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September 2018, Issue 6

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in School

Now that school is back in session and children are getting settled into routines, it is important to remember a foster parent’s role as an advocate. At some point a foster parent will find themselves at school managing an educational need or a discipline issue. During these times it is important to remember the impact that trauma has had on our youth. It is a foster parent’s responsibility to advocate for a trauma informed approach to meeting the needs of children in foster care. Read how one middle school has reduced its suspensions and stress levels for students, approaching each situation with support, empathy, and an understanding of trauma. Read Middle School Addresses Everyone's Trauma

Parenting Teens

Parenting teens can be very rewarding but it definitely presents its own set of challenges. One of those challenges is balancing the teen’s need for independence and the parent’s need to ensure that the teen has the skills needed to be successful. An important factor in supporting teens is maintaining a positive relationship. Some tips to maintain a healthy strong relationship include:

• show an interest in something they are interested in

• spend quality time with them doing something they enjoy

• invite open honest communication

• listen without judgment or reaction.

The link is a blog entry by Bradford Smith. It provides an insider’s perspective of the challenges of parenting a teen that has experienced trauma and adversity. Read Frustrations of My Foster Sons

Az Families Thrive Conference-Tucson

Three statewide conferences been scheduled for 2018, and the second AZ Families Thrive Conference was held in Tucson, August 17th. Kinship families, foster families, and DCS staff from across Southern Arizona were engaged in a day of learning, support and fellowship. Attendees learned about the best practices for youth who are transitioning to adulthood and how important one caring adult is in creating success for a teen.

During lunch, participants were presented with a moving panel presentation by three youth who aged out of foster care. Each youth is at a different stage in their journey, and spoke to their successes and challenges of being a youth in foster care. The panelists shared how each had a significant adult connection, which helped them navigate their journey through the foster care system.

AZ Families Thrive Conference-Phoenix

October 25th, 2018 Redemption Church 2150 E. Southern Ave, Tempe 85282

Registration opens September 1, 2018

Earn Your Required Renewal Hours

Register now for the Phoenix AZ Families Thrive Conference. It will be held Thursday, October 25th at Tempe's Redemption Church. This is the third of three AZ Families Thrive Conferences hosted by the Department for licensed foster families and unlicensed kinship caregivers in 2018. Licensed foster parents who attend the entire day can receive 6 hours of advanced training credit that qualifies as their required renewal hours. 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.

Participants will have the opportunity to hear from the keynote presenter Dr. Denise Goodman, PhD, ACSW, who has spent her career working with teens in roles. Currently, Dr. Goodman is a self-employed consultant and trainer. She also serves as a technical assistant to The Annie E. Casey Foundation in the area of recruitment, training, licensing and support of resource families. Break-out sessions will include topics such as implementing trauma-informed care, navigating the mental health system, and processing grief when a child leaves your home. During lunch there will be a panel of youth in care discussing various topics including the need for teens to be in foster homes.

DCS Placement in Out-of-Home Care Policy

Many people are curious about how decisions of placement are made. Below are some of the guiding policies that a DCS Specialist has to consider before placing a child.

Policy on placement priority:

  • A due diligence initial search to identify and notify adult relatives of the child and persons with a significant relationship with the child must be initiated within 30 days after the child is taken into temporary custody.
  • Information about the initial search must be filed with the court regarding the attempts to identify and notify relatives and other significant persons.
  • Children shall be placed in the least restrictive type of placement available consistent with the best interests of the child.

The order of placement preference is as follows for children who do not qualify for placement under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA):

  • A parent
  • A grandparent
  • Another member of the child’s extended family
  • A person who has a significant relationship with the child
  • A foster parent or kinship caregiver with whom a child under three years of age has resided for nine months or more is presumed to be a person who has a significant relationship with the child.

For more information on the Out-of-Home Placement please see DCS Policy Chapter 4.

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 features Arizona children who are free for adoption and want a forever family. While it is a very effective tool for finding families for our waiting children, it also makes the children vulnerable to negative intrusions into their lives. Please help us protect them. If you recognize any of these children or see them in your community, please respect their privacy.

Volunteer for the Children's Heart Gallery-Tucson

The Children's Heart Gallery (CHG) highlights Arizona children in need of forever homes and harnesses the power of photography to capture each child's unique spirit and story in a profile. The profiles are featured in exhibits online, in art galleries and in larger public forums like libraries, airports and malls. Heart Gallery exhibits have helped raise awareness about adoption and have helped find homes for hundreds of children.

Photo Shoot events are held several times throughout the year in Arizona. The events are a time for each child to have quality, professional photographs taken to create profiles for them. The next one will take place in Tucson September 22, 2018.

Biographer-Creates short biographical descriptions using questions provided.

Photographer-This position requires extensive professional experience as a photographer. Requires multiple high-resolution (we prefer 300 dpi) shots per child for publication in jpeg format (web site, print fliers, large posters, etc.).

Guide-There are two Guides assigned to each child. The Guides escort the children at the photo shoot and complete the biography questionnaire with the child.

Hair Stylist: This position requires a licensed cosmetologist with the ability to cut and style all types of children/teens hair (a high need for skill in African American/curly hair) at the shoot, in addition to bringing your own supplies.

Upon signup, additional event details will be provided. For questions or additional information please email volunteer@azdcs.gov

Meet Adrian

Adrian is a very sociable, funny and happy child, who has a larger than life attitude. When coming home from a long day at school, he will open the door in excitement to tell everyone about his day. This young man will make you appreciate all of the little things in life. Adrian would like to be a police man with a "K-9" when he grows up.

Meet Temperance

Say hello to Temperance—a high spirited, bright and bubbly girl who loves to be out and about! “Tempe” likes to spend her days going to the park, rollerblading, playing soccer, and especially horseback riding. Because horses are her favorite animals, Tempe enjoys equine therapy, riding and caring for each horse.

Teen Parent University

Teen Parent University is a one-day workshop for pregnant teens and teen parents to learn parenting skills. If you are fostering a teen parent or pregnant teen who would like to attend please, contact their DCS Specialist to submit their application.

Support #LoveUp Foundation

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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