foster care

What to Expect When You Contact Mission West Virginia to Learn More About Foster Care and/or Adoption in WV

Mission West Virginia’s FrameWorks program has been working with families for nearly 20 years as they navigate the certification process to become a foster and/or adoptive parent. Our FrameWorks program staff are very knowledgeable about foster care and adoption in West Virginia and several have even been through the certification process themselves.

call Mission West Virginia

You may have thought about becoming a foster parent or adopting in West Virginia but you aren’t sure where to start or what to expect if you contact an agency. We are here to provide assistance as you take the first steps in your foster/adoptive journey; we can answer any questions you might have and help you decide if foster care is a good choice for your family.  

So, what happens if you give us a call, or fill out our online information request form? You will be given the choice if you’d like to receive a an emailed copy of our information guide or if you would like a paper guide mailed to you. It’s important that you fill out the inquiry form completely so that we can reach you the best way and make sure we understand your interests. If you call, we can answer any questions you might have and if you fill out our online form, you can request a phone call if you’d like to speak with someone on our staff.

Our recruitment guide includes the steps to certification, questions to ask agencies when deciding which agency is right for your family, frequently asked questions, family stories and more. You will also receive a list of agencies that serve the county you live in, this list is important because the agency you choose will be the one that completes the certification process with you.

By requesting information or calling us to ask questions,  you aren’t signing up for anything, you are simply requesting more information.

WV Families Needed with bridge ad.jpg

The need for loving and supportive foster parents in West Virginia is dire. If you’ve been “on the fence” about opening your home and life to kids in foster care, now is a great time to learn more and start your journey. We look forward to hearing from you. If you prefer a phone conversation, call us at 866-CALL-MWV. If you would prefer to fill out our online inquiry form, click on the following link: Request Information About Foster Care and/or Adoption in WV

  You can also send us an email at fosteradopt(at)missionwv.org

Free and Low Cost Events for Kids in West Virginia

summer kids

We’ve put together a list of free (or very little cost) kid friendly events that are happening around West Virginia this summer (2018).  This list doesn’t have every event around the state listed but we hope you find it useful. Let us know if there are any events, camps or festivals that you think we should add to this list! Thanks and have a great summer!

Huntington

Beginner Tennis - Free, multiple dates. 

Lessons are for children ages 5-12. There will be two one-hour sessions each Monday, at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. All equipment will be provided. To register visit www.ghprd.org.

Funington - Free

https://www.facebook.com/events/784954385037280/?active_tab=about

DIFFERENT LOCATION EACH MONDAY
Join the GHPRD Recreation Team on a Summer Junior Naturalist Parks Expedition! Each Monday from 1 to 3 pm, the GHPRD Recreation Team will be a different park hosting a variety of kids naturalist activities. 

July 2 - Westmoreland Park - Hoola Hoops
July 9 - April Dawn Park - Camping 101
July 16 - McClelland Park - Yard Games
July 23 - Rotary Park - Disc Golf
July 30 - Ritter Park - Puppet Show Finale

Christmas in July - Free

https://www.facebook.com/events/215742999218046/

Don’t be a Grinch! There’s only six months left until Christmas. The Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District is excited to celebrate Christmas in July at Ritter Park. Christmas in July encourages people of all ages to get in the Christmas spirit a little early! This event will kick off with an arts & crafts hour, as we will make Christmas ornaments, followed by an outdoor showing of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! A special surprise visitor might even drop by! 

Wear your ugliest Christmas t-shirt, bring your chairs or blankets, and join us at Shelter 2 in Ritter Park at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27, 2018, for this free event. The movie will start at 9:00 p.m. All supplies will be provided. Concessions will also be available for purchase. 

For more information contact Development & Recreation Manager, Lauren Carte at lcarte@ghprd.org or call 304.696.5954.

Kid’s Day - $5 and age 2 and under Free

June 6 – August 29, 2019

Kids Days (in partnership with HIMG and part of Funington - Huntington Fun For Kids) are held every Wednesday from June through August. Thanks to Huntington Internal Medicine Group, the admission price is a reduced $5 for all ages 3 and up (2 and under FREE)! 
Come enjoy our Petting Zoo, Wagon Rides, MakerSpace, Children's Activities, Discovery Zone, Artisans, Museums, and special unique programming every week! We will also be running our brand new Wild! Heritage series throughout the summer to teach children about wildlife conservation!

