The Health & Family Services Institute is held annually in the fall. It is for Head Start Directors, Health Managers and Family Services Staff.

Save the Date! Next year's conference will be November 13-15, 2019

Head Start adopts the “it takes a village approach” for offering comprehensive services to children and families. Much of our support covers a large scope of issues that can be quite wide-ranging. Head Start staff wear many hats, and often our roles overlap, to create a collaborative effort with the family’s goals in mind. Therefore our annual Health Institute also includes workshops designed for Family Services Staff to help foster this collaborative approach.

We look forward to seeing you in November after the 45–day screening window is over!

2018 Health & Family Institute Agenda 


Confirming and Implementing Your Parenting Curriculum: A Sneak Peek at NEW Resources

On Tuesday, December 4 there will be a day long pre-conference session, The National Center for Parent Family & Community Engagement (NCPFCE) will build our discussion around the Head Start Performance Standards (HSPPS) requirement regarding parenting curricula. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their experiences as we expand our collective knowledge. Focus will be on exploring NEW resources that offer guidance for consideration when choosing, confirming, and implementing an appropriate parenting curriculum over time.  This workshop is intended for any Region 3 Head Start Family Engagement Staff and Managers.

This session will be led by Brandi Black Thacker, MA MSW, Director of Training, Technical Assistance, and Collaboration for the NCPFCE. She has served communities as educator, case manager, advocate, director, trainer, technical assistance specialist, and consultant for over 15 years.  She began her career in the mental health field, supporting children ages five to twenty-one with serious emotional disturbances.  After moving to Virginia, she became a Head Start Director where she served 138 children and families.  Brandi advanced to a position within the Region III Head Start Technical Assistance system where she provided extensive, ongoing, individualized attention to grantees in each of the six states.  She also worked on the monitoring contract where she assisted in updating the protocol using the Monitoring 360 approach, and subsequently trained Federal and review team staff on its implementation.  As the Director of TTA and Collaboration, Brandi oversees the development of materials and delivery of all NCPFCE training and technical assistance nationwide.

If you are only attending the Pre-Conference Only for the NCPFCE session, the cost is $125 until October 15, the cost will increase to $150 starting October 16 until registration closes on November 21, or until we reach 150 registrations. 

If you are attending the Pre-Conference and the Health & Family Institute, the cost is $400.00 for VAHSA members and $425.00 for non-members until October 15, the cost will increase to $25 starting October 16 until registration closes on November 21. 

 Health & Family Institute Information:

If you are with a Head Start Program in Virginia and are only attending the Health & Family Institute, your registration cost should be $285 for the full conference and $160 for a single day before October 15. Starting October 16, the price will increase to $310 and $185.  If this is not showing correctly, do not finish this registration. Please contact Julia Beglane to make sure you are correctly paired with your program.

Keynote Speakers:


Genevieve King is the President for the Virginia Medication Assisted Recovery Programs comprising of 40 clinics. She is also the Asst. Regional Director for Pinnacle Treatment Services and the Executive Director of Leesburg Treatment Services. Genevieve has been a part of the recovery story for the past 10 years for hundreds of patients and the service providers who care for them. 

As a certified substance abuse counselor Genevieve meets her family’s where they are at and provides treatment for the whole system. Utilizing humor, culture, faith, and support systems that are dear to the patient have been a platform for communicating a need for treatment in a time of crisis.
Genevieve’s masters in Leadership is the cornerstone to assist parents, patients, and treatment providers to lead their loved ones into a healthier life. The foundation of every encounter is based on the hope for success in recovery.

Genevieve specializes in speaking to drug courts, churches, leadership teams, and community providers about the tension of addiction as a disease or moral failure in our community and families. Which category are you in? Come and explore your own thoughts about the challenges of opioid dependence and the impact it has had on our families during this presentation. 

Judy Cameron PH.D.

Judy Cameron PH.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry and the Clinical Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. For 10 years she was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Early Experience and Brain Development and she is currently a member of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and the Scientific Council of the Child Mind Institute. Research areas in Dr. Cameron’s lab include the interaction between genetic factors and early life experiences on shaping behavioral development, identification of factors that lead to stress sensitivity versus stress resilience, and the interactions between physical health and mental health. Dr. Cameron’s newest research initiative is Working for Kids: Building SkillsTM (, which is a novel community-based program that teaches the fundamentals of brain development to those who work with children at a community level that includes games such as The First Pathways Game ( which is freely available and provides activities that parents and children can play together to strengthen brain development. This initiative provides a community training program and is evaluating the effect of this intervention on child development as well as health. Working For Kids has won several innovation awards in Pittsburgh, as well as from the National Science Foundation

Cancellation Policy - A submitted registration is a commitment to pay. No refunds will be issued, though you may transfer your registration to another person at no additional charge.

Hotel Information:

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Richmond - Midlothian
1021 Koger Center Boulevard
Richmond, Virginia, 23235
Phone Number: 1-804-379-3800
Hotel Map and Directions.pdf

Room rate is $121.00 per night

Group Code: HED
Room block closes 10/23/19 

After Hour Ideas:

Fun Things to Do.pdf

Restaurant Guide.pdf

Retail Outlets and Services.pdf