September 2019 Issue 18

Birth to Five Helpline

Introduced in 2005, Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline combines sensitive, supportive listening with sound information from professionals who have expertise in early childhood development and parenting/caregiving.

The Birth to Five Helpline is a free service open to all Arizona families with young children. It provides the latest child development information from experts in the field. Professionals may also take advantage of this service.

Call the Helpline to speak with one of the bilingual (English/Spanish) early childhood specialists, on duty Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Also, you can leave a voicemail or text the Helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

An extension of the Birth to Five Helpline is the Fussy Baby program. This program provides telephone and, in some instances, home visiting support to help families navigate challenges associated with hard-to-soothe infants, excessive crying, sleeping problems, and feeding difficulties.

CALL the Birth to Five Helpline: (877) 705-5437


DOWNLOAD the Birth to Five Helpline App:

National Self-Care Awareness Month

Please watch the video below of Dr. Karyn Purvis speaking about self-care and the importance of practicing it when caring for children who have experienced hard times.

Mindfulness is a simple practice that can be used for self-care in the moment. Mayoclinic.org provides some examples of easy activities to practice mindfulness on a daily basis:

  • Pay attention. It's hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. For example, when you eat a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it.
  • Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
  • Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
  • Focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.

Supporting Foster Youth to College

Youth, ages 14 and up, in Arizona foster care may have the opportunity to participate in the tuition waiver program for any of the in-state colleges or universities. One major obstacle for many youth is having a supportive adult to help them navigate their educational options. Arizona State University has created its new Empower Program to educate adults in supporting foster youth on their journey to higher education. There is no cost for the self-paced, six module course.

The Young Adult Program and the National Youth Transition Database (NYTD) Needs your help!

If you are fostering a youth who will turn 17 years of age between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020, they will be asked to complete survey to help Arizona understand where these young people are at in their lives, and what they may need in the future. ASU has partnered with DCS and will be administering the surveys. Please make sure the youth you are fostering has this opportunity to inform the work we do.

2019 AZ Families Thrive Conference: REGISTRATION OPEN

AZ Families Thrive Conferences are hosted by the Department for licensed foster families and unlicensed kinship caregivers in 2019. Licensed foster parents who attend the entire day can receive 6 hours of advanced training credit that qualifies as their required renewal hours. Continental breakfast and light lunch will be included for attendees.

While unlicensed kinship families are not required to take training, DCS believes that these trainings will be valuable and will help support the needs of the children.

The keynote address will be given by Adrian McLemore. Adrian has a very dynamic personal story. His open and honest account of his challenging life experiences, his determination to succeed, and his relatable persona make for a dynamic interaction. In this keynote presentation, Adrian has an open, entertaining, intimate & interactive conversation with the audience about how they can take off their 'mask' and in turn, help those in their care to take off their mask as well. Adrian discusses how he went from not only surviving the foster care system, but thriving in it with the help of foster parents AND case workers. Adrian encourages the audience to embrace the challenges of life, armed with the tools they already have in their possession.


Saturday September 7, 2019 8a-4p | Sheraton Phoenix Crescent| 2620 W. Dunlap Ave| Phoenix AZ 85021


Friday September 20, 2019 8a-4p| Pantano Christian Church| 1755 S. Houghton Rd.| Tucson AZ 85748

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.

Conference for Youth

  • Where: The Commons on Shea, 6451 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
  • Date: October 5, 2019
  • Time: 8 am -3 pm

Come join Foster Arizona for our first Empowered Connections Conference; focusing on connecting young adults currently in foster care or transitioning out of foster care 13-22 with their community while empowering them with life skills, coping skills, career exploration, critical thinking/communications skills, and resources. Guest speaker, Jeremy Hoyum from Jake's Unlimited, will open the morning session with his personal story of facing adversity head on. Sign up early for the greatest breakout session selection.

#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.

Jeff & Amy* have fostered and adopted many children. Over the last several years they have adopted a teenager out of a group home, a young sibling group disrupted from another foster home and are will soon be adopting another young sibling set of 5 disrupted from two separate foster homes, who would otherwise be split apart. They have worked tirelessly to provide a safe and loving home and keep siblings together. Their answer is almost always “yes” when they hear of a child in need, despite already having many biological and adoptive children. They always make a way even if it means remodeling their home, building furniture or buying a larger vehicle.

*Please note names were changed for privacy.

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


Romeo is an energetic and curious boy that loves to dance! You can find Romeo dancing to songs around the house, watching Spongebob Squarepants and playing basketball. He enjoys playing football and watching his favorite team, the Arizona Cardinals. While at school, Romeo soaks up as much information as he can in social studies, learning all about history, since it’s his favorite class. Romeo would thrive with a family who is patient, teachable and able to “meet Romeo where he is.” Romeo was born in 2010.


Angelina is a fun-loving girl who enjoys going to church. She wishes for a forever family who is Christian and involved in church as well. Angelina loves to laugh, be silly and spend time with others. She loves people and enjoys listening to music and dancing with her loved ones. Angelina was born in 2005

Angel & Juan

Angel and Juan are two adorable, fun loving and very social brothers who love football, basketball, video games, playing Legos, watching action movies, Pokémon, Minecraft, and bike riding. Angel and Juan are incredibly hopeful of having a forever family to call their own. They hope for a family who enjoy spending time together, fun family outings, watching and playing football together. Both boys share that they really want a “football family” and would love to go to Disneyland and attend church. Angel was born in 2005. Juan 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

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