Website: https://www.heritagefarmmuseum.com/visit/events/

Club McFinn Junior – Huntington Mall - Free

Tuesday, July 3rd at 11am- Noon at JCPenney Court

Looking to do something fun with your little one?  Join us each Tuesday at the Pirate Ship in front of JCPenney for fun and FREE activities geared towards toddlers 4 and under.  We will be learning pro-social skills in a fun environment with hands-on activities and story time.

Sponsored by UniCare, and KVC. Healthy snacks provided by Jay from Sheetz. All events are subject to change without notice. See customer service for details.

Website: https://www.huntingtonmall.com/events?mDate=201807

Hook, Line and Sinker with Camp Marshmallow – Huntington Mall - Free

Saturday, July 7th from 11am- 1pm in Center Court

Finding fun things for your child to do this summer just got a little easier! Join us each Saturday at Camp Marshmallow in Center Court for some FREE outdoor adventures inside the mall! This is a free summer camp and in true Huntington Mall style each registered camper will receive a fun backpack with goodies inside as well as fun stuff to take home each week after camp!

Each week we will feature fun activities and special guests to get your little camper excited to explore the great outdoors! July 7th: Hook, Line and Sinker with Cabell County DNR officer Joseph Reed.  We will learning about the different types of fish in our local water ways as well as important information on what we can do to keep the habitat safe.  Kids will enjoy a fishing activity and snack time!

Visit customer service for a registration form, and flyer.  Once registered your child will receive a Camp Marshmallow Backpack, water bottle, lanyard, and badge on the first day they attend camp, while supplies last. 

Coming up next...

July 14th: Summer Camp Extravaganza with Ranger Rick. Be sure to follow their event page for more information on each week's event and to see fun pictures after each event. All events are subject to change without notice, see customer service for details.

SATURDAY KIDSART Huntington Museum of Art. - Free

Every Saturday, 1-3 p.m.
Studio 1
Teaching Artists: Kaitlin Donnally, Emma Lyles

Saturday KidsArt is a spectacular and fun-filled two-hour program that provides an afternoon of exploration, enrichment and experimentation in the arts to children in grades K–5. The program is free thanks to generous sponsorship from Cabell Huntington Hospital. Pre-registration is not required. Website: https://www.hmoa.org/education/classes-camps

Tuesdays at the Museum - Free, multiple events

See website for dates: http://calendar.wvvisit.server286.com/event/free-tuesdays-at-the-museum/all/

Free admission to The Huntington Museum of Art every Tuesday thanks to Macy’s! The Museum is open from 10am-9pm.

Family Fun Night – Cabell Library - Free, Multiple dates

See website for dates: http://calendar.wvvisit.server286.com/event/free-tuesdays-at-the-museum/all/

Join the Cabell Public Library’s Main Branch for a Family Fun Night! There will be crafts, story hour, or programs based on specific themes. Families are welcome to attend this event together! Children of all ages are welcome.

Pullman Square Summer Concert Series - Free, multiple dates

July 5 @ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

Stroll, shop and enjoy the sounds of Pullman Square every Thursday from May 31 through August 30. Great shops, restaurants and free concerts to ease into those relaxing summer evenings. Bring your blankets and camp chairs out to the front lawn of Pullman for the concert series! Show starts at 7pm! Free and open to the public. There will also be a farmer’s market at the concert featuring goods grown, raised and made in local tri-state area.

Come join us!
July 5 – Short & Company/The Dividends
July 12 – Pegasus
July 19  – Santa Cruz
July 26 – William Matheny/Ducain
August 2 –  Ona/Brad Goodall
August 9 – Carrier
August 16 – Thundering Herd Pep Rally w/Madhouse
August 23 – The Return
August 30 – Huntington Music and Arts Festival Night

No coolers allowed. Weather permitting. Event subject to change without notice.

Cinema Under the Stars – “The Wonder” - $1

August 3 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Cinema Under the Stars continues this summer at Heritage Station, with movies planned for the First Friday of each month, May through September.

