About the People Places Family
On any given day, there are nearly 428,000 children in foster care in the United States and over 5,000 of these children reside in Virginia. These children live in your community and are in desperate need of safe, stable, and nurturing foster homes. People Places can help you make a difference in their lives!
Founded in 1973 in Staunton, Virginia, People Places was instrumental in establishing and shaping treatment foster care- locally and nationwide. People Places is a private, not for profit agency serving Staunton, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, and the surrounding areas. We provide an array of foster care, adoption, and community based services.
Trauma informed research has proven that meaningful relationships make all the difference to children in need. We have over 40 years of experience connecting children to individuals and couples who are willing to become certified as foster or foster/adoptive parents.
Reunification with birth parents and kin is always the primary goal for children in foster care. However, when this is not possible, foster to adoptive homes are necessary to provide long-term permanency for children.
You can make a difference in the lives of children. Contact the location nearest to you to become a foster or foster/adoptive parent today!
People Places Success Stories
This Veteran’s Day, People Places would like to recognize two of our Teaching Parents and adoptive parents who served our country before serving their community and children in need. Megan and Rock Watson both served in the Army and met when they were assigned to the same company. (Megan served for 3 years and Rock for 10 years.) Both completed basic training at Fort Jackson, in South Carolina, and further training at Fort Gordon, in Georgia. Megan went on to serve during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Rock later served a tour in Korea. Both were 31D mobile subscriber equipment transmissions systems operators. “Basically we provided cell tower service before there were cell phones for the public,” they explained. When asked to describe her experience in the service, Megan said, “Joining the Army was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but those three years were the most difficult of my life. I experienced and witnessed some very traumatic things. Coming home was difficult and some of my experiences continue to impact me today.” She went on to say, “Maybe those experiences are what help me understand what our children are going through. I wouldn’t have been able to function without the support of Rock and my family. Rock’s calm demeanor and love have helped immensely with my healing. I firmly believe that healing takes place with connection in healthy relationships.” Rock says that he joined the service “because I wanted to seek something bigger and better than the situation I was in. I had members of my family who served, and I wanted to do my part and to be part of the legacy. I wanted to be part of something that had purpose and required more of me. I was discharged as an E-5 Sergeant.” The Watsons use their understanding of trauma as they foster children and try to help them build personal relationships that are meaningful. They said, “Our parenting involves order, structure and repetition. We constantly practiced missions down to the smallest detail in the Army. While we understand that chaos is familiar with the children we serve, it is managed and limited by how we run the house. Our structure involves meeting supervision needs, knowing our children well enough to know what triggers them and minimizing those triggers as much as possible, remaining calm in the midst of chaos, and treating them as if they have always been part of our family.” Rock and Megan speak of having a heart to serve and the calling they felt to foster children who had been removed from their birth families; “Our desire to serve didn’t stop once our military service ended. We believe that God blesses us with strengths and abilities to work with children and we carry out our faith to love others as Christ loves us through our mission to provide for every child who enters our home.” Megan went on to say, “Having experienced the loss and devastation of war and having to leave behind my own child has given me a different perspective on life. I had a choice, to retreat or to live, and living involves purpose and action. We impart these values onto our children in the way that we take advantage of teachable moments to give the children a tangible example of how to love others.” The Watsons will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year and they recently started a business together known as ‘Sliced. cake bar’. This traveling operation is a cake bar based on the beverage bar model, providing for purchase, cake by the slice, butter cream shots and cake flights. It seems no matter what, that this family is always looking for a new challenge or experience to pour their heart into. People Places admires their passion, parenting, and their service to our country. Thank you, Megan and Rock, for all that you’ve done to help protect our freedom and the communities we serve!
“These kids give to us, too, so much as parents” - Diane BellDiane has been a foster parent, an adoptive parent, and now employee of People Places for thirteen years. What makes the organization special to her? “I believed this is what it was supposed to be like. We were treated with such dignity and respect, while always putting the kids first.” “These kids give to us, too, so much as parents,” she added smiling. She went on to say, “People Places really put what they advertised to practice and there was no judgment. The people are not just here to fill a job. They are meant to be here. We are a family with a shared vision.” Read Diane's Full Story
People Places Resources
Check out our online resources section for information about childhood trauma, healthy living materials, and external links to relevant government agencies and resource providers.View our Resources Section
Read up on current news and trends in foster care and learn more about our team’s work!
We have over 40 years of experience connecting children to individuals and couples who are willing to become certified as foster or foster/adoptive parents. Let us share those experiences with you!