UMFS and the Latino Children’s Plight


UMFS has Urgent Need for

Spanish-Speaking Foster Families

UMFS is a statewide nonprofit agency that provides comprehensive programs and services to high-risk children and families as they work to overcome challenging situations. Known as a national leader for helping children, UMFS works proactively with its staff and community partners throughout Virginia to identify and address unmet social service needs.

One of UMFS’ key programs is Treatment Foster Care (TFC), which finds foster families for children who are statistically more difficult to place. This includes older teens, foster children who have experienced multiple placements, or foster children who have challenges related to their behavior, medical conditions, or past trauma. Young people in TFC require a higher level of care and attention, and UMFS works closely with the families who foster these children to assure they have the resources they need.

Of the more than 5,000 children in foster care in Virginia, over 10 percent were identified by the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) as Hispanic. In Central Virginia alone, there are 53 children in foster who identify as Hispanic. For many of those, Spanish is the primary language. These young people would greatly benefit from foster families who mirror their culture.

The need for bilingual foster families is urgent, as UMFS currently has only a handful of foster families who speak fluent Spanish or who identify themselves as Hispanic. Spanish-speaking children in foster care and their families need bilingual foster families to help them communicate amongst themselves and also to help navigate the formal family-support system.

UMFS is an unwavering champion for high-risk children and families, collaborating with communities to help them reach their full potential. To learn how you can become a foster parent and help meet the needs of Spanish-speaking foster children, please contact Joshua Lewis at 804.310.7572 or visit