Register Now for the AZ Families Thrive Tucson Conference
Earn Your Required Renewal Hours — Register By August 3, 2018
Foster and kinship families registration is now open for the Tucson AZ Families Thrive Conference. It will be held Friday, August 17th, at New Life Bible Fellowship Church in Tucson, AZ. You can register for the free conference here. Registration will close August 3, 2018.
This is the second 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.
The third AZ Families Thrive Conference will be Thursday, October 25th in Tempe at Redemption Church; registration information will be available in late August.
Swimming Pool Safety
What is the best way to keep my child safe around swimming pools?
An adult should actively watch children at all times while they are in a pool. For infants and toddlers, an adult should be in the water and within arm’s reach, providing “touch supervision.” For older children, an adult should be paying constant attention and free from distractions, like talking on the phone, socializing, tending household chores, or drinking alcohol. The supervising adult must know how to swim.
Pool Rules: If you have a pool, insist that the following rules are followed: •Keep toys away from the pool when the pool is not in use.
- Empty blow-up pools after each use.
- No tricycles or other riding toys at poolside.
- No electrical appliances near the pool.
- No diving in a pool that is not deep enough.
- No running on the pool deck.
Pool Fences: Children can climb out a window, through a doggy door, or sneak out a door to get to the back yard and the pool. To prevent small children from entering the pool area on their own, there should be a fence that completely surrounds the pool or spa. Combined with the watchful eyes of an adult, a fence is the best way to protect your child and other children who may visit or live nearby. Remember you must check with your licensing worker for regulation on your pool fence.
Pool fences Guidelines:
- Be climb-resistant and should not have anything alongside it (such as lawn furniture) that can be used to climb it.
- Be at least 5 feet high and have no footholds or handholds that could help a child climb it.
- Have no more than 4 inches between vertical slats. Chain-link fences are very easy to climb and are not recommended as pool fences. If they must be used, the diamond shape should not be bigger than 1¾ inches horizontally.
- Have a gate that is well maintained and is self-closing and self-latching. It should only open away from the pool. The latches should be higher than a child can reach – 54 inches from the bottom of the gate.
- For above-ground pools always removes steps and ladders that access the pool to keep children out of harms way. When the pool is not in use, lock or remove the ladders to prevent access by children.
Other Products: When used with an “isolation” fence, these products may be beneficial; however, they are not substitutes for adequate fencing. These may include:
- Automatic pool covers . . . solar covers are not safety covers.
- Door alarms
- Doors to the house that are self-closing/self-latching
- Window guards
- Pool alarms
Swimming Lessons - Where We Stand
Children need to learn to swim. The AAP supports swimming lessons for most children 4 years and older, and for children 1 to 4 years of age who are ready to learn how to swim. Keep in mind that because children develop at different rates, each child will be ready to swim at her own time. Some factors you may consider before starting swimming lessons for younger children include:
- Frequency of exposure to water
- Emotional maturity
- Physical limitations
- Health concerns related to swimming pools (for example, swallowing water, infections, pool chemicals)
While some swim programs claim to teach water survival skills to children less than 12 months old, evidence does not show that they are effective in preventing drowning. Swim lessons do not provide “drown-proofing” for children of any age, so supervision and other layers of protection are necessary even for children who have learned swimming skills.
Serious spinal cord injuries, permanent brain damage, and death can occur to swimmers who dive into shallow water or spring upward on the diving board and hit it on the way down.
Keep safe by following these simple common-sense diving rules.
- Check how deep the water is. Enter the water feet first, especially when going in for the first time.
- Never dive into above-ground pools; they are usually not deep enough.
- Never dive into the shallow end of a pool.
- Never dive through inner tubes or other pool toys.
- Learn how to dive properly by taking classes.
This has been adapted from HealthyChildren.org. Please remember to check with your licensing worker on Rules and Regulations in regards to pool fence requirements.
Summer Reading For Your Family
- All Kinds of Children-Norma Simon
- Families Change-Julie Nelson
- I Wished for You-Marianne Richmond
- It's Ok to Be Different - Todd Parr
- Love You Forever-Robert Munsch
- The Star (A Story to Help Young Children Understand Foster Care) - Cynthia Lovell
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 parents 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.
Meet Ruby and Roberta