November 2021 Issue 44

Therapeutic Foster Care Licensing

There is always a need for more licensed caregivers. Currently, the need for specialized caregivers is at an all-time high. Therapeutic Foster Homes are caregiver homes that are licensed with a maximum capacity of three foster children, and each caregiver has received specialized training to provide care and services within a support system of clinical and consultative services to children with special behavioral health needs, as identified by the Department.

In addition to meeting the requirements for a regular license, the caregiver for a Therapeutic Foster Home shall:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have at least one of the following minimum experience or education: one year’s experience as a licensed foster caregiver; three months "successful experience in child welfare, foster care, behavioral health, education, or a related profession" as approved by OLR (DCS's Office of Licensing and Regulation); a bachelor's or graduate degree in health care, social work, psychology, or a related behavioral health field
  • Not have employment or commitments that interfere with the caregiver's ability to meet the child's special behavioral health needs
  • Provide the child with opportunitites to participate in developmentally appropriate community-based activities on a regular basis
  • Develop and follow an alternate supervision plan, approved by the Child Placing Agency and the licensing agency, if the caregiver is not available to provide primary care and supervision for a child with treatment needs
  • Complete training to care for the special needs of a child, as indicated in the placement agreement
  • In addition to the training specified under R21-6-303, complete a minimum of 24 hours of training prior to license renewal. The Department shall approve the training curriculum and coordinate the training curriculum through a licensing agency. The training shall include: positive behavior development and de-escalation techniques, the purpose and safe use of medications, and overview of medication interactions and potential medication reactions.

Some of the agencies that provide Therapeutic Foster Care licensing are listed below. As with regular licensing, do your research and choose an agency that is the best fit for your family.

A New Leaf’s Therapeutic Foster Care program welcomes all that are interested in becoming licensed to care for some of Arizona's most valuable children. We firmly believe that anyone with a loving home and big heart can be a successful therapeutic foster parent. We are accepting of all families regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or socioeconomic status. A New Leaf welcomes and champions for intersectionality and tolerance. Under our agency, our foster parents will obtain the necessary training (offered in English and Spanish) and guidance needed to do the incredibly selfless work of caring for a child in foster care. Our dedicated staff of licensing workers will be in the home monthly to ensure that all tools needed for success and needs of the children in your care are met. Our team attends all CFT meetings and court hearings alongside our families to provide comfort and guidance through this, at times, difficult process. Support is one of our top priorities; making sure that our families and children are well taken care of and looked after appropriately. A New Leaf offers our parents monthly support groups, online forums, ongoing training, and child resources (i.e. diapers, clothing, formula) to ensure that they are supported every step of the way. A New Leaf strives to provide unwavering guidance to all of our foster, adoptive, and kinship families from the very first time we meet. A New Leaf serves Maricopa and Pinal Counties. Applicants can apply by completing our link at https://www.jotform.com/fostercareadoption/intake. Email fostercareadoption@turnanewleaf.org or call 480-825-6564 for more information.

Arizona's Children Association - Therapeutic Foster Care/Home Care Training to Home Care Client (HCTC) is a service that is provided to children who require a higher level of care and intervention than regular foster care can provide. Our HCTC homes provide a safe and highly structured living environment for children with moderate to severe behavioral and emotional challenges. These children require the maximum amount of support and supervision that a family can provide. Our licensed HCTC foster parents work with the children and teach them healthy social and coping skills to assist them in meeting life challenges with positive responses. We will support your family and the children in your home beginning with the placement matching process all the way through discharge. Arizona's Children Association serves families statewide. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a provider, please click here to complete an interest form and we’ll contact you shortly. More info: https://www.arizonaschildren.org/foster-adopt/