Grab a blanket, a lawn chair, your family and friends and head to Heritage Station to enjoy Cinema Under The Stars! The Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District will present “The Wonder”

Admission is $1 For more information contact the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District at 304.696.5954. Check us out at www.ghprd.org

Morgantown

25 Free things to do with kids in Morgantown - https://www.tourmorgantown.com/25-free-things-to-do-in-greater-morgantown/

Teen Movie Nights - Free

Showtime is July 11 at 5pm in Meeting Room A. Free Pizza!
Rated PG – 13

https://www.facebook.com/events/1652375541465208/

Location Details: Morgantown Public Library 373 Spruce Street, Morgantown, WV

Refreshments provided.
July 9 at 6PM in Meeting Room A

Tabletop Miniature Painting (Ages 12 & Up) - Free

July 6 • 11am – 4pm  Come learn painting techniques such as layering, washing, and highlighting. All participants get to keep their freshly painted miniature.
Registration Required
Meeting Room A • Capacity = 10

Visit the website

Location Details: Morgantown Public Library  373 Spruce Street, Morgantown, WV

Chess Club - Free

The Morgantown Public Library chess club will meet the first Wednesday of every month from 6pm-8pm. All ages and skill levels are welcome. We even provide the chess boards. This is FREE and open to the public.

Visit the website

Location Details:  Morgantown Public Library 373 Spruce Street, Morgantown, WV

Back to School - Free

Free for all Mon County residents. Our back to school event, provides children of Mon County with two like new outfits, new undergarments, and a backpack with school supplies so that they are equipped with everything they need to start the school year.

Visit the website

Location Details: Chritian Help 219 Walnut Street, Morgantown, WV

Young Birders Walk - Free

It’s never too early to become a birder! This walk will introduce children of all ages and their parents to the wonder and joy of birds and bird watching. Bring binoculars and a bird guide if you have them. This walk is offered in conjunction with the West Virginia Young Birders Club and will be led by Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia’s Director Katie Fallon. All ages. Free. Space is limited, register today!

Programs will last approximately 1.5-2 hours unless otherwise noted. Donations are appreciated and can be made online, or at the kiosk by the lower lot. Please refrain from bringing your pet to activities.

Visit the website

Location Details: West Virginia Botanic Garden 1061 Tyrone Road, Morgantown, WV

Mountain Spirit POW WOW - $5

The Mountain Spirit PowWow is set to return this August! The magical weekend will kick-off with a concert Friday night and will continue through the weekend with many other activities. Bring the whole family out to enjoy music, food, entertainment, beautiful Native American dress, and more!

Aug 24 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Aug 25-26 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Visit the website

Location Details: Mason-Dixon Historical Park - 79 Buckeye Road, Core, WV

Camp Mountain Heart - Free

Camp Mountain Heart is a free week-long camp for children, ages 8-17, with congenital and acquired heart disease.  The Camp offers its campers the opportunity to share experiences with other children with similar conditions.  Many of our campers have endured multiple medical procedures and often feel isolated from their peers.  Camp Mountain Heart provides those children, many of who have never been away from home, the opportunity to connect and create friendships with others with similar experiences.

Sunday July 15th

Website: https://campmountainheart.com/#event-detail

Morgantown Board of Parks and Recreation - Free

Summer sounds and movie series. To learn more and see dates: http://www.boparc.org/uploads/1/1/9/3/11934538/2018_sounds_of_summer.pdf

Charleston

Magic Island Splash Pad - Free

With fountains, water sculptures, and all the water-based fun a kid needs on a hot summer day.

Magic Island Park, 101 Kanawha Boulevard West, Charleston, WV

Live on the Levee - Free

Live on the Levee takes place every Friday evening from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Opening acts start playing at 6:30pm and the headliners take the stage at 7:30pm. Food vendors begin setting up at 5pm. This family friendly event is free! https://liveontheleveecharleston.com/

Kanawha State Forest - Free

Located seven miles south of Charleston, Kanawha State Forest is an outdoor lover’s haven. It is known for its extensive network of hiking and biking trails and has some of the state’s most popular picnic areas. The 9,300-acre forest is noted among naturalists for its diverse wildflower, tree and bird populations. Amenities include picnic shelters, playgrounds and camping. https://wvstateparks.com/park/kanawha-state-forest/

Charleston Town Center Kids Club - Free

Charleston Town Center is committed to providing a family-oriented shopping environment and the Charleston Town Center Kids Club provides FREE entertainment for families.

