December 2019 Issue 21

Safe & Sound: Responding to the Experiences of Children Adopted or in Foster Care

Created with support from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Jockey Being Family, this series of resources is designed to help children who have experienced trauma and adversity, by helping their parents, caregivers, and other adults in their lives understand how that early trauma may have affected them. Each guide can be downloaded and shared to provide ideas for how to help children, and links to additional information and resources.

Introduction to Neurosequential Model for Caregiving: "Bottom Up" Organization

Holiday Events in the Valley

Raising Arizona Kids has created a comprehensive list of holiday events. Please follow the link below to check all the options for some holiday family fun!

Love Your Texture Hair Tutorial

Empowered Young Parents 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!

Refer a Friend

We'd love your help encouraging new people to attend our Foster Care & Adoption Information sessions. Feel free to print a few of the flyers below and post them in your local community.

If you know someone interested in foster care or adoption, share the link below with them and be sure they add your name in the "How did you hear about us" section. If they get licensed, you get a $200 gift card. To qualify for the gift card, the referral must be made through this link, and the interested party should not already be in the licensing process.

#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.

This month's #LoveUp Moment winner is Jennifer & Rich Levey. She was nominated by Shelley Valdez, here is what was submitted: Jennifer and Rich are our neighbors, foster care mentors, and good friends. They have been fostering for many years. They always consistently and fearlessly love and support not only the children, but their birth families as well. Their most recent placement was two sisters, 8 & 9 years old, and they lived in the Levey home for over three years. Their case is very complicated and difficult but the Levey’s have continued to persevere through it all with such love and grace for everyone involved. These girls recently moved into our home as we are in the process of adopting them. Rich and Jennifer are older than us and they desire to be like adoptive grandparents to the girls. They have been so incredibly helpful throughout this transition. These girls know they are deeply loved and cared for as the Leveys continue to be involved and spend time with them often. In the meantime, they continue to keep in touch with their former foster children and bless them often as well. We are so thankful for this couple. They have been an inspiration to us. We would not be able to endure the challenges of foster care without them. Thank you for this opportunity to bless them!

Educational Resource

Respite Resource

Tucson Resource

Tucson Clothing 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 6894 N. Camino Martin, Suite 100 in Tucson.

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 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


Gauge is well-spoken and knows what he wants and goes for it! One of Gauge’s recent hobbies is robotics class. He is learning how to build a drone and will have the opportunity to race it. Gauge enjoys swimming and playing games. He will also need a strong male figure, but one who does not come across too stern. Gauge was born in 2006.


Kennedy is a soft-spoken, yet bubbly and happy young lady. Kennedy enjoys outdoor sports such asbasketball, skateboarding and bicycling, as well as indoor activities like coloring, drawing, painting, and video games. Kennedy is quiet and enjoys being with smaller groups of friends. Kennedy’s favorite foods are Mexican food, Chinese food, and Burgers. Kennedy loves all animals and hopes for her forever family to have a cuddly big dog to play with. Kennedy is hopeful that her forever family who will love her the way every child deserves, and that she can love them back. Kennedy was born in 2006.

Angel, Miguel, & Teresita

Angel enjoys staying active. His favorite activities include hiking, hunting and fishing. He loves to play soccer. His favorite food is chorizo.

Miguel is a quiet and helpful child. Like his brother, he enjoys beings outdoors and is a self-described nature lover. Miguel likes to play basketball and jump on the trampoline. He enjoys learning about technology and programming.

Teresita loves to be creative. Her talents include singing, dancing and drawing. Her favorite musician is Billie Eilish. Teresita likes spending time at the movie theater and the mall with her friends.

Angel was born in 2010. Miguel was born in 2007. Teresita was born in 2005.

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