Catholic Charities is dedicated to helping the community’s most vulnerable find permanent solutions. This carries over in our Therapeutic Foster Care Program where we are committed to helping youth meet their goals in order to move forward with reunification or find their forever home. Our TFC program is unique in that it offers weekly In-Home Counseling support to our families and clients, we host regular respite events during the summer or school breaks, and know the importance of recognizing and appreciating the hard work our TFC families put worth everyday with the youth they serve. Catholic Charities provides services in Yavapai and Coconino Counties. If you are interested in joining Catholic Charities Therapeutic Foster Care Team, please do not hesitate to reach out 928-708-7227 or FosterCareNAz@cc-az.org. Learn more: https://www.catholiccharitiesaz.org/

Christian Family Care - There’s a great need for families to love children with behavioral health diagnoses through Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC). If you’re a family who has at least one stay-at-home parent or a family with experience fostering for a year or a background in social work, education, or medical, please consider becoming a therapeutic foster parent. Through Christian Family Care, we provide extensive training and support, after which prospective parents will be professionally licensed to care for either one or two children with a behavioral health diagnosis. Hear from one of our TFC families on what has been the greatest blessing and most fulfilling part about being a therapeutic foster parent. You can help create a brighter future for kids through Therapeutic Foster Care today! Visit our website to watch a short video and learn more: https://cfcare.org/foster-care/therapeutic-foster-care/

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health trains, licenses and supports individuals wanting to become therapeutic foster care providers for children, ages 5 to 17, with significant emotional and behavioral challenges. We help the youth in our care improve their emotional and psychological well-being by using a collaborative approach and individualized services to meet best practice standards in trauma-informed, inclusive and culturally-competent care. We seek a diverse pool of individuals who reflect our diverse clientele by welcoming single, partnered, married and cohabitating individuals to become therapeutic home providers. Devereux serves Maricopa and Pima Counties. Devereux offers free weekly virtual information sessions for anyone interested in learning more: https://www.devereuxazfostercare.org/.

HRT supports the intervention of Therapeutic Foster Care to merge foster care programs and behavioral health. We believe the TFC program is an essential part of the continuum within both the Child Welfare and Behavioral Health systems, providing support for children with complex behavioral health issues. HRT is unique because we offer weekly support groups for our providers to connect with other TFC or Foster Families. We also have a monthly clinical meeting with all the TFC providers where we will hold a training or answer any questions that the providers have. HRT serves Maricopa and Pinal Counties. If you have any questions about our TFC program or are interested in starting the process to become a TFC provider, please contact us at 602-433-1344, email us at info@hrtaz.com, or go to our web page https://hrtaz.com/ where our Foster Care intake specialist can answer your questions through a chat.

Human Services Consultants (HSC) has been providing quality Foster Care Services since 2000. HSC specializes in licensing and Supporting Therapeutic Foster Homes and currently holds the largest number of licensing Therapeutic Foster Homes in the state of Arizona serving Maricopa and Pinal Counties. By focusing exclusively on Therapeutic Foster Homes HSC can provide the highest quality services including free in-house professional trainings, evidence-based curriculum, dedicated matching and placement coordinator, highly trained and experienced staff. HSC aims to provide an array of community-based services to children, families, and communities that will promote and enable self-sufficiency and stability. To begin initial licensing with us, call 602-279-1427, or attend our monthly, live virtual Eventbrite every 2nd Thursday of the month at 6pm. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hsc-therapeutic-foster-care-information-session-tickets-146482141027

Intermountain Centers for Human Development has therapeutic foster care in the following counties: Pima, Pinal, Cochise, Santa Cruz, Maricopa, and Yuma. A large proportion of our program serves Native youth through the respective tribal social services. We use a treatment approach that includes a behavioral model. We have over 20 years experience working with therapeutic foster care. For more information: https://intermountaincenters.org/foster-care-services/childrens-foster-care/hctc/

La Paloma Family Services serves Therapeutic Foster Care Providers in Pima County. Our Providers and the children they care for have access to behavioral health services such as groups, trainings, and therapy through our collaboration with La Frontera. Our Licensing Coaches provides support to Providers through visits, weekly contact, participating in appointments/meetings, and documentation. If you are interested in getting started, please call 520-429-4247. Help children learn skills to manage their behaviors and work towards well-being by providing a flexible and stable home.