They offer kids (ages 0-12) fun things to do all year long and are committed to bringing kids and their family’s fresh new activities. Events include kid friendly activities such as shows, crafts and educational activities. Membership is FREE and once you are a member of the Charleston Town Center Kids Club, children will enjoy many special benefits.

To learn more: https://www.charlestontowncenter.com/kids-club/

Career and Technical Education CAMP - Free

CTE Summer Camp- 5th Grade Week

The Cabell County Career Technology Center will be hosting a 1 week Career and Technical Education Summer Camp. The intent of this camp is to expose students to career education opportunities available to them in the future.

Visit website to learn more: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cte-summer-camp-5th-grade-week-tickets-45450374293

Culture Center and State Museum - Free

Voted Best Museum by wv living readers, the WV State Museum was recently renovated and offers visitors a glimpse into the state’s rich history. Admission is free and a new smart phone app provides an interesting way to tour the facility. 

·        Website: http://www.wvculture.org

Kanawha City Community Center - Free

Kanawha City Community Center features eight outdoor tennis courts, basketball court, baseball field, pool, weight room, and outdoor play areas. This center is a multifaceted facility that is free to our community members. With 17,000 square feet, this center boasts plenty of activities, recreational space, and amenities available for public use. Majority of our amenities are on a first come, first served basis. 

Website: https://getactivecwv.com/kanawha-city

Elkins

Jammin in July and First Friday – Free events in downtown Elkins, to learn more, visit their website: http://downtownelkins.com/2018/04/06/2018-first-fridays/

Wheeling

Arts and Crafts - Free

A FREE program sponsored by the Recreation Department is our Arts and Crafts Sessions. This program is geared towards  the 5 - 12 age group but anyone may participate. The instructor will guide children in many creative efforts that can challenge their skills and tempt their imaginations. There is a weekly schedule of art and craft events at the following website: https://www.wheelingwv.gov/arts-crafts-2 Multiple dates.

Medieval Family Fun Faire - Free

Jul 07, 2018 at 11:00a.m. - Jul 07, 2018 at 04:00p.m.

Location: Camp Russel at Oglebay Park

Come one, come all to a free medieval faire that is open to the public! Come see knights in armor battling on the tournament grounds. See swashbuckling rapier fights. Try on armor at the Viking living history encampment. Move your feet and sway your hips while learning Western European or Middle Eastern dance. Learn the Arts and Sciences of the medieval world in our crafting area. Take a turn at our thrown weapons range. Collect all the beads for your Viking necklace in our scavenger hunt.

Website: https://www.wheelingwv.gov/https___www_facebook_com_events_272564289953161_

Family Fun Night – 36th Street Pool - Free

Jul 06, 2018 at 06:00p.m. - Jul 06, 2018 at 08:00p.m.

The Wheeling Recreation Department will sponsor a FREE 'Family Fun Night' program at our four city pools.

There will be FREE ADMISSION into the pool as well as FREE HOT DOGS, ICE CREAM, SODA and a D.J. The hours will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There will also be door prizes and FUN for all. Come and enjoy a FUN FAMILY OUTING at your neighborhood pool.

Multiple Family Fun nights at Wheeling Rec. Dept. pools. See dates here: https://www.wheelingwv.gov/departments/Parks-Recreation

Heritage Port Story Time - Free

Jul 05, 2018 at 11:00a.m. - Jul 05, 2018 at 11:30a.m.

Love Is All Around West Virginia By Wendi Silvano

In case of rain, the program will be held at the Ohio County Public Library

See website for multiple dates: http://www.ohiocountylibrary.org/calendar/story-time-at-wheeling-heritage-port-when-i-was-young-in-the-mountains/1717

Oglebay Summer Concert Series - Free

Located at  Oglebay’s Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater for a summer of FREE live entertainment! Events include Big Band, Blues, Beatles Tribute and more. Multiple dates, see website: https://oglebay.com/event/summer-concert-series/

Learn to Swim at Garden Park Pool - Warwood. - $5

The City of Wheeling offers one of the best learn to swim programs in the Tri-State Area.  The cost is a nominal $5.00 - now that's a bargain you can't pass up.  Sessions are open to children three and up.  Each session is scheduled for two weeks Monday through Friday. We offer classes from beginners to advanced swimming levels.  There will also be pre-school classes for children 3-5 years old (a parent or guardian must accompany child into water).  The classes are taught by experienced life guards and instructors. Registration is on the first day of each session anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and a certificate will be given at the completion of the classes.

