RESOURCE WEBPAGES, by TOPIC

These webpages identify external resources on specific topics of interest to foster, kinship and adoptive families.

Promoting Equity in Education Through Family Engagement video

This 9.5 minute video is designed for school personnel and families. It offers an overview of education equity and suggests strategies for facilitating greater educational equity through meaningful family engagement practices. The video features the voices and lived experiences of students, parents and caregivers, and school leaders. Strategies are organized by key components of family engagement in  multitiered systems of supports.

The video has captions available in English and Spanish.

A fact sheet accompanies the video.

The video is produced by Formed Families Forward in our role as family partner to the Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS) project.

  • Video, Promoting Equity in Education Through Family Engagement video

    VIDEO with English and Spanish captions

  • PDF, Promoting Equity in Education Through Family Engagement video

    Promoting Equity through Family Engagement Video FACT SHEET

  • Website, Promoting Equity in Education Through Family Engagement video

    Feedback survey. Tell us what you think!


Checklist for Kinship Caregivers Working with the Schools

Developed by Va Department of Education’s Family Engagement Network (FEN) and Formed Families Forward, this checklist is for any kinship caregiver who is enrolling a child or youth in schools and working with schools to get appropriate services and supports.

  • Worksheet, Checklist for Kinship Caregivers Working with the Schools


Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School videos– produced by Formed Families Forward as part of our work with the Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports project. Under 10 minutes in length, each video provides an introduction to critical trauma content.

The videos include:
1) Understanding Trauma
2) Responding to Trauma
3) Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools

Three fact sheets are designed to support the Trauma Sensitive Responses at Home and School video series.

Individual Fact Sheets are available as separate documents, and all three fact sheets in one document. Accessible text versions of all fact sheets are also available in English and Spanish.

 

  • Video, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    Video Series

  • Factsheet, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    Fact Sheets for Videos 1 through 3

  • Factsheet, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    Video 1 Fact Sheet Understanding Trauma

  • Factsheet, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    Video 2 Fact Sheet Responding to Trauma

  • Factsheet, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    Video 3 Fact Sheet Trauma Sensitive Schools

  • PDF, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    Video 1 Fact Sheet Understanding Trauma accessible version

  • PDF, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    Video 2 Fact Sheet Responding to Trauma accessible version

  • PDF, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    Video 3 Fact Sheet Trauma Sensitive Schools accessible version

  • Document, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    SPANISH Video 1 Fact Sheet accessible version

  • Document, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    SPANISH Video 2 Fact Sheet accessible version

  • Document, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    SPANISH Video 3 Fact Sheet accessible version

  • PDF, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    ARABIC Video 1 Fact Sheet

  • PDF, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    ARABIC Video 2 Fact Sheet

  • PDF, Trauma Training Videos & Fact Sheets: Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

    ARABIC Video 3 Fact Sheet


Family Engagement with Schools: Strategies to Build Partnerships Video

Designed for family members, this 10 minute video explains the Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS) and offers concrete tips and strategies to engage with school partners more effectively. The video features family members and school staff from around Virginia, sharing their own lived experiences and suggestions for building stronger connections between families and educators to improve outcomes for all students.  A fact sheet accompanies the video. Spanish and Arabic captions are available via YouTube settings.

We welcome your feedback on the video at https://tinyurl.com/yah2542o .

  • Video, Family Engagement with Schools: Strategies to Build Partnerships Video

    Family Engagement video link

  • Document, Family Engagement with Schools: Strategies to Build Partnerships Video

    Accessible video transcript

  • PDF, Family Engagement with Schools: Strategies to Build Partnerships Video

    Fact Sheet to Accompany Family Engagement with Schools video

  • PDF, Family Engagement with Schools: Strategies to Build Partnerships Video

    ARABIC Video fact sheet

  • Document, Family Engagement with Schools: Strategies to Build Partnerships Video

    SPANISH Video Fact Sheet, accessible Word format

  • Website, Family Engagement with Schools: Strategies to Build Partnerships Video

    Feedback Survey; Tell us what you think!


Strengthening Family Engagement in VTSS videos

This series of videos features six key elements to engage families in Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS). Designed for use by educators and families, the three videos highlight specific strategies for school teams to consider as they build momentum around family-school partnerships and strengthen skills to meaningfully engage families in multi-tiered systems.