Pathways of Arizona has provided Therapeutic Foster Care services since 2002. Pathways supports TFC Providers across the State including Tucson, Phoenix and the surrounding areas, Yuma and several counties in Northern Arizona. We strive to provide the highest quality services through support and education. Pathways has been providing behavioral health services to the Tucson area since 1997 and is able to bring clinical strengths to the Therapeutic Foster Care setting. To reach us please contact: Northern Arizona: Diana.Reed@Pathways.com; Yuma: Rene.Martinez@pathways.com; Tucson: Robyn.Panico@pathways.com; Maricopa County: Andrea.Meza@pathways.com; Statewide: Laura.Gibeault@pathways.com. Learn more: https://www.pathwaysofaz.com/

SequelCare of Arizona provides office and community-based therapeutic services for adults and adolescents, located in Prescott Valley. We have therapeutic foster care homes and adolescent/adult group homes, providing a continuum of care as needed. At SequelCare of Arizona, our goal is that every client and family we serve achieves their optimal potential. We are committed to providing high-quality psychiatric/therapeutic office and residential-based treatment with support services in a safe environment to assist our clients in addressing, managing, and overcoming serious emotional, psychological, and behavioral problems. SequelCare has contracts to provide behavioral health care throughout the State of Arizona, utilizing both private insurances and State/Tribal health agencies in each county. Feel free to contact us with any questions. We can help. For more info: http://www.sequelcareofarizona.com/

The Zion Institute understands the impact of the village helping to raise a child. Our trusted Therapeutic Foster Care providers are a part of that village that provides safe and healthy home environments for children, ages 3-17 years old. Children are placed in family home settings with foster families specifically trained to nurture and support them while addressing behavioral challenges. Effective interventions for these youth are multidimensional and implemented in the home, at school and in the community. Therapeutic Foster Parents assist as part of a behavioral treatment team for children and adolescents with extensive emotional or behavioral health needs. The Zion campus offers a variety of services to meet the needs of the community, including therapeutic foster care, behavioral healthcare, human services, resource navigation support and the connection to a Zion ecosystem that includes various providers in multiple fields of service. The Zion Institute provides services in Maricopa and Pinal counties. Learn more: https://thezioninstitute.org/

Indian Child Welfare Act

What is ICWA?

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law that was passed in 1978 in response to the alarmingly high number of American Indian children being removed from their families by both public and private agencies. The purpose of the law is to “protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families.” ICWA sets federal requirements that apply to state child custody proceedings involving an Indian child who is a member of, or eligible for membership in, a federally recognized tribe. Child custody proceedings under ICWA include hearings focused on foster care placement, termination of parental rights, and adoption.

How does ICWA protect American Indian children and their families?

When ICWA applies to a child’s case, the child’s tribe and family will have an opportunity to be involved in decisions affecting services and placements for the Indian child. A tribe, parent, or Indian custodian can also petition to transfer jurisdiction of the case to the tribal court of the child’s tribe. ICWA sets out federal requirements regarding removal and placement of Indian children in foster, guardianship, or adoptive homes, and allows the child’s tribe to intervene in the case.

Who is covered by ICWA?

American Indian children involved in state child custody proceedings are covered by ICWA. A person may define his or her identity as Indian, but in order for ICWA to apply, the involved child must be an Indian child as defined by the law. Under federal law, individual tribes have the right to determine eligibility, membership, or both. However, in order for ICWA to apply, the child must be a member of, or eligible for membership in, a federally recognized tribe. The state must apply ICWA even if the tribe does not intervene.

What considerations should be made in an ICWA case?

Caseworkers must make several considerations when handling an ICWA case, including:

  • Providing active efforts to the family
  • Identifying a placement that fits under the ICWA preference provisions
  • Notifying the child’s tribe and the child’s parents in a timely manner of the child custody proceeding
  • Working actively to involve the child’s tribe, the child’s parents, and the child’s extended family in the proceedings and other important casework decisions

What are "active efforts?"