Learn more: https://www.wheelingwv.gov/Learn_to_Swim_-_Garden_Park_

Martinsburg

Puppet Show  -$6 and free for age 1 and under

Multiple dates. The doors open at 12:40 p.m.

Wonderment Puppet Theater  at 412 W. King Street Martinsburg, WV 25401

$6.00 for ages 2 and older, Free or ages 1 and younger.

Wonderment Puppet Theater will present "The Three Pigs CIrcus." Go enjoy a fun puppet show!

Website: http://www.wondermentpuppets.com/

Fridays @ 5 - Free

A series of free outdoor concerts by well-known musicians, bands and Martinsburg artists that will liven up your spirits and maybe even get you into a dancing mood. Bands will perform a wide variety of indigenous musical styles, including jazz, rock, Bluegrass, pop, Classic Rock, Country and unique Americana and more. You can bring your own chairs or blankets and sit on the ground. The front of the stage on the South lawn is reserved for dancing. There is no admission charge to the Town square. The concert series runs every Friday from June 1 through August 31.

Visit website: http://www.mainstreetmartinsburg.com/fridays-at-five/

Summer Movies – Free

When: Multiple Dates

Where: Berkeley Theaters 267 Monroe St. Martinsburg, WV 25401

Website: http://berkeleytheatres7.com/summer-movies/

Ukulele Rock out at the Martinsburg Public Library

Come Rock Out with the Children's Department with one of their Ukuleles! We have space for up to 25 kids to come jam at the library every Monday at the Martinsburg Public Library at 11 AM

For dates, visit website: http://www.mbcpl.org/calendar

Movie Night at the Library – Free

7/10/2018 Time: 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Martinsburg Public Library in the Martinsburg Room

Come join the Martinsburg Public Library for Free Movie Night!! Free Popcorn Provided.

 

I have completed foster care certification, what’s next?

phone call.jpg

You’ve done all of the paperwork and training, you have your home ready for a placement, now what?  

The agency that certified your family will put you on a list of available families to call whenever there is a need for a home. This will also include information such as number of open beds and the ages of the children you are able to care for. 

While you are waiting for that first call, you could get clothes and toys together for different age ranges. We’ve put together a list of items to have on hand that you can view HERE.

When you do get a call, your family will then be able to accept or decline the placement. Why would you decline a placement? One example is that you might get a call for a sibling group when you were thinking you’d start slow with one child or maybe the child in need has some kind of special need that you don’t think you are equipped to handle. Whatever the case, it is up to you to decide if you want to accept a placement. We do encourage you to have an open mind and consider these options when they arise; you might be more capable than you realize. Some calls may come in the middle of the night for a child who needs a placement immediately while other calls may occur a few days before a placement is needed. 

If you have decided to accept the placement, the child’s worker will bring the child and their belongings to your home.  If this is the child’s first placement, you will receive a store voucher to buy some of the necessary items you need for the kid(s) placed in your care.  The social worker will also supply a placement agreement and medical card.  They will let you know “what’s next” in terms of the child’s case, any appointments they may have and any services that they need to receive. 

Most important in the first few days is helping the child feel comfortable in their new environment.  Being welcoming, showing them the ins and outs of your home and helping them learn the basic routine can go far to help ease their fear and anxiety. 

Some placements could be as short as a few days or weeks while others can last for many months or even over a year.  You are entitled to receive information about the child’s case and to attend team meetings. You are providing an important service for these children and should be treated as a valued member of the child’s team.

Foster Care in WV and the Basic Certification Requirements

Foster care is a temporary living situation for children whose parents cannot safely care for them.  When a child is abused and/or neglected by their guardian, it is brought to the attention (usually by a report of child abuse or neglect) to the Department of Health and Human Resources. Social workers will then investigate and if the report is found to be true, the child(ren) is then removed from the unsafe situation and placed into the state’s foster care system.

