August 2020 Issue 28

COVID19 Testing for Children in Foster Care

DCS has entered a partnership with Banner Urgent Care Services (BUCS) for testing children in the care and custody of DCS. Effective immediately, any child in foster care that has been identified as exposed to COVID-19 through contact tracing (even if they are asymptomatic), or any child in foster care who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 can be scheduled for testing at a Banner Urgent Care.

The process to schedule testing is as follows:

  • The caregiver or DCSS can fill out the COVID-19 CMDP Tracing Form and send to CMDPCovid19@azdcs.gov to obtain the COVID-19 Banner Notice to Provider form. This form will be emailed to you once the Tracing Form has been received and processed.
  • Schedule a visit online at https://www.bannerhealth.com/services/urgent-care. Visit Reason must be “COVID-19 Concerns” and you must bring the COVID-19 Banner Notice to Provider form.
  • Take the child to the nearest BUCS with the COVID-19 Banner Notice to Provider form (Click HERE for list of locations).
  • You can expect to receive results in 3-4 days.
  • Notify CMDPCovid19@azdcs.gov with each child’s test results, date of the test, and testing location.

Virtual Education Exception Process

Below is the text of the letter that DCS Director Mike Faust sent to families discussing the children returning to school and the virtual exception process for education.

As the Governor announced, Arizona is expecting to resume in-person school on August 17, 2020. With the manner in which the school year ended last year, and the transitions to remote learning, restarting this academic year is more important than ever. For those children and youth requiring additional assistance or those working to catch up with their peers, identifying the best academic delivery model that meets their needs is hugely important.

Depending on the school district you are in, the solution for educational instruction will vary. Individual districts have flexibility to deliver learning in alternate formats and, in many cases, families have choices to make on which educational format they prefer. We know that a “one-size-fits-all” approach is not correct for every family, and we are sensitive to the fact that there a lot of unknowns as the first day of school rapidly approaches.

As a standard, the Department wants children returning to in-person instruction. Following discussion with public health officials and guided by the recent publication by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Department fully supports children participating in the classroom as soon as permitted to do so. Children and youth are seeking normalcy, and although the educational delivery will be different for portions of this academic year, children benefit from the engagement associated with traditional learning formats.

We know that there are some children, especially those that are immune-compromised or have underlying medical conditions, who may be limited from participating in physical classrooms to start the year. For these children, we would like the child’s primary care physician to participate in the decision-making, and then discuss with the DCS Specialist an educational solution that best supports the child or youth.

For those families who have other persons living in the home who are high risk for contracting COVID-19, or are quarantining in their home and considering alternative educational delivery options, please email the Educational Liaison at EducationPOC@AZDCS.GOV to review the situation and find the solution that is most appropriate to start this academic year.

The Department thanks you for your continued support of children in our communities, and those in your care.

Resources During COVID-19 Quarantine

If you are in need of diapers, baby wipes, formula, clothing, or other essential items, please visit one4allAZ.com . They will do their best to connect you to a resource that can meet your needs. Below are additional COVID-19 Resources.

Neurosequential Model in Caregiving

Dr. Bruce Perry of the the Neurosequential Model in Caregiving is hosting “office hours.” Each week he hosts discussions to help manage the challenges associated with COVID-19. These discussions are recorded for later viewing. Please click below for more information.

Neurosequential Model for Caregiving Facilitator Training

Pandemic EBT for Children in Foster Care

Tips for Caregivers

  • Double check with the student’s school to ensure that the caregiver is listed as the primary contact & that the address is correct.
  • Refer to the P-EBT website for any FAQs (https://des.az.gov/p-ebt).
  • Call 1.844.841.3802 with any problems filling out the online application.
  • Act fast! The window to apply is from June 15, 2020 –August 1, 2020.
  • If you did not get the Pandemic EBT, and your child in foster care meets the criteria, please apply here: https://azdes-community.secure.force.com/PEBT#.
  • Reach out to the district/charter’s foster care liaison. Find the information at this website: (https://www.azed.gov/fostercare/lea-poc-list/).

Foster Parents are Essential

The graphic above is from the recently launched foster parent recruitment campaign called "You are Essential." The campaign highlights the need for foster families as we navigate the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

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 1, 2019 and September 30, 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!

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.

Parenting Assistance Resource

Caring Connections for Special Needs

Meal Assistance Programs

United Food Bank Information

If you are in need of food resources please check out the link below to United Food Bank. Food distribution is on Fridays from 8am-noon. Please click below for more information.

Please remember to check your local school districts which are offering meals to all people under the age of 18.

Arizona Early Intervention Program

Arizona Science Center Launches Virtual Birthday Parties

Arizona Science Center is hosting virtual birthday parties! Led by our science educators, choose one of our interactive STEM experiences—chemical reaction experiments, rocket launches, bubble art or slime making—and delight your party guests with our new virtual birthday parties.

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 who are free for adoption 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.


Marquell is one of the brightest kids you will ever meet! He loves learning, and he does so with ease. He thrives on his uncanny ability to memorize cool science facts. Marquell has an innovative and creative mind, and enjoys teaching other people what he has learned. He would do great in a family that recognizes his intellect, and bonds with him by taking him to places like museums and aquariums. Along with his unique and gifted mind, Marquell is also amazingly polite and sweet. Marquell was born in 2010.


Caribe says that she is a good friend to others because she is kind and likes to help other people. She is a warm and chatty girl who aspires to be a special education teacher when she grows up. Caribe says she will eat anything BUT potato salad. Her favorite restaurant is Pita Jungle, and she loves their hummus plate. Caribe enjoys every aspect of school, and says that she doesn’t have a favorite subject because all subjects are her favorite. Caribe was born in 2008.

Jessica & Tony

Jessica and Tony are fun loving siblings who enjoy hanging out together.

Jessica is a loving and nurturing young lady who is always willing to help someone out. Being the fast learner that she is, 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 is not in school, he likes to play video games, especially Mortal Kombat and Pokemon. He also enjoys watching the show Rick and Morty. If he had three wishes, Tony would wish for one billion dollars, unlimited video games and 1,000 Pokemon cards.

Jessica was born in 2006. Tony was born in 2004.

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