States are required to provide active efforts to families, and the court will be asked to determine whether active efforts have been made. Active efforts are defined as the affirmative, active, thorough, and timely efforts intended primarily to maintain or reunite an Indian child with his or her family.

ICWA mandates the state to make active efforts in every ICWA case in two areas:

  • Provide services to the family to prevent removal of an Indian child from his or her parent or Indian custodian
  • Reunify an Indian child with his or her parent or Indian custodian after removal

A cornerstone in the application of active efforts is active and early participation and consultation with the child’s tribe in all case planning decisions. Additionally, active efforts are different from “reasonable efforts.” For example, reasonable efforts might be only a referral for services, but active efforts would be to arrange for the best-fitting, culturally appropriate services; helping families overcome obstacles to engage in those services (such as by arranging transportation); and following up on the family’s impression of whether those services were successful or how services may need to change. ICWA’s provisions, including those for active efforts, apply whether or not the child’s tribe is involved in the custody proceedings.

I am a non-Native foster or adoptive parent with an Indian child placed in my home. What should I know about ICWA, the cross-cultural needs of my child, and establishing a relationship with my child’s tribe?

ICWA requires that states place Indian children in foster care first with their extended family. If this is not possible, placement should be with a foster family licensed or approved by the child’s tribe. If neither of these options is available, then placement should be with an Indian family licensed by a non-Indian agency, such as a state agency. For adoptions, the placement preferences are first with extended family, then a family of the child’s tribe, then another Indian family.

It is important to help the child understand his or her tribal heritage and support the healthy development of their Indian identity. Studies show that children who grow up disconnected from their Indian heritage have higher rates of mental health and identity disorders, while children who remain connected with their communities and culture are more resilient or “bounce back” better from trauma (such as abuse or neglect). While there are various books and internet sites that contain general information on Indian culture, it is best if caregivers work with the child’s tribe and extended family when possible to provide specific and culturally appropriate information and resources.

A good relationship with the child’s tribe is important to the child’s development. Caregivers can contact the tribe’s Indian child welfare department and see how they can assist in making meaningful connections and identify appropriate resources. Caregivers can also connect with their local urban Indian community center to identify resources and help the child engage with the local Indian community.

Every Student Succeeds Act

Children in foster care frequently face delays in school enrollment, or they are placed in the wrong classes or schools due to missing, incomplete, or delayed school records and documentation. School instability makes it difficult for a child to develop supportive relationships with teachers and peers. Unplanned school changes may be associated with delays in a child's academic progress, leaving students to fall behind their peers. The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) seeks to improve educational success for children in foster care.

ESSA requires a child in foster care to remain in their school of origin unless it is not in the child's best interest. In order to determine whether this is the case, a Best Interest Determination (BID) meeting must be held promptly. The meeting should include the DCS Specialist, out-of-home caregiver, Local Education Agency (LEA, the school representative), and parent/guardian or IDEA parent (the person responsible for making decisions about special education evaluations or services). The meeting can occur as part of a CFT, case plan staffing, TDM, or another meeting when all identified parties are available to attend. If the child is moved prior to the BID meeting taking place, the school of origin must make accommodations to support the child's attendance at the school of origin until the BID meeting can be completed. The BID will consider the wishes of the parent, caregiver, and child; the school’s distance from where the child is placed; the child’s age, personal connections, social, and emotional state; academic, developmental, language, and socialization needs; and the effect a school change will have on the child's learning, academic strength, and grade placement.

Transportation needs are often the most significant barrier to maintaining a child in the school of origin. There are several resources and options to consider.

  • Unlicensed out-of-home caregivers can received mileage reimbursement for transporting a child in their physical custody for educational purposes, with preapproval.
  • Foster parent reimbursement rates include the costs of routine travel, which includes travel to and from school.
  • Determine if the school provides transportation through an existing school bus route or other service
  • The caregiver may arrange a carpool with a trusted adult.
  • Depending on the child's age, developmental needs, and whether it is safe to do so, consider public transportation.
  • Look into flexibility in work scehdule, teleworking, or working in an alternative location.

