Richmond, VA - This afternoon, former Virginia First Lady Anne Holton addressed members of the local foster care community at Radio One's “We Care About Virginia's Children Luncheon” in Richmond. Holton, who served as a juvenile and domestic relations district court judge before leaving to serve as Virginia’s First Lady, has dedicated much of her career to reforming Virginia’s foster care system.
“I admire the fight and resiliency of foster care children, they have such spirit,” said Holton. “They inspired me when Tim was elected governor, to step down from the bench and work with his administration to champion a cause that I cared about, highlight the circumstances of these young people, and connect Virginia children with good homes.”
At the event, Holton shared highlights of her career, including the signature initiative she launched as First Lady, “For Keeps: Families for all Virginia Teens,” which helped Virginia find and strengthen permanent family connections for older children in foster care or children at risk of entering care. The initiative successfully instituted reforms to move thousands of young people from foster care to homes with relatives, or to new adoptive families.
“During Tim’s term, I had the honor of spotlighting these issues, and together we set a goal to reduce the number of children in institutional settings. Tim’s ability to work across the aisle and focus on results helped Virginia achieve that goal. We significantly reduced the number of children in institutional settings and connected more children with families.”
Holton, who is out on the campaign trail for the first time this year for her husband, Tim Kaine, also emphasized the importance of civic engagement and encouraged the audience to register to vote.