Spanish and Arabic captions are available via YouTube settings. A fact sheet accompanies the videos.

Produced by Formed Families Forward, family partner to the VTSS project, in conjunction with Atom Stream Communications, LLC.

  • Video, Strengthening Family Engagement in VTSS videos

    Link to Videos

  • PDF, Strengthening Family Engagement in VTSS videos

    Fact Sheet to accompany videos

  • Document, Strengthening Family Engagement in VTSS videos

    Accessible Fact Sheet to accompany videos

  • PDF, Strengthening Family Engagement in VTSS videos

    Video 1 transcript

  • PDF, Strengthening Family Engagement in VTSS videos

    Video 2 transcript

  • PDF, Strengthening Family Engagement in VTSS videos

    Video 3 transcript

  • Document, Strengthening Family Engagement in VTSS videos

    SPANISH Fact Sheet, in accessible Word format

  • PDF, Strengthening Family Engagement in VTSS videos

    ARABIC Fact Sheet


Virginia Special Education Regulations

From the Virginia Department of Education, this launch page offers a copy of state regulations for implementation of IDEA, and other state and federal special education policies.

  • Website, Virginia Special Education Regulations


The ABCs of back to school with FASD

Informative PDF on the ABCs of  Back to School with FASD from the North American Council on Adoptable Children.

  • Factsheet, The ABCs of back to school with FASD


Trauma Training Videos from FFF – Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School

Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School videosproduced by Formed Families Forward as part of our work with the Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports project. Under 10 minutes in length, each video provides an introduction to critical trauma content. 

The videos include:
1) Understanding Trauma
2) Responding to Trauma
3) Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools

  • Website, Trauma Training Videos from FFF – Trauma Sensitive Approaches for Home and School


Effective Strategies Checklist: Children and Youth with Developmental Disorders and Challenging Behaviors

Children and youth who have intellectual disabilities or developmental disorders are at elevated risk for co-occurring psychiatric or behavioral problems. These young people pose a serious challenge for administrators, program directors and clinicians, especially when they present with aggressive or disruptive behaviors. When appropriate community services have not been organized, these youth can be among the most difficult and costly to serve. Across the country, their families report relentless stress, partly because it is very difficult to obtain the help they need. This paper provides resources and strategies that have improved outcomes and lowered costs, while diminishing risk for institutional placements, referrals to juvenile justice and child welfare.

  • Worksheet, Effective Strategies Checklist: Children and Youth with Developmental Disorders and Challenging Behaviors


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Educational Strategies handbook from Sanford School of Medicine

The educational strategies presented in this handbook are intended to be helpful to all teachers who work with students who may have a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). If this is your first time teaching a student with an FASD, this guide should be extremely helpful. While many of the strategies are general and are appropriate to use with all students who may share some of the learning needs of students with an FASD, they should be especially helpful to use with students who have been diagnosed with an FASD, from Sanford School of Medicine, Univ of South Dakota.

  • Document, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Educational Strategies handbook from Sanford School of Medicine


NAMI of Northern Virginia

NAMI of Northern Virginia offers a number of support groups for families and individuals struggling with mental illness.  Find the list of support groups as well as other resources form NAMI of Northern Virginia.

  • Website, NAMI of Northern Virginia


Federal letter to Special Education Directors on High Quality Education for Highly Mobile Children
November 10, 2022

This federal letter from the US Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services issued 11/10/22 to State Special Education Directors clarifies requirements for highly mobile children and youth such as military-connected children, migratory children, children who are homeless, and children in the foster care system.

Specific issues addressed are:

  1. Highly mobile children should have timely and expedited evaluations and eligibility determinations.
  2. Comparable services include services during the summer, such as Extended School Year (ESY) services.
  • PDF, Federal letter to Special Education Directors on High Quality Education for Highly Mobile Children


Educate, Collaborate, and Engage with Family Members throughout the Transition Process fact sheet
November 01, 2022

From VCU’s Center on Transitions Innovation, this brief factsheet covers strategies for educating, collaborating and engaging families of transition-age youth and young adults with disabilities.

  • Factsheet, Educate, Collaborate, and Engage with Family Members throughout the Transition Process fact sheet

    Transition Process fact sheet


Transition Planning for Youth in Foster Care fact sheet
November 08, 2022

From FFF and the WAZE to Transition project at PEATC, this fact sheet is designed for youth in foster care. It overviews individualized education programs (IEPs) and foster care transition plans.

