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Lutheran Family Services of Virginia Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Education, Family Services, Human Services, Special Education

Mission: Mission: Lutheran Family Services of Virginia expresses God’s love by providing services and assistance to empower communities, families and individuals in their journey to well-being. Vision: In our communities all people will receive the support they need to live abundant lives. Core values Christ calls us to love and serve our neighbor All people have an inherent worth and dignity Families are the building blocks of a healthy community, a thriving Commonwealth, and a just and compassionate nation and world Congregations are powerful agents for positive change in their communities Lives are transformed by a community of care dedicated to the best, least restrictive solutions Education, awareness and advocacy are tools of lasting change and justice Effective organizations are committed to continuous improvement Employees and volunteers are the life-blood of our organization

Results: The past fiscal year had its blessings as well as challenges. New realities in the world of social ministry and social services make what we do more important–and more difficult–than ever. The biggest and most exciting change last year is that we started offering services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the acquisition of The Lamano Agency. We continue our dedicated service to children, families and individuals now with a staff that has doubled and a wider geographical reach. For the first time we are able to offer continued services to individuals with disabilities from youth through adulthood. Our goal is to expand these much-needed services throughout the state, which we have begun to do. Other accomplishments from the past year include: • A new approach to serving children in foster care focuses on helping them heal from trauma. We are offering services that recognize the profound consequences of trauma for children and offer supports to help them heal and move on to experience healthy family, school and community relationships. • Our Minnick Schools are offering new opportunities for students through vocational skill-building programs such as the Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES), which transforms the classroom into a mini-work environment to help students learn basic career, vocational and life skills. The PAES lab is offered at the Roanoke Minnick School; we are working to offer it at our other schools. • And lastly, a branding research project helped us focus with more clarity on our mission and the way we communicate it. I hope that you like our new look and the words we have chosen to represent our hope for the people we serve—“promise, restored.” Thank you for your support of our mission.

Target demographics: the most fragile and overlooked to restore the promise life offers.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,904 in 2011-2012

Geographic areas served: regions surrounding Hampton, Richmond, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, Winchester, Roanoke, Bedford and Wytheville

Programs: Over the last 125 years, Lutheran Family Services has evolved from an orphanage in Salem, Virginia, to an agency of 400-strong employees who help vulnerable individuals experience abundant, successful lives at home, school and in the community. The people of Lutheran Family Services help children in foster care find temporary or permanent families, we strengthen families so that they remain strong and intact, we help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities live and thrive in their communities, we help children with emotional and behavioral challenges succeed academically, and we assist older adults and caregivers in a time of life transition.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of being a foster parent and a member of the Lutheran FosterCare and Adoption program family for almost 5 years. I can truly say that if it were not for my caseworker at LFS, I would have felt like completing giving up on some days. No matter how frustrated I was or ready to give up, my caseworker always listened to my concerns patiently and without judgement. She helped me understand a new perspective and how to communicate with my child in a way that helped rather than harmed my child. My caseworker consistently offered me logical and practical strategies, she encouraged and supported me through some very tough times and in the face of extremely challenging behaviors and traumatic emotional issues present with my foster child and empowered me to parent from a place of love and forgiveness rather than from anger and control. All of the TFC staff were immediately responsive to my child's needs and always displayed a willingness and desire to not only talk through problems occurring in our home but to brainstorm, problem solve and identify solutions that worked for my child and family. They always guided and empowered me to be the parent without taking the parental authority away from me which is one of the best tools and greatest gifts a caseworker can offer a foster parent. I was very impressed with my caseworker's strong and effective advocacy efforts on the behalf of the needs of the children/teens and how my caseworker always remained focused on my child's well being, stability, family relationship, and quality of life. If you ever need a champion on your side, my LFS caseworker is the person you need because I believe she can argue for the needs of a child with the best of them! For me, LFS is truly the best foster care program provider in the Greater Richmond area and I feel so thankful and grateful for everything that my caseworkers did/have done for and with me over the few years. LFS staff encouraged me when I felt powerless and frustrated, they walked alongside of me with great empathy and support without giving up or giving in during one of my child's very stressful, chaotic and traumatic time of his life. Thank you so much for all you have done for me over the years!!

1 Bruce28

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lutheran Family Services in Richmond has been a great help to my foster son and I, but in navigating the system and in suppoorting me with his challenging behaviors. All of the staff gives their all and is 100% committed to serving the kids and helping the families they serve.

Review from Guidestar


Client Served

Rating: 5

Lutheran family Services helped us adopt our daughter. It was an interstate state adoption which is always more complicated. They did an awesome job on our home study and completed all the paperwork in a timely manner. I would recommend this non profit to anyone who is looking to adopt out of foster care. Laura Williams was a great adoption worker and guided us through the entire process.


Client Served

Rating: 5

LFSVA enabled us to adopt our daughter. They gave us great information about adoption, and when we decided to adopt, gave us great training that really prepared us for the biggest challenge of our lives. They helped us through the mind-numbing homestudy process, and produced a great package that sailed through the court system. After our daughter moved in they've provided great support. Can't say enough wonderful things about them.