February 2021 Issue 36

Guardian: What you Need to Know

We are full steam ahead for the launch of our new Guardian system on February 1, 2021. DCS is looking forward to the streamlining of our processes, and the opportunity for our providers and caregivers to access information through the Provider Portal. Here’s what you can expect:

If you have already registered for access to the portal: On February 1, you will receive an email with a link inviting you to register and create your password. Once you have created your password, you will have access to the Provider Portal, and the User Manual. You will be able to complete the monthly billing process via Guardian.

If you have NOT registered for access to the portal OR were previously signed up for web billing: Families who are licensed will need to contact their licensing agency to be granted access to the Provider Portal. If you are an unlicensed kinship caregiver, you can call the DCS Help Desk at 602-542-8667 to gain access to the Portal. Please do not make these requests until February 1 or after.

If you choose not to have portal access: If you are using paper billing, that will continue after February 1.

Direct Deposit: If you already have enrolled in direct deposit, it will continue. If you are not yet enrolled in direct deposit, you will need to do it soon, as the Department will soon be issuing funds only through electronic funds transfer. The final date that DCS will issue paper checks is 4/30/2021. Please contact childsEFT@azdcs.gov to be signed up for direct deposit .

Adoption Subsidy Payments: Direct deposited payments will be made on 2/4/2021 and paper checks will be mailed on 2/8/2021.

For questions about Guardian please email guardian@azdcs.gov

For questions on how to use the portal email ricky.denwood@azdcs.gov

Az Grandparent Ambassadors-Day at the Capitol

Join with other kinship families as we meet our legislators and advocate for legislation that will help kinship! We will provide you with training, and you can participate at whatever level you feel comfortable.

Due to COVID, we will be hosting this day as a virtual meeting.

Arizona Helping Hands

Arizona Helping Hands is proud to be the largest provider of essential needs to children in foster care in Arizona. They provide a variety of items to licensed and kinship foster families, as well as safety items for those involved in the licensing process. All items are new (with the exception of gently used clothing), and are free to foster families. Please visit www.azhelpinghands.org to schedule an appointment, or for more information on how they can assist you.

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

African American Conference on Disabilities-Virtual

This conference is a FREE event! Hosted by The Arizona Center for Disability Law and the Arizona Center for African American Resources (AzCAAR), the AACD is the only comprehensive conference in the U.S. that addresses the intersection between race and disabilities. You can register for 11 sessions via the links below. The Opening Session will start on February 1st and the Closing Session will be on February 26th. CART and ASL Interpretation Services will be available for each session. For questions, please contact Renaldo Fowler at rfowler@azdisabilitylaw.org.

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


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.

Opportunities for Youth

Opportunities for Youth is a Phoenix-based organization focused on connecting young adults, ages 16-24, with resources for personal growth, educational advancement and career development. We offer several services to ensure that youth are fully supported in the pursuit of their goals.

Parenting Assistance Resource

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.

Owen G.

Meet Owen! Owen is a lively, goofy and fun-loving boy. Some of his favorite activities include playing video games, making origami, drawing, and assembling creative and intricate designs with his Legos. Quick to engage and open up, Owen is confident sharing his thoughts and opinions with those around him.

Additionally, Owen enjoys going to church, going to Sunday school, and listening and singing worship music. He hopes to become part of a family that likes to watch his favorite movie, Jurassic World, and will take him to football, baseball, and basketball games. Owen wants families to know that his favorite sports teams are the Steelers, Diamondbacks, and Golden State Warriors.

Owen was born in 2007.


Meet loyal and creative Asia. Asia is a kind young lady with a great sense of humor. She is affectionate, and is a hard worker. She advocates for herself well, and loves music, fashion and makeup. She likes to play volleyball and basketball, and go shopping.

She loves to hang out with her friends and listen to rap music. She is interested in doing makeup and nails, and would like to be a nail technician when she gets older. She has dyed her hair many different colors, and says that she enjoys it because it is fun and different. Those who know her say that she has a great personality.

The ideal family for Asia can provide consistency, love, and great listening skills, while also allowing her to explore her passions.

Asia was born in 2002.

Steve & Angel

These brothers are two peas in a pod, and are eager to be a part of a forever family. While they value the importance of family bonds, they each maintain their own unique interests and ideas.

Angel loves to cook and bake in his spare time. He is always excited to try out new foods and recipes. Recently, he made a carrot cake that he shared with everyone else in the home. When he’s not stirring up something scrumptious in the kitchen, Angel likes to play Minecraft or watch sports. His favorite teams are the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Steve especially values the importance of family and friends. In his spare time, Steve likes to play video games, like NBA 2K, Call of Duty and Fortnight. He also enjoys partaking in many team sports, but soccer is his favorite. He loves to cheer on the Portland Trailblazers or Real Madrid, and his favorite quarterback is Cam Newton. Steve really enjoys spending time with his friends, going to the park, watching movies, or jumping around at the trampoline park.

Angel was born in 2005. Steve 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