  • Factsheet, Transition Planning for Youth in Foster Care fact sheet

    Fact Sheet


Stop Banging Your Head Against the Wall: Options for Dispute Resolution in Special Education webinar

Presented live on October 12, 2022, this webinar presented by FFF’s Renee Myers, NCSP, offered an overview of informal and formal special education dispute resolution techniques.

  • Webinar, Stop Banging Your Head Against the Wall: Options for Dispute Resolution in Special Education webinar

    Recording of webinar

  • PDF, Stop Banging Your Head Against the Wall: Options for Dispute Resolution in Special Education webinar

    Slides from Webinar presentation


Back to What?! Coping Strategies to Successfully Manage the Transition Back to School webinar
September 21, 2022

Originally offered live on September 21, 2022, this webinar from FFF was presented by Nina Manganaris, Deputy Director, and Ebony Thompson, experienced bio and foster mom. The reasons behind stressful transitions as well as coping strategies were covered.

  • Webinar, Back to What?! Coping Strategies to Successfully Manage the Transition Back to School webinar

    Webinar recording

  • PDF, Back to What?! Coping Strategies to Successfully Manage the Transition Back to School webinar

    Slides


Positive Behavior Supports: An Approach to Supporting Individuals with Disabilities and Sexual Offending Behavior webinar

From the Home and Community Positive Behavior Support Network (HCPBS), this April 2022 webinar by Dr. Robin Wilson and Mariah Tricker focuses on Sexual Offending Behaviors.

  • Webinar, Positive Behavior Supports: An Approach to Supporting Individuals with Disabilities and Sexual Offending Behavior webinar

    webinar recording


VDOE Credit accommodations for Advanced Studies and Standard Diplomas

This webpage provides updated information about available accommodations for earning credits needed for Virginia’s Standard and Advanced Studies diplomas.

  • Website, VDOE Credit accommodations for Advanced Studies and Standard Diplomas

    VDOE Credit Accommodations for students with disabilities


Back to School with ADHD webinar

Originally broadcast live on September 6, 2022, this webinar from FFF provides an overview of ADHD, recent federal policies and strategies for formed families impacted by the condition.

  • Webinar, Back to School with ADHD webinar

    Recording of Back to School ADHD webinar

  • PPT, Back to School with ADHD webinar

    Presentation slides


Supported Decision Making resources from Va DBHDS

Shared in 2022, these resources from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services offers youth and families great tools for planning for key medical, housing, social, educational and other supports as youth enter young adulthood.

  • Worksheet, Supported Decision Making resources from Va DBHDS

    Virginia Supported Decision Making Agreement fill-in document

  • Worksheet, Supported Decision Making resources from Va DBHDS

    How to fill out the Virginia Supported Decision Making Agreement document

  • Worksheet, Supported Decision Making resources from Va DBHDS

    Virginia Supported Decision Making Discovery Tool

  • Worksheet, Supported Decision Making resources from Va DBHDS

    Virginia Supported Decision Making Relationship Map

  • Worksheet, Supported Decision Making resources from Va DBHDS

    Plain language authorization for education release of information

  • Worksheet, Supported Decision Making resources from Va DBHDS

    Plain language authorization for medical release of information


IEP Transition Planning In Virginia: Tips To Know For Youth With IEPs Who Are In Foster Care
April 04, 2022

A product of the WAZE to Adulthood project, developed by Formed Families Forward. This fact sheet offers tips and best practices for implementing strong transition planning for youth and young adults with disabilities who are also in foster care. Virginia-specific policies and resources are provided.

  • Factsheet, IEP Transition Planning In Virginia: Tips To Know For Youth With IEPs Who Are In Foster Care


Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented Schools Toolkit

From the National Center for School Safety  and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, this toolkit offers school personnel, families and other stakeholders guidance and strategies for implementing trauma-informed and resilience-oriented schools.

  • Toolkit, Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented Schools Toolkit


Working with Kinship Caregivers Checklist for Schools

This checklist developed by Virginia Department of Education’s Family Engagement Network (FEN) and Formed Families Forward offers schools a checklist for school staff to use when working with relative or kinship caregivers raising children and youth.

  • Worksheet, Working with Kinship Caregivers Checklist for Schools


Who’s on the IEP Team resources

From the WAZE to Adulthood project at PEATC, these fact sheets support parents/caregivers and students in understanding all roles and the members of an IEP team.