After careful assessment and problem-solving, it may be determined that it is not in the best interest of the child to remain in the school of origin. It may be due to lack of safety, the school's inability to meet the child's special needs, unreasonable distance and travel to the school of origin from the child's placement, etc. If it is not in the child's best interest to stay in their school of origin, the child is immediately enrolled in the new school, even if the child does not have the normal records required for enrollment. The Notice to Provider will suffice. The new school will immediately contact the previous school to obtain any relevant academic or other records. The DCS Specialist completes the Best Interest Determination form to document the reasons it is best for the child to change schools. This must be provided to the new school in order for them to proceed with enrollment.

Each school district has a Foster Care Liaison that can help caregivers navigate the BID process, as well as many other educational issues. Reach out to them with any questions or concerns, and they can provide resources or direction to resolve them.

For an in-depth view of ESSA, view the training provided by the Arizona Department of Education.

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid

National Novel Writing Month

Children in the child welfare system have stories to tell. All of their stories are important, and they deserve to be heard. National Novel Writing Month could be a starting point for getting their story out in the world. It starts November 1st!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, empowering approach to creative writing. The challenge: draft an entire novel in just one month. For 30 wild, exciting, surprising days, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create! NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program (YWP) takes that joyful, focused approach to creative writing and makes it accessible to young writers, educators, and families. How does it work? Participants aged 17-and-under (18 is okay if still in high school) can sign up for accounts at ywp.nanowrimo.org.

To work on a novel, young writers can join an official event (like NaNoWriMo in November, or Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July), set a word-count goal, and try to reach it by the end of the month. The Young Writers Program allows participants to set individualized goals. 1,000 words? 10,000? 100,000??? It's up to you! Use the progress-tracking tools on our site to stay on track.

Birth and Foster Parent Partnership

Raising Special Kids

Raising Special Kids began in 1979 as a grass-roots effort of families, professionals, and community leaders determined to provide support and information for parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs. Today, Raising Special Kids serves as Arizona’s Family-to-Family Health Information Center, and as Arizona’s Parent Training and Information Center. Helping parents access information about health care, community resources, and support services so they can make informed decisions regarding their children’s care has been our mission from the beginning. We support thousands of Arizona families each year through our programs and services.

Raising Special Kids provides programs and services at no cost to families. No eligibility determinations are required. Any parent or family member of a child with a disability can take advantage of services provided in English, Spanish, and other languages.

  • Individual Consultation - Our staff of Family Support Specialists are parents and family members of children with disabilities and can relate to the challenges facing parents and family members who call for support. Our staff receives on-going training on Federal and State programs, as well as community-based programs and resources, available to individuals with disabilities and special health care needs. We provide families with support for the full spectrum of issues a family may encounter from birth through age 26, and sometimes beyond. Raising Special Kids staff specializes in information and training in the areas of Education, Health Care, Behavior Support, and Transition to Adulthood. Families who contact us or are referred for individual consultation will receive: a call from one of our Family Support Specialists by the end of the following business day; compassion and understanding from our staff of professional, experienced, fellow parents or family members of a child with a disability; information, resources, problem-solving support, and strategies to help parents access and advocate for the support their child needs.
  • Parent-to-Parent support has always been the heart of Raising Special Kids. Each year, more than 300 families in Arizona are connected with veteran “mentor” parents who have walked a similar path and who understand the challenges of raising a child with a disability or special health care need.
  • Raising Special Kids’ Positive Family Coaching (PFC) program provides enhanced support to families of children receiving behavioral health services through AHCCCS. Through the child’s Child & Family Team (CFT), Raising Special Kids can provide support with education, health care system navigation, development of effective advocacy skills, and strategies for positive behavior support. Currently, Raising Special Kids PFC program is only available to families of children with Mercy Care and United Healthcare plans through AHCCCS, with more plans to come soon. If you have Mercy Care or United Healthcare and would like to receive Positive Family Coaching from Raising Special Kids, please contact your child’s case manager to request our Positive Family Coaching services. For more information, please call us at 602-242-4366.
  • Events & Trainings - At this time, most events and trainings are being held virtually. Trainings/workshops include topics such as Talking to Your Child About Sexuality, Understanding 504, IEP Training, High School Transition, Early Childhood Education, Positive Behavior Support, and more.

