January 2020 Issue 22

National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring month. It began in 2002 to promote youth mentoring. Being a mentor to a youth in foster care is a way to make a life-long impact for that youth. It is an opportunity for them to create a partnership with someone from whom to learn, and offer guidance without the pressures of a parent-child relationship. Arizona has a number of mentor programs that serve children in foster care. Each of the programs has its own requirements and expectations. Please follow the links below to learn more about the mentoring programs these agencies offer.

Businesses that Support Foster Care: Boys & Girls Club-Compadre Branch

The Foster Care Recruitment team would like to extend a very big “Thank you” to the Boys & Club-Compadre branch in their support of foster care. The branch has been hosting foster care and adoption information sessions for several months and has agreed to continue to do so throughout 2020.

Additionally, foster families should know that Boys & Girls Clubs offer discounted and sometimes free programs to children in foster care. The teen program they offer is $15 per year with no monthly fees, and they provide a hot dinner every night. Membership fees for youth 5-12 years old is $30 per year. The monthly fee for the after school youth program is $40 per month, per child. Membership fees are waived for foster families.

Neurousequential Model for Caregiving: Brain Growth vs. Body Growth

Live Webinar: Operationalizing Trauma Informed Care through Collaborative Problem Solving

It is time to register for the January 6th webinar, which will provide an introduction to Collaborative Problem Solving® and feature Heather Johnson, LCSW, a Think:Kids Certified Trainer. This webinar is being offered through the Neurosequential Model in Caregiving Program. You can register for the webinar HERE.

The Collaborative Problem Solving® (CPS) approach has demonstrated effectiveness with children and adolescents with a wide range of social, emotional, and behavioral challenges across a variety of different settings: from families, schools, mentoring organizations and foster care agencies to therapeutic programs such as inpatient psychiatry units, residential treatment and juvenile detention facilities. This evidence based, strengths-based, neurobiologically-grounded approach has an overarching philosophy that challenging kids lack the skill to do well, not the will to do well. In other words, these challenges are best understood as the byproduct of lagging thinking skills (rather than, for example, as attention-seeking, manipulative, limit-testing, or a sign of poor motivation); and therefore these challenges are best addressed by teaching children the skills they lack (rather than through reward and punishment programs and intensive imposition of adult will).

For further information please visit: www.thinkkids.org

Trust Based Relational Intervention Training

Love Your Texture Hair Tutorial

Empowered Young Parents 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!

Refer a Friend

We'd love your help encouraging new people to attend our Foster Care & Adoption Information sessions. Feel free to print a few of the flyers below and post them in your local community.

If you know someone interested in foster care or adoption, share the link below with them and be sure they add your name in the "How did you hear about us" section. If they get licensed, you get a $200 gift card. To qualify for the gift card, the referral must be made through this link, and the interested party should not already be in the licensing process.

#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 winner is Wendy & Michael Ross. She was nominated by Ricky Denwood, here is what was submitted: Wendy Ross’ family have been licensed foster care providers for about two and a half years. In those years, they have demonstrated their understanding of the importance of children needing to maintain connections. Their first two placements were the younger two from a sibling set of three. A few months later the family opened their home to the oldest brother, now 17, of the siblings. During the last two and a half years, she demonstrated her willingness to commit to the children, regardless of the behaviors they may be exhibiting. She understands the impact of trauma and the healing power of connections and family.

Educational Resource

Respite Resource

Tucson Resource

Tucson Clothing 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 6894 N. Camino Martin, Suite 100 in Tucson.


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 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


Steven is a social kid who dreams of being a famous soccer player when he grows up. Steven likes to help and lead. He treasures the close relationships that he has with his favorite adults and has created special handshakes with each of them. Steven is an animal lover and enjoys residing with two dogs. He even helped rescue one of the dogs. Steven always looks forward to attending school and especially likes his media class. He also likes to play on the playground and kick around the soccer ball with his friends. Steven was born in 2013.

Alyssa & Ashley

Ashley and Alyssa are both shy and quiet at first, but once you get to know them, they are out spoken and very fun. Alyssa and Ashley are always up to trying new things, reading a new book, or relaxing at home with hot cocoa and a movie. Ashley dreams of being an EMT and while saving lives she hopes to pay for Medical School to gain a Ph.D. Ashley is a homebody and prefers to hang out playing board games or cards. She is loyal, loving, and forgiving.

Alyssa is a determined young lady who loves passionately and always wants the best for her and her sister. Alyssa dreams of becoming a photographer or an EMT. Alyssa loves to read A LOT. Alyssa and Ashley were born in 2004.


Imajanae is a young lady who knows what she wants. If she had it her way, she would be at the mall shopping all day. She likes to be active. and does this by participating in cheerleading, dance, or track at school. The best-fit family would be a one or two-parent home. She will do well with other children. She likes pets and is open to having a cat or dog. Imajanae 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