  • Factsheet, Who’s on the IEP Team resources

    Who is on My IEP visual for students

  • Factsheet, Who’s on the IEP Team resources

    Who is on my IEP team fact sheet for students

  • Factsheet, Who’s on the IEP Team resources

    Roles around the IEP Table sheet for parents/caregivers


Foster Care, Special Education, and Learning and Thinking Differences: What You Need to Know

This brief article from Understood.org overviews some education issues specific to children and youth in foster care to foster/resource parents.

  • Document, Foster Care, Special Education, and Learning and Thinking Differences: What You Need to Know


Federal Discipline Guidance and Resources, issued July 2022
July 19, 2022

Released on July 19, 2022, the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) published several policy documents and guides to  help public elementary and secondary schools fulfill their responsibilities to meet the needs of students with disabilities and avoid the discriminatory use of student discipline.

The  resources are the most comprehensive guidance on the civil rights of students with disabilities concerning student discipline and build on the Department’s continued efforts to support students and schools through pandemic recovery.

  • PDF, Federal Discipline Guidance and Resources, issued July 2022

    Questions and Answers: Addressing the Needs of Children with Disabilities and IDEA's Discipline Provisions from OSERS

  • PDF, Federal Discipline Guidance and Resources, issued July 2022

    Stakeholders' Guide: Positive, Proactive Approaches to Supporting Children with Disabilities from OSERS

  • PDF, Federal Discipline Guidance and Resources, issued July 2022

    Dear Colleague Letter: Addressing the Needs of Children with Disabilities and IDEA's Discipline Provisions

  • PDF, Federal Discipline Guidance and Resources, issued July 2022

    Dear Colleague Letter: Supporting Students with Disabilities and Avoiding the Discriminatory Use of Student Discipline under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

  • PDF, Federal Discipline Guidance and Resources, issued July 2022

    Fact Sheet: Supporting Students with Disabilities and Avoiding the Discriminatory Use of Student Discipline Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973


Charting the LifeCourse

Charting the LifeCourse is designed to be used for individuals with disabilities, family members, or in the work individuals do. The framework and tools will help organize ideas, vision, and goals, as well as problem-solve, navigate, and advocate for supports. The LifeCourse Nexus website provides links to resources and information for individuals, families and professionals, including e-learning modules.

  • Website, Charting the LifeCourse

    Charting the LifeCourse Tools website


Family Members on Teams video & factsheet

This 9 minute Family Members on Teams video was produced by Formed Families Forward, as family partner to the Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS) project. The video features a staged meeting and interviews with family members and educators sharing practical suggestions for including family members on decision-making teams. The accompanying fact sheet overviews the strategies shared in the video.

Let us know what you think of the video HERE. 

  • Video, Family Members on Teams video & factsheet

    Family Members on Teams video

  • Factsheet, Family Members on Teams video & factsheet

    Family Members on Teams fact sheet


Resources for Loss of Parents and Caregivers
October 27, 2022

In October 2022, the federal Administration on Children and Families (ACF) issued a Dear Colleague letter offering resources and links for families and professionals supporting children who have been impacted by the loss of parent or caregiver

  • Website, Resources for Loss of Parents and Caregivers

    Dear Colleague Letter


Extended School Year (ESY) webinar May 2022
May 19, 2022

This webinar, presented live on 5/19/22 by special education advocate Liz Capone, MS, offered timely information about extended school year services for students with disabilities.

  • Webinar, Extended School Year (ESY) webinar May 2022

    Recording of the webinar

  • PDF, Extended School Year (ESY) webinar May 2022

    Presentation slides


Spring Forward 2022 presentations

Here are resources shared on April 30, 2022 at our 9th annual Spring Forward Family Fun Day and Workshop at the GMU Science and Tech campus in Manassas.

  • PDF, Spring Forward 2022 presentations

    Slides from Dr. Allison's presentation

  • Video, Spring Forward 2022 presentations

    Recorded presentation From IDEA to ADA from Annie Tulkin, Accessible College

  • PDF, Spring Forward 2022 presentations

    Slides from Annie Tulkin's From IDEA to ADA presentation

  • PDF, Spring Forward 2022 presentations

    Slides from Renee Myers' Raising Resilient Kids breakout