March 2020 Issue 24

Unconditional Positive Regard

Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR) is defined by the American Psychological Association as “an attitude of caring, acceptance, and prizing that others express toward an individual irrespective of his or her behavior and without regard to the others’ personal standards.” UPR is a concept developed by Carl Rogers, in his work as a client-centered, humanistic psychologist. This differs from unconditional love because with UPR, there need not be feelings of warmth or affection towards the other person.

Embracing the concept of Unconditional Positive Regard as a foster parent can sometimes be challenging. It involves getting yourself emotionally past the behaviors or the choices you may consider poor, and seeing the person as just a person who is doing the best that they can right now. Conversely, it can be extremely rewarding, as it allows the other person both safety and trust within the confines of your relationship. It provides an environment to make changes, and possibly even make mistakes, without feeling judged, which is essential to growth and continued positive behavior change.

UPR is a particularly helpful concept when interacting with birth parents to practice shared parenting. With shared parenting, Unconditional Positive Regard can help foster parents create a safe, judgment-free space to engage birth parents in learning new skills, improving parenting strategies, and making more positive connections with their children.

2020 Census

The 2020 Census will be here before you know it! Among other things, census results determine the distribution of local federal funding, which impacts many of the services that our families receive.

It is important for everyone (including children) to be counted accurately. Children should be counted in the home that they live in most of the time as of the April 1, 2020 Census Day. As an out-of-home care provider, this includes children residing in the home as an out-of-home placement. Census responses can be provided in one of the following ways:

  • Online
  • By Phone
  • By Mail
  • By a Census Taker

State Parks Pass

Thanks to the AZ State Parks Department, we are sending out AZ State Parks passes to qualifying out-of-home caregivers:

  • Newly Licensed Foster Parents (with current placements) - Watch your mailbox for your pass!
  • Unlicensed Kinship Caregivers (with current placements) – Request a pass by emailing volunteer@azdcs.gov.
  • Kinship Caregivers & Foster Parents (with current placements) WITH AN EXPIRED PASS – Request a new pass by emailing volunteer@azdcs.gov

Neurosequential Model for Caregiving: Sequence of Engagement

Live Webinar: Sexualized Behaviors in Children

The March 9th webinar addressing Sexualized Behaviors in Children has reached capacity and registration is currently closed. There is still opportunity for individuals to participate by attending the webinar though a host site. Host sites provide people a location to watch the webinar in a group setting. If you would like assistance in locating a possible host site please contact Amy Meyertholen amy@azcouncil.com

Trust Based Relational Intervention Training

Empowered Young Parents Program

Youth Empowerment Council

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 Allison & Tim Swanson. This month's nomination was submitted by Arizona Faith & Families, when DCS was asking for stories of foster parents practicing shared parenting. Allison and Tim Swanson are the very best example of shared parenting at work. Allison understands the importance of maintaining the parent/child connection, in helping parents to work their case plan. Specifically with their most recent placement, Allison started having FaceTime calls with mom for the child to see her and here her voice. As her birthday approached, Allison engaged mom with planning the party for the child's second birthday. It was held at a local splash pad. Mom invited her father and brother to help celebrate. Allison withheld from bringing any presents so it could be about mom and daughter having time together and celebrating with the gifts she received from her birth family.

After the party Allison shared that it was like a light switched on in mom. She began actively engaging in services and was more motivated than she had ever been to be reunified with her daughter. Mom told Allison, "No offense but I kind of feel like right now our relationship is a business transaction. You have my daughter and I want her back. But once I have her back I really look forward to keeping you in our lives, since you have been such a support to us."

In the recent months, mom and daughter have reunified. Allison shared that they spent Christmas together, chat often, and get together when they can.


Teen Reach Adventure Camp (T.R.A.C.) is a camp experience especially designed for youth in foster care, ages 12 – 15, who have experienced abuse, abandonment or neglect. The goal is for the teens to spend quality time being encouraged and having fun, while building respect, teamwork and trust. Activities include woodworking, art, horseback riding, fishing, wilderness safety, and more.

Safe supervision is provided, including a Behavioral Specialist who helps with issues that arise. Camp counselors and medical professionals are also on hand.

2020 T.R.A.C. Camp Dates

GIRLS’ T.R.A.C. – Monday, June 8 – Wednesday, June 10

BOYS’ T.R.A.C. – Thursday, June 11 – Saturday, June 13

GIRLS’ T.R.A.C. – Sunday, July 12 – Tuesday, July 14

BOYS’ T.R.A.C. – Wednesday, July 15 – Friday, July 17

For more information or to register, please email Katie: tracscottsdale@gmail.com.

Training Resource- Maricopa County

The Family Education Program offers workshops, classes, support groups, legal clinics, and family-friendly activities. All of these programs center around teaching positive parenting skills that build strong families.

Child Crisis Arizona is one of the only educational providers in the area that offers classes specific to a father’s unique role in parenting, as well as grandparents or other kin raising children related to them. Our program also provides education for those divorcing to develop a plan to co-parent. Certain services, including classes, activities, and guardianship clinics, are also offered in Spanish.

Training Resource-Tucson

Casa de los Niños has a comprehensive offering of training resources available in Pima county. Trainings are offered in both English and Spanish.

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 1870 W. Prince, Suite 54 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


Wesson is an active child who is up for trying any new adventure. Recently he tried fishing for the first time and really enjoyed it.

Wesson would do best in a small family setting. He needs an active family that can keep up with his busy and active personality. He will need a strong male role model in the home, who does not present as to stern. Wesson was born in 2007.

Jaylene & Julien

Jaylene and Julien are very tight siblings. They support each other and are always there for one another. They love hanging out, watching movies and eating together. They both look forward to being a part of a family.

Jaylene is an artistic, social and smart young lady. She enjoys all engaging in art forms, but painting is her favorite. She would really enjoy being able to learn about all styles of art.

Julien is a fun, energetic and outgoing kid. He enjoys a good TV show, playing outside and playing at school. He is a sweet boy who speaks up for himself and his sister. Julien is sensitive and very aware of his feelings.


Nieghjaya is a mature young lady with a beautiful soul. Once you get to know her you will see she also has a goofy side! She loves unicorns and playing board games. She does well in school, and is in a few advanced classes.

Family is very important to Nieghjaya and she admires every member. A great family for Nieghjaya would be supportive, engaging, active and loving. Nieghjaya was born in 2006.

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