Foster Parents and Advocates Criticize Elizabeth Guzman’s Attack on D.J. Jordan’s Social Services Work
Guzman Campaign Claims That D.J., A Foster and Adoptive Parent, Has Neglected Vulnerable Children
WOODBRIDGE, VA – At the start of National Adoption Month (November), a group of foster parents and advocates today criticized Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s political attacks against D.J. Jordan’s record on the Virginia State Board of Social Services. In television ads and mail pieces, the Guzman campaign has claimed that D.J. Jordan has neglected foster children because of missed meetings when he served as a volunteer citizen appointee on the Virginia State Board of Social Services.
Jordan is currently running for the 31st District of the Virginia House of Delegates against Delegate Guzman.
D.J. and his wife have fostered children, adopted from foster care, and mentored young people who have aged out of the foster care system. D.J. also serves on the Virginia Kids Belong nonprofit, which helps find foster homes for foster kids across the Commonwealth. Between July 2013 to June 2017, Jordan served on the Virginia State Board of Social Services, a volunteer citizen appointment by the Governor.
“D.J. was unanimously elected chairman of the predominantly Democratic Board the year after he missed the meetings referenced by Guzman’s attack ads,” said Kimberly Jackson-Makle, Democrat and Prince William County Foster Parent. “D.J. obviously served our state’s Department of Social Services well. It’s baffling that her campaign is trying to mislead the people of the 31st District by slanderously attacking a respected foster parent like this.”
“D.J. is not only a person who has taken in foster children and mentored foster youth, but he and his wife have been heavily involved in foster parent recruiting,” said Megan Connelly, Prince William County Foster Parent and Advocate. “I’m disgusted by the attacks leveled against him. This is particularly disappointing that Delegate Guzman, who is herself a licensed Social Worker, would so viciously attack a foster parent like D.J.”
“D.J. Jordan was very engaged and passionate about our work serving vulnerable families,” said Lou Ali, a fellow State Board of Social Services Member with D.J. Ms. Ali was appointed by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe. “I was glad to support him to lead the Board as Chairman. He was prepared for meetings, concerned about issues facing the service population and was a most capable advocate on their behalf.”
“Attacking D.J. for his work on the State Board of Social Services rings hollow,” said Eugene Brown, Prince William Department of Social Services Advisory Board Member. “If you know DJ, advocating for neglected children is his calling card. Whether it’s the Pinwheel Garden for Suicide Prevention, the Prince William County Fatherhood Initiative Father-Daughter Dance, National Adoption Day, or the Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner, he volunteers his time and money attending Social Services initiatives and being there for vulnerable people in our community.”
“The recent attacks on D.J. Jordan’s involvement in foster care are appalling,” said Calla Carver, a Fauquier County Foster Parent. “As a foster and adoptive parent, D.J. demonstrates his commitment to children in foster care every day. Do not be misled by absurd ads. We need more foster families like the Jordan’s, who are willing to sacrifice to provide a safe environment for traumatized children. I am grateful for D.J.’s service to foster children.”
“I knew that politics would be hard for me and my family, but these attacks on our work with foster children are particularly disheartening,” said D.J. Jordan. “Citizens are tired of smear attacks like this; they deserve a spirited debate about the important policy issues that impact their lives every day, like solutions to traffic congestion. That’s why I am running, and I believe the voters of the 31st District are smart and will look past the noise.”
The State Board of Social Services does not carry out specific child protective services or foster placements, but rather provides regulatory oversight for the Virginia Department of Social Services. The Board meets in Richmond, or a location around the state, six or seven times per year, on average. In 2015, Jordan missed several Board meetings due to required work travel for his full-time day job. The other ten Board members supported D.J. and his service on the Board… so much so that those same Board members unanimously voted for Jordan to be Chairman of the Board the following year. During his entire four-year term on the Board, Jordan attended the overwhelming majority (80%) of the meetings.