March 2021 Issue 36

Mercy Care Department of Child Safety Comprehensive Health Plan

Mercy Care and the Department of Child Safety (DCS) created a new partnership to provide integrated care to Arizona’s children in foster care starting on April 1, 2021. The name of this integrated health plan is Mercy Care Department of Child Safety Comprehensive Health Plan. Or Mercy Care DCS CHP. Integrated health care means children in out-of-home DCS care will get their physical, dental and behavioral health care from a single health plan.

What to expect:

After April 1, 2021, families will receive a welcome packet from Mercy Care DCS CHP, which will include:

  • A welcome letter containing the new Mercy Care DCS CHP Member ID card(s) and the child or children’s PCP assignment(s).
  • Instructions to find the member handbook line, and instructions to request a printed copy if you want one.
  • If you have siblings in your care, one packet will include ID cards and PCP assignments for all of the siblings.

Starting on April 1, Mercy Care DCS CHP members will have a new physical, behavioral and dental network. This new network will:

  • Include existing CMDP providers and facilities
  • Offer a selection of available providers statewide

Mercy Care DCS CHP members will also have a new pharmacy network starting on April 1.

  • You will receive a letter before April 1 with information on how to select a new pharmacy and specialty pharmacy
  • Walgreens will not be part of the network – you will need to transfer prescriptions to a Mercy Care DCS CHP network pharmacy.
  • Pharmacies in the network include, but aren’t limited to, CVS (including inside Target stores), Fry’s, Safeway, and independent pharmacies.

If the child in your care needs specialty pharmacy services, such as infusion therapy, we have two specialty network pharmacies:

  • CVS Specialty Pharmacy
  • St. Joseph’s McAuley Pharmacy (at St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center in Phoenix)

If you have questions about how these changes might affect you, you can contact:

  • Before April 1, CMDP Member Services (602) 351-2245 or 1-800-201-1795 (TTY/TDD 711).
  • After April 1, Mercy Care DCS CHP Member Services at 602-212-4983 or 1-800-711-0776 (TTY/TDD 711).
  • Email CMDP at CMDPMemberServices@azdcs.gov or Mercy Care DCS CHP at DCS@MercyCareAZ.org

AZ Kids Consortium Training Blitz

The Arizona KIDS Consortium is once again hosting our KIDS Blitz: a one-day training session for foster parents to develop new skills in caring for at-risk children. This is also a great way to complete your required 6 hours of continuing education to renew your license. Our event will be virtual this year so that you can attend in the comfort of your home. We have many great topics to choose from that will be presented by experienced speakers in their field. Classes are only $5 each, with limited class sizes, so sign up today for the best selection.

Please note when registering, that you should only select one morning session and one afternoon session, as each session is presented live.

This is a non-refundable event, and cancellations are not allowed.

You can register through one of the two sites below:

www.azkidsconsortium.com/blitz or https://whova.com/portal/registration/kidsb_202103

For any questions, email us at blitz@azkidsconsortium.com

Pima County Parenting Seminar

Pima Prevention Partnership is grateful to present a *Virtual* Parenting Workshop Series in collaboration with a Grant from the Governor’s Office. Guiding Good Choices is an amazing curriculum that helps parents communicate effectively and establish healthy boundaries with their children. The class is aimed at parents that have at least one child of middle school age (about 10-14 years old). We will facilitate the 5-part series virtually, and registration is open to all in Pima County.

Please reach out with questions to Heather Scott, hscott@thepartnership.us. You can register at tinyurl.com/goodchoices21.

Arizona Helping Hands

Arizona Helping Hands is the largest provider of essential items for children in foster care in Arizona. Our programs provide a safe place to sleep, clothing, hygiene items,

birthday packages, backpacks filled with school supplies, licensing safety items, foster footlockers, and more. Thanks to our generous community, we also offer additional items

as they become available; however, quantities and product availability may vary. All services are provided at no cost to foster/kinship families with a current Notice to Provider. Currently, we are offering:

  • Diapers & Wipes
  • Socks & Underwear
  • Highlights Magazines
  • School Supplies
  • Coats
  • Shoes & Socks

Visit us online at azhelpinghands.org to learn more and make an appointment today!


Kinship Survey from Helen's Home Chest

Helen's Hope Chest is one of our amazing local resources for clothing and other items for foster and kinship families. They are expanding their Kinship Services, and have created a survey to assess the needs of the Kinship community. They would be so grateful if you would fill out their survey about your experience as a Kinship Parent. The survey should take about 5 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance!

Neurosequential Model in Caregiving

Light Up a Life

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.

Training With Child Crisis AZ


Opportunity for Youth

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.

Birth to Five Workgroup Training Series (Virtual)

Service Provision for the Birth-Five Population - April 22, 2021 12p-1:30p

Presenter: Cathleen Phelan, LCSW, IMH-E®

Participants will learn the clinical intent of different services used to support the Birth to Five population and their caregivers. Training will cover home visiting programs, AzIEP, and PCRA.

Sunny's Closet

Caring Connections for Special Needs

Early Head Start

Arizona Early Intervention Program

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

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. Callers also have the option of leaving a voice message.

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.

Aaron W.

Aaron is a wonderful teen with many hobbies. He is athletic and likes to play football, basketball and soccer. He also enjoys hiking and going for walks. When Aaron is not outside, he likes to play with Legos and videogames. He opens up quickly, especially when engaged with sports or other interests, or when offered a slice of his favorite food, pizza. The best fit family for Aaron would be a two-parent home, where he is either the only child or the youngest child. Aaron will need a family who is going to take time out of their day to go outside and play catch with him, and ask him about his day. Aaron was born in 2004.


Ahdrina is very compassionate and bonds easily with people. She enjoys watching cartoons on Disney and Nickelodeon. Her favorite TV show is Dora, because she has a sense of adventure. Ahdrina listens to Christian music, because it makes her feel happy. When it is hot outside, Ahdrina likes to play in the sprinkler or throw a baseball around in the backyard. Her perfect day would include playing baseball, soccer, gymnastics and basketball. Ahdrina thrives with one-on-one attention and would do best in a two-parent home that has either no children or children who are much older. It is important to Ahdrina that she is able to maintain contact with her sister. She would flourish in a placement that would allow her to participate in sports activities. Ahdrina is very sweet, funny and a genuine joy to be around. She just needs a family who is understanding and patient.

Ahdrina was born in 2010.

Jessica & Tony

Jessica and Tony are fun-loving siblings who like hanging out together. Jessica is a loving and nurturing young lady who is always willing to help someone out. Because she is a fast learner, 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 subject in math is multiplication. When he’s not in school, he likes to watch Rick and Morty and play video games (especially Mortal Kombat and Pokemon). Tony is very good at basketball and also enjoys baking. His sweet tooth pairs well with his hobby, and you can often find him baking cakes, brownies and cookies. Chocolate cake with confetti sprinkles is his favorite treat of all.

Tony was born in 2004. Jessica 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