After becoming foster parents in February 2015, Audra Bullock and her husband Richard Litton recognized a critical need for community resources to assist foster youth in Hampton Roads. Beginning through a partnership with Norfolk Department of Human Services and Old Dominion University to embark on a strategic foster parent recruiting initiative, Norfolk Friends of Foster Care was founded in June of 2016. From this initial recruiting initiative, grew a group of targeted programs aimed at bridging gaps that exist for children in the foster care system, both locally and nationally: education, normalcy, and stable social support systems.
Over the course of its first year, Norfolk Friends of Foster Care developed a strong coalition of community supporters and partners committed to improving outcomes for foster youth in the Norfolk foster care system. Providing services including one-on-one professional academic tutoring, funding for extracurricular activities, including music, performing arts, sports and recreation, and intellectual pursuits, along with enriching summer camps, Norfolk Friends of Foster care began to make a meaningful impact in the lives of Norfolk’s foster youth. It was not long into the second year that the region’s need combined with the organization’s preparation and drive to affect positive change, led to the expansion of NFFC programs to include foster youth from neighboring cities.
In the fall of 2018, Norfolk Friends of Foster Care forged official partnerships with Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach Social Service Agencies to bring programing to foster youth in their care. With this geographic expansion of services, came the renaming of the organization to Tidewater Friends of Foster Care in late 2018 – a reflection of our core mission of improving foster care outcomes across the Hampton Roads region.