Foster mom and kids

These children range in age from babies to teens and are most often placed in foster care through no fault of their own. While in foster care, children might live with a relative, a certified foster family or in a residential facility. In a residential facility, a group of children in foster care live together with staff members who work in shifts. In West Virginia, there are more than 6,000 kids in foster care so there is a great need for more foster families to provide a caring and loving home.

The ultimate goal of foster care is for children to return to their home, this is also called reunification. In the best situation, the child or children’s parents can make the changes that are needed to safely parent. The amount of time children stay in foster care depends on their family’s situation. This could mean a short stay in foster care or could be a longer amount of time depending on what changes or program the court has required the parents to complete.

If the child’s birth parents are unable to safely parent their child(ren) and make the changes that are necessary, the parent(s) can voluntarily give up their parental rights OR the court can terminate the parents’ rights. The child(ren) is/are then legally eligible for adoption, which can be finalized in a court of law. The adoptive parent then becomes the child’s legal parent and has the same formal and legal responsibility for the child as if they were the biological parent.

The criteria to be a foster parent and/or to adopt from foster care are the same.  They include the following: 

  • You must be between the ages of 21 and 65 (they have not changed this yet)
  • Have a stable & secure income.
  • Be in good physical/mental health.
  • Pass a home safety inspection.
  • Free of any substantiated child abuse reports and free of a criminal background.
  • Have a stable family relationship.

*Requirements may vary depending on the agency you are working with.

Who are "Waiting Children"

In West Virginia, there are more than 6,000 children in foster care and approximately 1,500 of these children are legally eligible for adoption and waiting for their forever family. What does this mean exactly?

Children are placed in foster care most likely because of abuse and/or neglect. Foster care is meant to be short term while the parent or parents work to make changes so that they can safely parent their child(ren). But sometimes, parents are not able to make these changes. When this is the case, they can voluntarily give up their parental rights or the court can take away those rights – the child then becomes “legally eligible” for adoption.  You might have heard of "TPR" - this stands for "termination of parental rights." That child or children if it is a sibling group, remains in foster care until they are placed with an adoptive family.

When we say that 1,500 children in West Virginia are legally eligible for adoption, we mean that parental rights have been severed (voluntarily or involuntarily) and that they have not yet been adopted.  Luckily, many of these children are placed with loving relatives or foster parents who will complete an adoption. Often, a child will be matched with the foster family they are living with if that family is interested in adoption. 

paper family

Other children may take a longer time to be matched with a family, often because they are older, part of a sibling group or simply because there are not enough adoptive families. Often, these children are listed on the Adoption Resource Network (ARN), the website for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.  On this site, you can see photos and read profiles of these children. Once you have completed certification to foster/adopt in WV, you can register on this site and inquire about these children. Once you've made an inquiry, the child's worker will receive your information and if your family seems like a good fit, they will contact your worker for further information.  Decisions about matching children and families often involve the child’s entire team, including workers and attorneys, as well as the family’s worker.   

What happens if you are matched with a child or sibling group on the ARN? Often, you will start having day visits with a child followed by weekend visits. If everything is going well, the child will be placed in your home. After the child has lived with you for 6 months or more, you can complete the paperwork to officially adopt. Once adoption is complete, the child’s new legal parent has the same responsibility for the child as if they were the biological parent.

Providing luggage for youth in foster care.

2018 Carry On Campaign graphic.jpg

The goal of the Carry - On Campaign is to eliminate garbage bags as an acceptable form of luggage for youth in foster care. No child should have to use a trash bag to transport their belongings, especially during a traumatic situation like being removed from their home.  This campaign accepts donations of new luggage and hygiene items and distributes them to local foster care agencies and families. It is especially comforting for a child to be given the essential items they need when they are placed with a foster family or  in a residential setting. 

This is an ongoing campaign because children are placed in care throughout the year.  Since its beginning in 2010, the Carry - On Campaign has received thousands of pieces of luggage and countless hygiene items, however, there are currently more than 6,000 children in foster care in West Virginia and there is a continual need for these items. 

luggage

After distributing Carry-on items a child protective services worker shared, "they had never really had NEW things like this before and to see the smiles those bags brought to their faces was awesome. It made their transition to the foster homes a lot easier as they could think about something else during the trip." If you would like to help make this transition easier for kids in your community, we can connect you with an agency nearby that serves kids in foster care, just give us a call (866-CALL-MWV) or email Kylee.  If you live near Putnam county, you can drop of a donation at our office in Hurricane, WV. 

