October 2019 Issue 19

Vertuccio Farms Honors the Children's Heart Gallery

Going to Vertuccio Farms to navigate the corn maze is an Arizona tradition. This year, bringing your friends and family to Vertuccio Farms is a great way to support the Children’s Heart Gallery and children in foster care in Arizona! Cono and Angela Vertuccio have created an amazing corn maze using the Children’s Heart Gallery logo.

They are generously donating a portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold, on October 11th and 25th, to the Children’s Heart Gallery. Proceeds will be used for future Children’s Heart Gallery photo shoots. Please come join the fun and check out the corn maze, petting zoo, zip line, bouncy castles, and more!

AZ Families Thrive Conference 2019

Keynote Speaker Adrian McLemore delivers his message to the Tucson attendees

The Foster Care & Post Permanency Supports team hosted two AZ Families Thrive Conferences in September. Phoenix was held September 7th. Tucson was held September 20th. Both events were a great success. Adrian McLemore was the keynote speaker. He shared his personal journey of being in foster care, learning to cope and eventually becoming a kinship foster parent to his sister’s children. During lunch participants experienced an emotional panel of biological and foster parents, sharing their challenges and successes in working together to reunify children.

Many thanks to the #Loveup Foundation for sponsoring the meals. Additionally, thank you to the many agencies that participated.

Giving Tree

As we near the holiday season, many ask how they can give back. Each year DCS partners with community members to provide support to children and youth in foster care through the Giving Tree. Check out the video below about the Giving Tree.

Young Parent University

To register please contact the youth's case manager.

Free Event

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 1st, 2019 and September 30th, 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

If you know of someone (a friend, family member, acquaintance), who may be interested in becoming a foster parent, 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 winner is Christina. Here is what her nominator wrote: "I am nominating therapeutic foster parent Christina for going above and beyond in ensuring a youth in her care remains connected with family. Christina has been fostering a fairly challenging youth for over a year now and when recently provided with information of family members who want to be a part of this child’s life, Christina didn’t hesitate to facilitate visits with family. As soon as she received the family member’s contact information, she was excited and eager to re-connect the family with the youth she is fostering. It was only a matter of days before Christina coordinated a visit with this child’s family at the child’s favorite restaurant. Christina also keeps this youth connected with his siblings who reside over an hour away from her by planning regular visits so they can continue their strong sibling bond. Christina takes the initiative to reach out to people that this youth is connected to so he feels cared for and does a wonderful job at providing a therapeutic forum for the child as well. It is evident that the support this youth receives from Christina has impacted him in many positive ways, especially because he has a sense of belonging."

Camp 1 Promise

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

Tony & Jessica

Tony & Jessica

Jessica and Tony are fun-loving siblings who love hanging out together. Jessica is a caring and nurturing young woman, who is always willing to help someone out. 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 part about math is multiplication. When he’s not in school, he likes to play video games, especially Mortal Kombat and Pokemon, as well as watching Rick and Morty. Jessica was born in 2006. Tony was born in 2004.


Diamond is incredibly bright and does well in school. She believes school is her way of moving forward to bigger and better things in life. Her favorite subjects in school include science and history. She also enjoys P.E. class as well, which is no surprise as Diamond is very active. She loves hiking, playing basketball and going to the gym. Diamond was born in 2003.

Gabriel J.

Gabriel is an energetic and humorous young man who loves to stay active. His favorite pastimes include playing basketball, baseball, and zombie-tag with his friends. When he is indoors, he also enjoys playing with his Legos, Pokémon cards, and video games, like Minecraft. Gabriel would benefit from being in a one or two parent home that has experience with parenting children in care, and will love and cherish him. Gabriel was born in 2007.

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