July 2020 Issue 28

Parenting a Child of a Different Race

Often as caregivers within the DCS system, we find ourselves parenting a child of a different race. It is important that we understand and appreciate our differences, and teach our children to be comfortable speaking about race. Often, parents think it is best not to discuss race because they do not want their children to feel different. But this can make children feel unsafe in talking about racial inequity, biases, or even their own experiences.

Below is an article from Tonia Jacobs Deese, who is a clinical instructor with the University of North Carolina School of Social Work. Ms. Deese discusses ways to talk about race when the children are of a different race than the caregivers.

Linked below is another article from Time Magazine that discusses the experiences of adoptees that were raised by parents of different races. The adoptees offer advice to parents to help prepare their children for the inevitable racial experiences of the world.

Resources During COVID-19 Quarantine

If you are in need of diapers, baby wipes, formula, clothing, or other essential items, please visit one4allAZ.com . They will do their best to connect you to a resource that can meet your needs. Below are additional COVID-19 Resources.

Safety in the Sun

Now that we are in full swing of summer, it is extremely important to monitor your family’s exposure to the sun. Below is a great article from Kidshealth.org that discusses the risks associated to long-term sun exposure, and how to pick the appropriate sun block for maximum protection.

Important Information!

One of the initiatives the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) has been working on over the last few years is to modernize the technology. One of the projects underway is to move from the CHILDS, the current system used within the department, to the new Guardian system. Guardian is a cloud-based service built to meet the diverse needs of DCS.

The information provided in these meetings is important for caregivers to receive as the change to Guardian will impact billing, direct deposit, and other information. Please attend.

For questions please email guardian@azdcs.gov

Neurosequential Model in Caregiving

Dr. Bruce Perry of the the Neurosequential Model in Caregiving is hosting “office hours.” Each week he hosts discussions to help manage the challenges associated with COVID-19. These discussions are recorded for later viewing. Please click below for more information.

Pandemic EBT for Children in Foster Care

Tips for Caregivers

  • Double check with the student’s school to ensure that the caregiver is listed as the primary contact & that the address is correct.
  • Refer to the P-EBT website for any FAQs (https://des.az.gov/p-ebt).
  • Call 1.844.841.3802 with any problems filling out the online application.
  • Act fast! The window to apply is from June 15, 2020 – July 10, 2020.
  • If you did not get the Pandemic EBT, and your child in foster care meets the criteria, please apply here: https://azdes-community.secure.force.com/PEBT#.
  • Reach out to the district/charter’s foster care liaison. Find the information at this website: (https://www.azed.gov/fostercare/lea-poc-list/).

Foster Parents are Essential

The graphic above is from the recently launched foster parent recruitment campaign called "You are Essential." The campaign highlights the need for foster families as we navigate the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you know of a family interested in becoming a foster family, please share the link below with them. Have them list your name in the "How did you hear about us" field, for you to be eligible for our $200 referral program. Referral bonuses are sent once the referred family is licensed and has been verified. Only referrals made through this link will be considered for the referral program.

The Young Adult Program and the National Youth Transition Database (NYTD) Needs your help!

Friendly Reminder: Any young person in foster care who turns 17 between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020, will be contacted by ASU to complete a NYTD survey. Please support ASU and DCS in administering this survey by providing access to the youth in your care. Thank you!

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

Free Arts of Arizona Programs

Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona transforms children’s trauma to resilience through the arts. And because we know how much children rely on the hope and creativity that Free Arts programs and mentors bring, we are excited to announce that we are putting alternate programs in place that comply with the current community safety guidelines. We hope you’ll use the links below to connect with us and continue bringing art to the children you serve (and to yourself!).

Art Heals Videos: A YouTube video series accessible to everyone that includes:

  • Free Arts Family- Trauma-Informed videos for younger children with a "Mr. Rogers" feel, introducing basic self-awareness concepts and art-based coping tools
  • Professional Artist Series-Teaching artist-led workshops or series
  • Alumni Experience Videos-Real-life talks and art created by Free Art Alumni.
  • Caregiver Community- A weekly online meeting and corresponding Facebook group where partner agency staff members and foster parents can experience connection and creativity!

Meal Assistance Programs

United Food Bank Information

If you are in need of food resources please check out the link below to United Food Bank. Food distribution is on Fridays from 8am-noon. Please click below for more information.

Please remember to check your local school districts which are offering meals to all people under the age of 18.

Arizona Science Center Launches Virtual Birthday Parties

Arizona Science Center is hosting virtual birthday parties! Led by our science educators, choose one of our interactive STEM experiences—chemical reaction experiments, rocket launches, bubble art or slime making—and delight your party guests with our new virtual birthday parties.

Tucson Resource

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

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.

Children's Heart Gallery

More than 70 percent of the children who are free for adoption 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.


Meet courageous, loving, and silly Alexis. Alexis is a young man who is ready for his forever family. He loves singing songs by his favorite band (Maroon 5), talking on the phone with his friends, and going out in the community to have fun. He especially loves to make people laugh, and likes to be goofy. Alexis would benefit from a one- or two-parent home with older siblings or no siblings. His ideal family would be able to provide him with a lot of structure, routine and attention. It is important to Alexis that his adoptive family support his close relationships with his friends and cousin. Alexis was born in 2004.


Skylee is a sweet and loving young lady. She tends to be shy with new people, but opens up in a short time. She enjoys doing crafts, coloring, playing board games and watching movies. Skylee loves seafood. Her favorites are shrimp and crab. Skylee will do best in a home where she is an only child or the youngest child. Skylee will thrive in a family that provides her with encouragement and attention. Skylee was born in 2010.

Jessica & Tony

Jessica and Tony are fun loving siblings who enjoy hanging out together.

Jessica is a loving and nurturing young lady who is always willing to help someone out. Being the fast learner that she is, she loves school, especially math class. She looks forward to riding the bus to school every day.

Tony enjoys math, P.E. and lunch. His favorite part about math is multiplication. When he is not in school, he likes to play video games, especially Mortal Kombat and Pokemon. He also enjoys watching the show Rick and Morty. If he had three wishes, Tony would wish for one billion dollars, unlimited video games and 1,000 Pokemon cards.

Jessica was born in 2006. Tony was born in 2004.

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