June 2020 Issue 27

Thank You from the Director

In May, Director Mike Faust released a video highlighting Foster Care Awareness Month. He issued a heartfelt “Thank you” to all of our kinship and foster families. Please view the video below.

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.

Supporting LGBTQ Youth

As a caregiver, you may find yourself in a situation struggling to know where to find support for you and your youth when a child in your care identifies themselves as a member of the LGBTQ community. Identifying natural supports in your area can be a game changer in supporting your child, and helping you manage the experience in a thoughtful, empathetic, and positive manner.

Below is a video from the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare. It covers the topic of finding natural mentors and supports in your community for LGBTQ youth in foster care. Below the video, you will find various resources within Arizona to support LGBTQ youth and their caregivers.

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.

Getting Out in Arizona

While Arizona slowly starts to re-open businesses, many people are eager to get out and about. Here are a few things across the state to get the family out, while practicing and maintaining social distancing guidelines.


Bearizona, in Williams, has altered operations a bit to maintain safe practices, but drive through experience is open to the public. Follow the link below for more information.

Out of Africa

Located in Camp Verde, Out of Africa Wildlife park has both walk through and drive through experiences. Please follow the link below for an update on what the park is currently offering.

Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix zoo has Cruise the Zoo dates available in June. According the the website, the zoo plans to re-open June 15. Follow the link below for more information

Heritage Park Zoo

Heritage Park Zoo, in Prescott, is open regular hours. Information about visiting the zoo can be found below.

Odysea Aquarium

Odysea is open with limited capacity. More information can be found by following the link below.

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.

Parenting Resources

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. Additional they will be matching mentor foster families with foster families in need of support.

Caring Connections for Special Needs

Free Arts of Arizona Programs

Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona transforms children’s trauma to resilience through the arts. And because we know how much children rely on the hope and creativity that Free Arts programs and mentors bring, we are excited to announce that we are putting alternate programs in place that comply with the current community safety guidelines. We hope you’ll use the links below to connect with us and continue bringing art to the children you serve (and to yourself!).

Art Heals Videos: A YouTube video series accessible to everyone that includes:

  • Free Arts Family- Trauma-Informed videos for younger children with a "Mr. Rogers" feel, introducing basic self-awareness concepts and art-based coping tools
  • Professional Artist Series-Teaching artist-led workshops or series
  • Alumni Experience Videos-Real-life talks and art created by Free Art Alumni.
  • Caregiver Community- A weekly online meting and corresponding Facebook group where partner agency staff members and foster parents can experience connection and Creativity!

DIY Science Experiments for Kids

Virtual Field Trips

Here is a list of virtual field trips that was put together by a middle school teacher, Mrs. Fahrney. There are lots of places across the world to explore.

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 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

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.


Craig is a sweet and spirited ball of energy who will win your heart! He loves everything sports - football, basketball, golf - you name it. He enjoys riding horses and spending time with his sisters. He is also a math whiz, and one day dreams of being an engineer. Craig has volunteered with Feed My Starving Children. He loves spending time with his mentor, working with animals and helping others. He is loyal, loving and kind to others. Craig would thrive in a caring and committed family. He needs opportunities to develop a sense of mastery over his future. Craig wants the opportunity to have customs, culture and tradition in his life. Craig was born in 2008.


Neva is a sweet and outgoing young lady. Her favorite subject in school is English, and she is currently reading Romeo and Juliet. Neva’s hobbies include weight training, drawing and riding her bike. She has learned to navigate her way through the kitchen, trying new recipes and cooking dinner for those in her home. When asked, Neva’s ideal family will be nice, and will share her Christian faith. She would also like to be with a family who has pets or enjoys animals like she does. Neva was born in 2004.

Jonathan & Patricia

Meet Johnathan and Patricia. They are two siblings with a strong bond.

Johnathan is a wonderful, loving, and protective big brother. He loves school, his friends and teachers. He is creative and enjoys learning about mechanics.

Patricia is an active girl who enjoys dolls and dressing up. Her favorite TV show is Paw Patrol, however she would rather be participating in an activity than watching TV.

Johnathan and Patricia would like a big backyard to play in, hopefully with a dog of their own. The best home for these two wonderful children would be a two-parent home, with a regular routine and structure.

Johnathan was born in 2007. Patricia was born in 2013.

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