June 2018 Issue 15

Father's Day

Barack Obama said, “As fathers, we need to be involved in our children’s lives not just when it’s convenient or easy, and not just when they’re doing well — but when it’s difficult and thankless, and they’re struggling. That is when they need us most.”

Foster and adoptive fathers know first-hand the importance of being involved in the lives of the children they are raising. Caring for children that have experienced trauma is one of the hardest tasks a parent can face. Showing up for them, being involved, being present emotionally and physically will change their lives forever. Thank you, dads, whether it be foster, adoptive, biological, step or in some other father capacity. Thank you.

As Father’s Day approaches, please remember that this day can have an emotional and behavioral impact on children in foster care. Take extra time to validate their feelings, commemorate their losses, and celebrate their relationships.

Happy Father’s Day!


June 19th, 1865 marks the day that Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and slaves were free. This was two and a half years after the Declaration Proclamation which took effect January 1, 1863.

The Juneteenth celebration has continued throughout the years, but received official recognition in 1980 when Texas declared Juneteenth an official state holiday. On March 17th, 2016, Governor Ducey signed HC2226 recognizing June 19th as Juneteenth Day, making Arizona the 45th state to recognize the celebration.

Here are the details for the Juneteenth celebration in Phoenix:

June 15, 2019

4:00 pm until 9:00 pm.

Eastlake Park 1548 E Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034

Tucson Blue Ribbon Event Recap

The 5th of May was a special day in Tucson. For the 14th year, Thoroughbred Nissan has hosted the Blue Ribbon event presented by the Foster and Adoptive Council of Tucson. Thoroughbred donates the location, food, drinks, and staff time to honor the foster and adoptive families of Pima County. Foster care licensing agencies hosted games for the children in attendance.

Attendees were offered the chance to hear guest speaker Ray Cruz, foster care alumni, who shared how being in foster care allowed him the opportunity to make positive choices for his life. Judge Joan Wagener and Thoroughbred Nissan owner, Oscar Campos, presented the awards to the Blue Ribbon families. The Pima DCS Placement team was presented with the Blue Ribbon Quilt made by the Aviva Divas.

Top left: Tucson DCS Placement team with Blue Ribbon Quilt. Top Middle: Thoroughbred Nissan Owner, Oscar Campos and Judge Joan Wagener. Right: Ray Cruz, Foster Care Alumni. Bottom Left: Games hosted by Agencies

AZ Families Thrive Conference: Prescott

This is the first of three AZ Families Thrive Conferences hosted by the Department for licensed foster families and unlicensed kinship caregivers in 2019. Licensed foster parents who attend the entire day can receive 6 hours of advanced training credit that qualifies as their required renewal hours. Continental breakfast and light lunch will be included for attendees.

While unlicensed kinship families are not required to take training, DCS believes that these trainings will be valuable and will help support their placement needs.

Schedule for the day:

  • 8:15-Registration
  • 9am-Making Space to Foster or Adopt: What Every Parent Should Know Before by Dr. Roderick Logan
  • Noon-Lunch
  • 1pm- Parenting Toodl for Kids with Trauma presented by Katie O'Dell
  • 4pm- Trainin Adjourns

#LoveUp Moment

DCS is partnering with The Johnjay & Rich #Loveup Foundation to honor and recognize Arizona’s foster and adoptive families. The #Loveup Foundation was created to promote the movement of “spreading love and kindness.” As part of the movement, the #Loveup Foundation will monthly recognize a foster or adoptive family in a ” #Loveup Moment” for their commitment and dedication to the children of Arizona. The family recognized in the #LoveUp Moment will receive a $100 gift card, courtesy of #LoveUp Foundation. To nominate a family click the button below.

This month's #LoveUp Moment was nominated by Bonnie Barsalou, Licensing Specialist with Arizona Faith and Families . Bonnie wanted to acknowledge Ardell. Here is what Bonnie had to say. "Ardell is one of the most amazing women you will ever meet. Ardell has been fostering for over 10 years. This heroine is unstoppable and has loved so many children through their trauma and pain. Despite being 76 years old she is currently taking care of a sibling group that was disrupted from prior placements due to behavior. Ardell is determined, overcomes hurdles, and never gives up. We are honored to partner with Ardell and believe she embodies the very core values of the #Loveup movement!"

Enjoy Arizona

Just in time for summer! At the beginning of May each kinship and licensed foster family with a child placed, received a Family Fun Pass good for free admission to over 30 state parks.

“Offering free admission to foster families is just a small way to recognize them for the loving care they provide to many of Arizona’s most vulnerable kids,” said Governor Ducey. “I thank Arizona State Parks and the Department of Child Safety for teaming up on this innovative partnership to bring families together.”