SWAPPOW Skateboard Academy

One For All - Welcome to Our Home

Do you, or does anyone you know, hav a NEW foster care placement? Twelve foster care support organizations across the state have created unique “Welcome to our Home” offers for families who take new placements between October 1 and December 31, 2021.

This "One4All" effort is our way of saying thank you, and supporting you in stepping up and stepping in to empty the placement centers and welcome a new child into your home. Whether you’re a licensed foster parent or kinship caregiver, if this is your first placement or your 10th, we appreciate and applaud your commitment.

Participating "Welcome to Our Home" organizations are:

  • ASA Now
  • Arizona 1.27
  • Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents
  • Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation
  • Arizona Helping Hands
  • Aviva Children's Services
  • Boost a Foster Family
  • Helen's Hope Chest
  • More Than a Bed
  • Spreading Threads
  • Three Precious Miracles
  • Voices for CASA Children

Family Involvement Center Resources

For plenty of parents, teachers, and school staff, anxiety is running high as school is back to in-person learning, and COVID-19 cases are rising again. So we want to remind you that support is available right now. Our team is trained to help with recovering from the psychological effects caused by the pandemic. Thanks to our partnership with Resilient Arizona, you can receive confidential help at no cost in group or one-on-one settings. This includes for supportive crisis counseling, education and development of coping skills. Again, services are 100% free and confidential.

Resilient Arizona providers are located throughout Arizona. If you live in Northern Arizona, call (928) 440-6181. If you reside in Central Arizona, call (602) 704-0440. And if you live in Southern Arizona, please call (520) 485-5858.

This help also includes assistance with finding food, paying house bills, accessing free childcare, and other essential services. You can also dial 2-1-1 anywhere in Arizona 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or visit www.ResilientArizona.org. Feel free to email us at pac@familyinvolvementcenter.org if you have any additional questions.

Child & Family Resources Youth Mentoring Services Program

Foster and Kinship CPR/First Aid

Foster parent and kinship CPR/First Aid Certification taught by Safety Nick with Home Hazard Prevention. Costs sponsored by Lewis Labadie, unless otherwise specified.

  • November 13 at 12 pm - ASA Now/East Valley at 7830 E. University Dr., Mesa 85207 - Kinship and licensed families. Childcare available and includes food box. $10 class
  • December – to be determined.

Email office@lewislabadie.com to register or call 480-598-8724. ASA Now registration can be done through Lewis Labadie or directly with ASA Now, which will provide you with additional resources.

Home Hazard Prevention may have other dates and times available. Nick can be reached at 480-448-0266 or Nick@homehazardprevention.com or check out his calendar of events online. He also has a blog that addresses a variety of safety issues. Check out his Halloween safety tips!

Child Crisis Arizona Education Programs


ASA Now is a non-profit organization that ADVOCATES for, SUPPORTS, and ASSISTS children and families impacted by foster care. We are passionate about providing support to families and professionals by restoring hope and empowering them to better serve these children in need.

Services we offer include tutoring & extracurricular activities, food pantry, clothing, and meeting basic necessities. Other services include life skills for youth, respite care, therapeutic programs, family activities, peer-to-peer support groups, education and training on utilizing Jacob's Law to obtain behavioral health services, providing resources to families and caregivers to successfully navigate the foster care system, raising awareness, recruiting new foster families, and advocating for families and their children.

