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January 2019, Issue 10

Thank You!

Each New Year brings the spirit of new beginnings, aspirations, and resolutions. The DCS Foster Care and Post Permanency Supports teams would like to start our year with a great big THANK YOU!! Thank you to each foster parent, kinship caregiver, CASA, DCS Specialist, mentor, licensing agency staff, case aide, parent aide, therapist and any others that give selflessly to the children in out-of-home care in Arizona. Without you, the task of caring for these children would be impossible. Fred Rogers said, “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say "It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem." Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” The DCS Foster Care & Post Permanency Supports teams consider each of you our heroes. We look forward to working with you throughout 2019. Please keep an eye out for our AZ Families Thrive Conferences and Children’s Heart Gallery photo shoot events throughout the year.

Advocating for Health Transitions

One of the key elements in a successful permanent placement is a planned and well-executed transition. When families are selected as forever families for children, there is often the desire to rush the transition over just a few weeks, rather than plan a thoughtful, healthy, child-centric transition. Here are a few things to consider when planning a transition:

1. Get all of the information before planning-The professionals involved should lead the planning but ensure that they are providing ALL of the information. This should include any services, activities, cultural information, routines, etc. All of this should be taken into consideration when developing the transition plan.

2. Take time to transition properly-This is the beginning of a new relationship. Relationships need to be built on trust. Most people would not move in with and marry a person they met last week.

3. Don’t be afraid to advocate-If the plan feels too fast, then advocate for slowing it down. If there is a service that needs to be offered, ask for it.

4. Focus on trust building activities- Here are 10 activities to help bond with a new child from Adoption.com

5. Continue as many established relationships as possible-Continuing these relationships will allow the child to understand that you care about them and the other relationships in their life.

Advanced Training Opportunities

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The Voice Behind the Warmline

If you have ever called the Kinship/Foster Care Warmline, chances are you have been greeted by the warm friendly voice of Andre Porter. Andre recently celebrated his 25th anniversary of working for the State of Arizona. During his time with the Department, he has served in the roles of Investigator, On-Going Specialist, Supervisor and Program Manager. Andre says that he enjoys working the Warmline because he gets to be the person that listens to families and assist with whatever is challenging them. He states, "I strive to deliver excellent customer service to families caring for our vulnerable children." His favorite part of working the Warmline is when a family says, “Thank you,” because he knows he has helped them.

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 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.

Volunteer for the Children's Heart Gallery

The Children's Heart Gallery harnesses the power of photography to capture each child's unique spirit and story in a profile. The photojournalistic profiles are featured in exhibits online, in art galleries and in larger public forums like libraries, airports and malls. Heart Gallery exhibits have helped raise awareness about adoption through foster care and have found homes for hundreds of children.

Photo Shoot events are held several times throughout the year in Arizona. The events are a time for the child to have quality, professional photographs taken to be used to create photo profiles for the children. The next photo shoot will be January 26, 2019 at ASU Sun Devil Fitness Complex. The address is 330 N. 1st Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85003

Photo shoots are staffed by agency and community volunteers. Volunteers can participate in a variety of roles at a photo shoot, which include:

  • Biographer: create short biographical descriptions using provided questions as a guide.
  • Photographer: This position requires extensive professional experience as a photographer. Requires multiple high-resolution (we prefer 300 dpi) shots per child for publication in jpeg format (web site, print fliers, large posters, etc.).
  • Guide: There are two Guides assigned to each child. The Guides are responsible for escorting the children while they are at the photo shoot and for completing the biography questionnaire with the child.
  • Hair Stylist: This position requires the ability to cut and style all types of children/teens hair (a high need for skill in African American/curly hair) at the shoot, in addition to bringing your own supplies.

Meet the Kids

Jacob T.

Jacob is a soft-spoken, friendly teen. At school, he enjoys lunch and U.S. History. “When you read about history, you can learn new things about what went on,” he says.

If Jacob could have three wishes, he would want to get a job, graduate high school and be successful. For a future career, Jacob says he would like to be a firefighter or police officer; he wants a job where he can save lives. Jacob was born 2002.

Angelica

Angelica is a bright, bubbly and charming young lady who enjoys cultivating her creative side. She enjoys music, English class, drawing and spending time with friends. She hopes to travel the world. San Francisco and Paris are on her "must see" list. She would like to be part of a family that will help her grow and mature into a successful young lady. She was born in 2003.

Nathan and Jacob are extremely close brothers. Jacob is the creative one and likes to use lots of color to create different designs. Nathan is more into science and basketball. Family is important to Jacob and Nathan and hope to stay together forever as brothers. Jacob was born in 2009 and Nathan 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
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