Foster Care & Adoption

The Foster Care Program provides placement for children who have been removed from their birth parents due to some type of abuse and/or neglect, or other family circumstances that prevent children from remaining in their homes. The Department of Social Services endeavors to work in partnership with the child(ren) and the birth parents to help resolve the family issues and reunite the family whenever possible.

The Adoption Program provides for an increased public awareness of adoption, and improves the services system to promote adoption as a positive permanency planning option for children who need expanded kinship networks.

Independent Living Program

The Independent Living Program or ILP assists foster care youths ages 14-21 in developing the skills necessary to make the transition from foster care to independent living. Independent Living services include activities that are based on a written assessment of life skills. Areas of focus include personal development skills such as self-esteem, communication skills, decision-making, conflict resolution and anger management. Examples of independent living skills are career exploration, job skills, money management, housing, transportation, and legal issues.

How Do I Become a Foster or Adoptive Parent?

If you are interested in becoming a Foster Parent and/or an Adoptive Parent, or simply would like to know more about the Foster Care and Adoption Program, you may visit the Suffolk Department of Social Services. You can contact Brandy Miller at 757-514-7338, or call 1-888-VDSS-2DA (1-888-837-7232). You may also contact us via mail by writing to

For more information about Foster Care and Adoption, the Independent Living program and information on becoming a foster parent, please visit the Virginia State Department of Social Services Website.