Many civic groups, church congregations, sororities, businesses and individuals have held drives and asked their local contacts to donate to the campaign during a set time at a specified location. We can help you set up a drive in your community. This campaign makes a great service project and we are happy to work with you. 

Thank you to every person and organization that has donated to the Carry - On Campaign and created a positive difference in the lives of children in West Virginia's foster care system. 

To download the Carry - On flyer with a list of items we request, click on the button below.

FrameWorks Resource Library

Our FrameWorks program offers a great resource for foster and adoptive families in West Virginia - our Resource Library! We have an abundant collection of books that cover a wide array of subjects that we especially chose for foster and adoptive families. Subjects include general foster and adoption care; kinship care; attachment and bonding; special needs; general parenting; transracial adoption and more. 

A variety of books and DVDs are available for loan through this library and a full listing can be found here: FRAMEWORKS RESOURCE LIBRARY

You can borrow 3 to 4 items at a time and they are due back 4 weeks after they are received. We will mail the materials to you with a pre-addressed and stamped mailed envelope to make returns easy. 

A few of the book options include:

What Works: How to Raise Amazing Kids in Spite of the Foster Care System

What Works: How to Raise Amazing Kids in Spite of the Foster Care System -
This book was written by Stacey Addison, a school teacher and mother of six children she adopted from foster care.  This book explains a system to help parents avoid making rash decisions based on emotions, and instead, maintain and enforce consistent expectations. 

Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens

Beneath the MASK: Understanding Adopted Teens - This book explains how the key to successful therapy and healthy development is to help the adolescent discover and accept the person within.  It covers the six most common adoption "stuck-spots" and provides information about how therapy can help adoptive families learn and grow together. 

Loving attachments.jpg

Creating Loving Attachments: Parenting with PACE to Nurture Confidence and Security in the Troubled Child -  This book explains that a loving home is not always enough. Children who have experienced trauma need to be parented in a special way so they feel safe, secure and are able to build attachments that allow them to heal.  It covers PACE, four valuable elements of parenting that can help children feel confident and secure. 

Mom, Jason's breathing on me.jpg

Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me!: The Solution to Sibling Bickering - This book by Dr. Anthony Wolf offers a new strategy for coping with sibling bickering. Dr. Wolf presents three essential rules for dealing with sibling arguments and addresses a wide range of issues. This is a book about real children and what you can do to alleviate the strife between siblings. 

Books and DVDs can be requested by visiting our Resource Library page and filling out the online form, calling 866-CALL-MWV or by emailing fosteradopt(at)missionwv.org

Foster Care and Adoption in WV - Steps to Certification

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Foster family Social Worker

There are more than 6,000 children in foster care in West Virginia. There is a great need for foster and adoptive families and we hope you are visiting our website because you are interested in making the difference in the lives of children in foster care. 

Here at Mission West Virginia, we provide you the information you need about how to foster or adopt and we guide you during the certification process. We are a friend to families seeking to help children in West Virginia!

Here is how it works...

1. Contact Mission West Virginia -We can answer questions, provide assistance and support
you through the entire process. If you are wondering if foster care and/or adoption is right for you, Mission West Virginia is a great place to start. 

2. Receive an Information Guide - Depending on your preference, we will mail or email you a guide and listing of agencies that certify families in your county.

3. Contact Agencies - Depending on where you live in West Virginia, there may be multiple agencies to choose from. We will provide you with a list of agencies that serve the county you live in. When you contact these agencies, ask them the questions provided in our information guide. Also, we can help you more with this part of the process, just ask! 

4. Get Certified! - The order may vary but this phase includes an application, training and homestudy. Your application will be provided by your chosen agency, fill it out and return it. Your agency may set up an initial meeting at your home or at their office.  The training is called PRIDE and will be scheduled by your agency - they will also help you sign up! The homestudy involves home visits, paperwork, background checks and other requirements. Your agency will help you decide which children will be the best fit for your home and family.  If there are any problems during this step and you you encounter any obstacles getting certified, remember, we are here to help.

5. Congratulations! Once all steps are completed you will be a certified foster or adoptive parent. 

Download the 5 STEPS TO CERTIFICATION to save to your computer or print! Just click on the button below to open a PDF.