July 2019 Issue 16

The Neurosequential Model in Caregiving: The Arizona Training Project

Since 2017, the Arizona Foundation for Human Service Providers partnered with Dr. Bruce Perry from the Neurosequential Network to provide trauma informed care training to foster, kinship, adoptive families, child welfare agency staff, and behavioral health professionals at no cost.

Dr. Perry developed a specialized version of the Neurosequential Model for Therapeutics (NMT), a developmentally informed, biologically respectful approach to trauma informed care, for foster parents called the Neurosequential Model in Caregiving (NMC). It helps caregivers and community providers understand the impact of trauma, maltreatment, neglect, intrauterine substance exposure, and other adversities on the developing child and better understand the complexities of their needs. Our goal is to help foster parents be better prepared to address the unique needs of the children in their care.

Registration is required for the live and archived webinars. You can watch the webinars from home, your office, or with a group. While there is no cost to attend, we ask that you send a sign in sheet when you complete the webinar so we can send you a certificate of attendance

We currently have 27 archived webinars and hold monthly live webinars available to anyone at no cost. These 90 minute webinars focus on teaching aspects of the Neurosequential Model using case presentations from foster, kinship, and adoptive parents.

Family Reunification Day Celebration

In 2018, approximately 5000 children exited foster care through reunification efforts. On June 1, Maricopa County Juvenile Court, hosted Family Reunification Day. The celebration is held to honor the families that worked to be reunified in the previous year. 12 families were acknowledged for their extra efforts to be reunified with their children. Families were treated to lunch, various games, entertainment by aerial artists, and face painting for the children. Additionally, each family had the opportunity to have professional family photos taken. Arizona’s First Lady, Mrs. Angela Ducey, made a special appearance to speak at the event and commend the efforts of the families. Governor Ducey has named June “Family Reunification Month."

7 Ways to Help Raise Happy Kids

Writer Sheri Smith has a great article published in the May issue of Raising Arizona Kids titled “7 Ways to Help Raise Happy Kids.” The article highlights tips such as building close relationships with children and supporting them through adversity. For all seven ways, check out the article below.

2019 AZ Families Thrive Conference: SAVE THE DATE

AZ Families Thrive Conferences are 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.

Refer a Friend

If you know of someone who may be interested in becoming a foster parent (a friend, family member, acquaintance), please send them this email and have them fill out the form at the link below to learn more.

Be sure to have the person you’re referring add your name in the “How did you hear about us?” section of the form.

Not only do you help grow the foster parent community, but you’ll receive a $200 gift card for every foster parent you refer and assist in becoming licensed. As you know, the licensing process can often be confusing and lead to many questions. An experienced foster parent can be the greatest support to an incoming family. See a great example below in our #Loveup Moment.

Thanks in advance for helping share the incredible experience of becoming a foster parent with others. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

#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 Lauren Opie. Here is what Lauren had to say: “I am certain there is no one more deserving of this award than Jaime Mortenson. She has adopted 10 children through foster care, and continues to keep an open bed and always has a foster placement (or 2!). Seeing her with her children, and reading her stories on social media are what inspired me to become a foster parent myself! And despite how busy she is raising all those children, she has been there for me every step of the way in my own foster care journey. I will never forget how naive I was before we started, and she so kindly and graciously answered every question along the way. One answer specifically stands out (and I can't even remember my question!). But it was the way she talked about her kids’ bio parents, with such love and respect. I hadn't yet ever thought about how the kids feel when they hear people say things about their bio parents, or about how "lucky" they are to be adopted. Jaime continues to share her inspiring journey on social media, and loves to help other foster parents. She is an amazing example and also keeps it real. I love every chance I have to spend time with her and glean what I can from her amazingness.”

Enjoy Arizona

Independence Day Celebrations

If you are looking for a new scene to celebrate Independence Day, below is a list, though not exhaustive, of celebrations happening on or around the 4th of July, throughout Arizona.

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.


Respite Resource

Tucson Resource

Training Opportunities Statewide


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.

The Children's Heart Gallery heightens the visibility of some of the state's most vulnerable boys and girls by using the power of photography to capture their unique spirits and stories. The profiles featured here on the website are also displayed in exhibits in churches, airports and malls, all with the purpose of connecting these children with forever families. Check out our new and improved site at childrensheartgallery.org.

Meet the Kids

John & Rocio

John is an extremely caring older brother. He loves stuffed animals, turtles, football, soccer and baseball. John exudes kindness and is also very polite. He dreams of a family that will love him and help him learn how to use his super powers. John would do best in a family that likes to be active. He likes school and playing outside.

Rocio is an enthusiastic girl who loves to show others her stuffed animals. She is full of laughter and adventure. Rocio loves her older brother John and looks out for him. Rocio wants a family that will play outside with her and her brother.

John was born in 2009. Rocio was born in 2013.


Kalaya can play piano by ear and she has a beautiful singing voice. She is very proud of her vocal abilities and especially likes to sing pop songs and Christian songs. Kalaya says she would like to improve her keyboard skills. In school Kalaya like STEM subjects, particularly math — where she is studying algebra and exponents — and science — where she has been studying ancient Egypt. She says her math teacher is really cool because she lets her students listen to music while they are doing their work. Kaylay was born in 2004.


Liam is a sweet and loving boy who enjoys anything he can take apart to understand how it works and he especially likes to put it back together again! Liam loves anything robotic and dreams of learning how to make his own robot one day. He likes to get his hands on anything robotic-remote control cars, robotic Legos, you name it! He hopes to become an engineer when he grows up to work in the field of robotics. When He isn’t playing with his gadgets, you can find him outdoors. Liam is an outdoorsy kid who prefers spending time outside. When it’s too warm to be outside (and he isn’t playing with robotics), Liam enjoys watching movies or playing video games. Liam was born in 2008.

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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