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November 2019 Issue 20

National Adoption Month

November is designated as National Adoption month to highlight the need for adoptive families and to celebrate the adoption of children that have found their forever families. Currently in Arizona we have over 300 children receiving child specific recruitment services in order to find and match them with families. Please check out the Children's Heart Gallery to learn more about some of those children. Additionally, meet a few of our children from the Heart Gallery at the end of this newsletter.

The Maricopa County National Adoption Day celebration is Saturday, November 23, 2019. The location is Durango Courthouse, located at 3131 W. Durango Street, Phoenix, AZ. For more information visit maricopanad.org

Securing Sensitive Data

Smart phones, tablets, computers, and other electronic devices give us access to almost any information we need in a matter of seconds. While advancements in technology have given us this valuable information, it also makes our own data and information vulnerable to cyber attacks, identity thieves, and others seeking to steal personal information. Click the link below for some great tips and things to consider in protecting your information.

Giving Tree

As we near the holiday season, many ask how they can give back. Each year DCS partners with community members to provide support to children and youth in foster care through the Giving Tree. Check out the video below about the Giving Tree.

If your business or community group would like to sponsor at least 20 children in foster care, please email volunteer@azdcs.gov.

KIDS Consortium Resource Fair

The KIDS Consortium is comprised of the foster and adoptive agencies in Maricopa County. On November 2, the Consortium is hosting a Resource Fair for foster and adoptive families. Past, present and future foster and adoptive families are welcome to attend. Come meet over 25 resource vendors, and learn more about each of their services. Prospective families will have the opportunity to learn more in an information session, hear from a panel of foster care alumni, and interview agencies. Please see flyer below for more information.

Free Event

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 Katie Eschliman. She was nominated by her DCS Specialist, here is what was submitted: I am nominating licensed foster parent, Katie Eschliman, for going above and beyond in her willingness to engage with the mother of the children in her care and for her support of the case plan goal of family reunification. During a home visit at Katie's, she showed me a duffel bag of items she is collecting for when the children return to their mother's care. The bag contains a variety of items that a parent may need in day-to-day care of the children. Some items in it are: toys, books, bottles, sippy cups, diapers etc.

Katie recently attended a court hearing and met the mother of the children. She sat with the mother and shared pictures of the children and stories about their lives since she began caring for them. She also updated her regarding their recent health and medical reports. She did this without hesitation. In addition to this, Katie transports the children to visits and is willing to stay in order to ensure calm and successful visits. It's evident that Katie truly cares about the children and families she serves as a licensed foster care provider.

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

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Holiday Party at the Princess

Click the button below to submit an entry to the lottery for your family to win tickets to the Holiday Party at the Princess hosted by the Johnjay & Rich Loveup Foundation. Completing the entry does not guarantee your attendance. Names will be drawn at random. If your family's name is selected you will be contacted and asked for the names and ages of the children in your home, and given additional details about the event. Please only include the children and adults in your home on the entry. Names of attendees will be validated.

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

Alex C

Alex prefers to be called “Brayden.” He is happy to help others and works hard, especially if he can earn money. He likes music, rapping, hanging with friends and traveling. Alex wants a family who is loving, caring, responsible and generous. An ideal family would be one with 1 or 2 Moms who can help him grow up and develop life skills, and one with pets. A family possessing some working knowledge of navigating the child system of care and some experience with services related to special needs would be the best fit. Ultimately, and simply put by Alex himself: “I just want to know that someone cares.” Alex was born in 2003.

Nicole

Nicole’s favorite subject in school is math, and she is working on calculus right now. She is interested in computer engineering, physics and student council. When Nicole has down time, she enjoys reading, skateboarding and playing sports with friends. Some of Nicole’s favorite books include Pride & Prejudice and Tale of Two Cities. She loves the Harry Potter series and Stephen King books. Nicole is very outgoing, smart, athletic, and a real “go-getter!” Nicole would like to own a software company when she grows up. Nicole was born in 2004.

William

If William had three wishes, he would wish for his own dance studio, his own recording studio, and have a million dollars. He is incredibly passionate and driven about his dancing. When he grows up, he wants to be a YouTube dance star. William was born in 2008.

Matthew & Jacob

Jacob & Matthew are energetic and happy boys who enjoy all sports and outdoor activities. When Jacob and Matthew spend time outside, you can find them playing basketball or soccer, swimming, or jumping on the trampoline. If you can think of any outdoor activity, these boys are sure to enjoy it! Matthew is a proud big brother and both children are a joy to be around. These boys are wonderful together and need to stay close. Jacob is a bit more curious than Matthew, but they love playing and doing activities as siblings. The ideal family for Jacob and Matthew will have a father figure with the time and ability to be a positive role model and provide strong structure. Matthew was born in 2008 & Jacob in 2009.

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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