take in teenagers currently in Virginia’s foster care system. This according to UMFS, a nonprofit which serves the needs of kids in need of foster care and other high risk populations.

In recent years across Virginia, the number of children entering the foster care system has grown, the organization says. A majority of children are removed from their homes due to physical abuse or neglect, according to data from the Virginia Department of Social Services. In 2016, 386 teenagers in central Virginia needed foster families. Today, there are 414 teenagers in central Virginia that need a place to call home and the support and security of family.

“We know that there are simply not enough homes available to support all the teenagers in central Virginia who are entering the foster care system,” said Adalay Wilson, vice president of community-based services at UMFS. “We are calling on the community to help in this time of need. Parents who will support the teenagers in our community by standing up and taking action, are the ones we are looking for.”

When there are not enough foster homes available to care for children entering the system, they are typically placed in emergency shelters or group homes. Studies have shown that when a teenager is transitioned from these settings and placed in a family setting, the result is often long-term stability, success in school, and mastery of basic life skills.

“All of the children need families that can give them stability,” Wilson added. “A lot of the children are coming from environments where they didn’t have a lot of consistency or security or boundaries. They need a lot of those.”

“Our highest need is homes for teens and sibling groups,” she said. “The best gift we can give children who enter the foster care system is to preserve their connections with their brothers and sisters. We are passionate about recruiting homes that can accept sibling groups.”

Those interested in supporting children who need a home can contact Adalay Wilson at 804.353.4461 ext. 1105, or by email.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.