Family Care KIDS Preschool

Family Care KIDS is the newest service from Christian Family Care. Family Care KIDS is a trauma-informed preschool in Phoenix which serves foster children, as well as children in the community between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years old. At Family Care KIDS, they understand every child comes with their own story. All teachers at Family Care KIDS are sensitive to that and are trauma-informed. Their goal is to grow and develop a beautiful classroom environment full of children engaged in joyful, playful, and appropriately challenging learning. Learn more at FamilyCareKIDS.com. *DES approved*

Trauma-Informed Care Training

This online training for birth, kinship, foster, and adoptive families includes an overview of the importance of relationships and trauma, how young children are affected by trauma, feelings and behaviors young children may exhibit, and how caregivers can help. Hosted by Southwest Human Development, this training is facilitated by Molly Strothkamp, MSW, LCSW, IMH-E, child therapist at the Good Fit Counseling Center. This class is free and is offered one Saturday per month and one weeknight every other month.

  • Saturday, 9am-12pm - November 13, December 11
  • Wednesday, 6pm-9pm - November 17

Arizona Helping Hands

Arizona Helping Hands is the largest provider of essential items for children in foster care in Arizona. Their programs provide a safe place to sleep, clothing, hygiene items, birthday packages, backpacks filled with school supplies, licensing safety items, foster footlockers, and more. If needed, kinship and foster families with a current notice to provider are eligible to receive basic needs such as clothing, diapers, wipes, and hygiene items every four months.

one-n-ten LGBTQ Parent Support Groups

one•n•ten envisions a world where all LGBTQ youth and young adults are embraced for who they are, actively engaged in their communities, and empowered to lead. Our mission is to serve LGBTQ youth and young adults ages 11-24. We enhance their lives by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self‐expression, self‐acceptance, leadership development, and healthy life choices.

Our Thursday Parents’ Group meeting is held on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm. This is a chance for the trusted adults of an LGBTQA+ youth to talk to staff and other parents/guardians in a supportive atmosphere.

Our Saturday meetings are held the 2nd Saturday of the month at 12:30 pm. Typically we have a guest speaker that gives a presentation and then takes questions.

  • November 13th: A panel of LGBTQ adults will be discussing their lives and successes.

Papa John's Partnership

Child Crisis Arizona Training

Child Crisis Arizona's fall program calendar is live! This includes live Zoom programming, on-demand trainings, and in-person programming. These trainings are great tools for general parent knowledge, adoption and foster care licensure hours, and more. The schedule includes some of the solid courses, such as Active Parenting, Anger Management for Children, Healing Trauma, Parenting on the Same Page, Understanding Temperament, and so much more. There are also 3 new trainings that will be added later this fall: Beating Bedtime Battles, Promoting Secure Attachment, and Water Safety. Note: The Safe Sleep webinar provides free Pack 'n Plays to individuals that qualify and complete the webinar. The Car Seat Safety webinar provides a free car seat/booster seat with installation by a licensed Car Seat Specialist to individuals that qualify and complete the webinar.

Child Crisis Arizona also offers a Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Virtual Support Group. Meet with other parents experiencing some of the same struggles and victories while parenting Arizona's most vulnerable children. The remaining dates for 2021 are October 27 at 1pm, November 15 at 5pm, and December 15 at 1pm. Each meeting will be led by a Child Crisis Arizona Licensing Specialist and held over Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81561241538


Support, Tools, and Education for Parents (STEP) is designed to build positive relationships between family members. It provides a safe space to discuss topics that may be too difficult to talk about at home. These conversations are about peer pressure, stress, and the importance of working together as a team. When caregivers and children work together, it creates a stronger family! The Children’s Advocacy Center understands that family does not always mean a biological parent and child. STEP is a program that will benefit the whole family, including biological, foster, kinship, and adoptive families.

Families enrolled in STEP will meet virtually each week. Each session consists of different topics such as communication, stress management, substance abuse prevention and how to talk to your child about difficult topics (identifying potential child abusers, child abuse, healthy and concerning sexualized behavior), each session building on the next. Child care will be available when classes are offered in person again. For questions, please contact Jackie Ballesteros at jballesteros@soazadvocacy.org or 520-724-2148.

