February 2019, Issue 11

Black History Month

In 1976, the month of February was decreed a national observance of Black History, by President Gerald Ford. “In celebrating Black History Month,” Ford said in his message, “we can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history” (http://time.com/4197928/history-black-history-month/).

Regardless of the ethnic heritage of the children in your home, this holiday is an excellent reminder to assist them with maintaining connections to their culture.

One of the most important aspects of being a foster parent is helping a child maintain their cultural roots. Keeping a child connected to their culture is important in helping them to develop their sense of identity, and ultimately, a positive sense of self. A publication of Child Protection Best Practices in Preserving Cultural Connections for New Mexico courts highlights some ways to preserve culture:

  • Maintain connections with biological family whenever possible
  • Gather information about the defining characteristics of a child’s culture
  • Speak freely with the child and parents about cultural events
  • Attend and acknowledge various celebrations and events within the child’s culture of origin
  • To read the entire publication, please click below

Black History Month Celebrations

National Children's Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health month. Per the CMDP Member Handbook, “Tooth decay can occur in the baby teeth, so it is important to start dental care at an early age. CMDP members should start dental services at 1 year of age. This early visit is known as a well-baby checkup and establishes a Dental Home for future care. Regular dental checkups should occur every 6 months following the first visit. Checkups include dental cleaning and fluoride treatment to help ensure the long-term health of the child’s teeth and gums.”

Advanced Training Opportunities

Tucson Resource


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.

Meet the Kids


Precious is a thoughtful, reserved young girl with a gentle spirit and a warm, shy smile. She loves to get lost in the imaginative worlds she finds in books, such as her favorite series, Harry Potter. Her best-loved character is Draco Malfoy, and though she hasn’t been sorted into a house yet, she doesn’t think she’d be a Slytherin.

Dominic & Perry

Dominic enjoys a good joke, and he is often seen with a smile on his face. Although he is social, helpful and has a great sense of humor, Dominic takes his academics very seriously. He values school and his teachers, and his favorite subject is science. Dominic dreams of being a scientist when he grows up.

Perry is a sweet and loving boy who likes to sing and dance along to music. Perry says he wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up. Even though Perry hasn’t started school just yet, he is really excited to begin, and wants to learn about dinosaurs!


Camren wants you to know he’s “fun, social and smart!” When he gets to high school, he plans on playing football. He is a great team player and works hard at whatever he does. After high school, he plans on getting a scholarship to play college football at ASU. Camren considers himself a leader and one day, he would like to be a mentor.

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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