Please be sure to read the back of the pass for instructions and restrictions. For a list of the Arizona state parks follow the link below

Other Fun Things to Do in Arizona

Located in Flagstaff, Lowell Observatory is the non-profit research center, where Pluto was discovered. It is an excellent way to beat the heat and learn about our universe.

Biosphere 2 is a unique facility that is dedicated to the research and understanding of global scientific issues, such as, climate change and living systems.

Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott is a great way to learn about the history of Arizona. Sharlot Hall in responsible for preserving much of Arizona's history. The museum is the old governor's house of Arizona.

Making Proud Choices training for Teens

Arizonans For Children and Pima Prevention Partnership are proud to offer a series of classes for high school teens in foster care on the topic of pregnancy prevention.

The series is called “Making Proud Choices,” and covers a range of topics, including:

  • Goal setting
  • Self-Esteem
  • Puberty
  • Establishing boundaries
  • Responsible & Healthy Relationships
  • Overcoming Peer Pressure

DATES: Classes run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from June 6 – July 2, 2019

TIME: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

LOCATION: AZ For Children Visitation Center – 1112 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix 85013

ATTENDEES: The class is designed for boys and girls in high school.

RSVP: Space is limited, please register by emailing Laura Pahules: az4children.laura@gmail.com.


Respite Resource

Tucson Resource

Training Opportunities Statewide

Summer Camps

Several camps are available throughout the summer for both children in foster care and foster families. Please see flyer for dates and details:

KINSHIP FOSTER FAMILIES OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN - Through a partnership with ASU, Family Camps and Saturday Programs are designed to equip families through use of therapeutic recreation, parent management training, and social support. African American Kinship Families are invited to attend these camps at no cost.

CAMPS FOR HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE - Teens will participate in a wonderful college prep program to enhance college readiness in academics, life skills and personal development. Please see flyer for a complete description of the program:


Warmline Supports Kinship and Foster Families

The Foster Parent Warmline is available for kinship families and licensed foster parents. While not an emergency number, Warmline staff can assist with information, authorizations for services, timely communication, and support. It is not intended to discourage or replace direct and regular communication between the DCS Specialist and the out-of-home caregiver. You can reach the Warmline by calling 1-877-KIDSNEEDU (1-877-543-7633) and selecting Option 3. Warmline staff are available during business hours. Callers also have the option of leaving a voice message.

Meet the Kids

Jasmine P.

Jasmine is a bubbly, talkative girl with a lot to share! Jasmine loves her school teachers because they are nice to her. Her favorite subject is math. She also likes recess, because she can build big sand castles with her new best friend. After the work is all done and school is over for the day, Jasmine can be found relaxing at home and playing games on the computer or watching her favorite movies: Leap and The Greatest Showman. When she grows up she wants to be a Doctor and a Veterinarian, so she can treat both people and their pets! Her favorite animal is a puppy, and she’d really like to be the proud pet parent of “two twin girl Poodle or Chihuahua puppies”, one of whom will be named “Calvin”. Jasmine was born in 2007.

Sage, Hailey, & Nathan

Meet Sage, Hailey, and Nathan! These siblings are full of joy, energy, playfulness, and laughter. They are very close and they love to support and encourage each other through their interests and creating fun memories! Sage is quite the artist and designer. She loves to draw and sow clothes together for Barbie dolls. She also has additional interests in soccer, football, cheerleading, and making Christian songs. Her favorite subjects in school are history, science and social studies because she loves to learn. Hailey is enamored with performing arts and she loves to sing, dance, and watch her favorite TV shows! She also loves hanging out with her sister and playing with toys. Her favorite school subjects are science and social studies. Nathan is joyful and he sees himself as a video gamer who loves the thrill of an adventure! He enjoys the social aspect of school and playing cops and robbers with his friends and he has interests in math, reading, art, and P.E. He would like to explore becoming a police officer or an army man. Sage was born in 2007. Hailey and Nathan were born in 2009.

Alex W.

lex is creative, artistic, and smart! Generally, he believes that he is able accomplish anything that he puts his mind to. Alex loves adventures such as exploring nature, rock climbing, water sports, and the thrill of overcoming challenges. He also enjoys going to church when he can. He has a heart for helping people and he wants to contribute making the world a better place! Alex says he wants a family who will make him feel loved and accepted. Alex identifies as a Christian and hopes his forever family will share Christian values as well. Alex was born in 2005.

AZ Families Thrive is published monthly by the Arizona Department of Child Safety to inform foster, kinship and adoptive families across the state. Ricky Denwood created this edition, please feel free to email with questions, comments or content you may be interested in seeing in future editions. Sign up to receive email updates when new issues are posted.

Interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent? Call us: 1-877-KIDS-NEEDU (1-877-543-7633) or email us: FosterAdoption@azdcs.gov. Visit us online: www.azkidsneedu.gov.

To report child abuse or neglect: 1-888-SOS-CHILD

Created By
Ricky Denwood

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