How a Family Connects to Essential Resources and Thrives Through NVFS

Life Skills

Ada first heard about Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) through Family and Social Services in the city of Manassas Park while attending an alternative high school and raising two boys, with another son on the way. She was dependent on her then-husband’s low income but was in need of dental assistance, so Family and Social Services helped connect her with NVFS’ HealthLink program.

Through the HealthLink program, Ada learned about the Hunger Resource Center at NVFS’ SERVE campus and was able to access emergency food supplies for her family on two occasions. After graduating from high school, she divorced her husband and began looking for new opportunities to improve her family’s situation.

At that time, NVFS was opening a Training Futures location in Manassas. Ada was eligible for the first cycle, but was unable to afford a babysitter. She applied again the next year and was able to successfully complete the program, which included not only acquiring new workforce skills but dealing with mental health issues as well.

“When I was attending Training Futures, I was feeling very depressed as a single mom with three kids,” she explains. “The mental health worker they brought in helped me deal with things I was carrying with me.”

Within a year of graduating, Ada joined the NVFS staff as a Healthy Families caseworker in the Fairfax office. Ada has used her experiences within NVFS to better assist her clients and help them understand the resources available to them.

“I can give to the community what I once received,” Ada adds. “I can relate to Healthy Families clients in terms of the physical or sexual abuse they have encountered because they have a background similar to mine. And it also helps me to be a better mom, better co-worker and a better human being.”

Ada has since transferred to the Healthy Families Prince William team, which allows her to be closer to home. Her boys are thrilled for her to be a part of the NVFS family as well, because it means she is able to spend more time with them instead of working evening shifts, as she did prior to joining NVFS. And her youngest son will hit a milestone of his own when he begins Head Start in the fall.