Christian Family Care Training

AZ.127 Foster Family Support & Connections

AZ.127 will be offering support via Facebook & Instagram mini-sessions of techniques and tools from the Trust-Based Relational Intervention program. Additionally, they will be matching mentor foster families with foster families in need of support.

Caring Connections for Special Needs

Arizona Early Intervention Program

Yavapai CASA for Kids

Tucson Resources

Spreading Threads is a grassroots, nonprofit community clothing bank that provides free clothes to foster youth in southern Arizona. The organization was founded by two foster moms in Tucson who have fostered and adopted several children in Arizona. Your donations go directly to local children in need. The second Saturday of each month foster, adoptive, and kinship families can visit the clothing bank. A Notice to Provider will be needed. The clothing bank events are held at 1870 W. Prince, Suite 54 in Tucson.

Respite Resource

A Mighty Change of Heart

A Mighty Change of Heart provides FREE duffle bags to foster children with new, age-appropriate items inside: 2 outfits, shoes & socks, underwear, book, diapers/wipes, hygiene items, and more. These bags have the children’s names embroidered on them, and are something that they can call their very own. They have delivered over 3,500 bags across the state.

Please check out their website for more information: www.amchaz.com. If your family, business, church group or school would be interested in holding a donation drive, please contact A Mighty Change of Heart. Items are always needed.

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. Please leave a message with your name and contact information in order to receive a call back.

Children's Heart Gallery

More than 70 percent of the children in need of forever families are adopted by their relatives or foster parents. For the remainder, special recruitment efforts like the Heart Gallery are used to connect them with a forever family.

The children featured in the Heart Gallery represent all ethnic groups and range from toddlers to teenagers. Some have special behavioral or medical needs, some are without siblings, and others are in groups of siblings.


Feira is a smart, strong and resilient young lady! She is energetic with a bubbly personality and a great sense of humor. Feira would like to pursue a career as an animal caretaker with specific specialization in either working with or training exotic animals. In her spare time, Feira likes to watch movies and chill at home. Feira enjoys running and hopes to maintain a running routine. She also enjoys passing a volleyball with someone. Feira participates in choir at school. She loves sushi or Hawaiian BBQ. Feira's ideal day would include relaxing and going to a friend’s house, where she can eat junk food and watch movies. She dreams of buying a chinchilla or lizard, being able to drive and go out to an expensive dinner.

Feira was born in 2004.


Azael is an active and fun-loving young boy. His favorite places to go are Uptown Jungle and Skyzone. When he spends time at home, he enjoys watching Anime, especially My Hero Academia, Adventure Time, and Kipo & the Age of the Wonderbeasts. In additional to liking anime, Azael is always game to watch a good super hero movie, play video games or spend time on his tablet. When he grows up, Azael says he wants to be a super hero in order to save humanity from zombies. If that doesn’t pan out, he dreams of being an inventor and creating things.

Azael was born in 2010.

Alex & Sean

Alex and Sean are sweet, loving and playful brothers who are hoping to find a family of their own!

Alex enjoys being active- riding his bike, learning to skateboard, playing football and basketball. He loves playing video games! He is very helpful and enjoys engaging in community events. Alex likes action movies, hip-hop and rap music. Alex also enjoys playing with RC cars and Hotwheels cars. Alex hopes to have a career working on computers and electronics someday. He has a great sense of humor.

Sean is all about sports, especially football and basketball. Sean has many interest- Legos, video games, riding bikes, swimming, doing magic tricks, Pokémon cards, Laser Tag, Nerf Guns, Roblox, and has a fascination with The Titanic. He enjoys going to the gym and weight lifting. He dreams of someday being an officer in the US Marines, FBI, CIA or Swat-Team.

Alex was born in 2005. Sean was born in 2007.

AZ Families Thrive is published monthly by the Arizona Department of Child Safety to inform foster, kinship, and adoptive families across the state. Rhiannon Schaudt-Hobkirk 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
Rhiannon Schaudt-Hobkirk