October 2021 Issue 43

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an LGBTQ+ awareness day observed annually on October 11th to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning people to “come out of the closet.” Started in 1988, NCOD celebrates coming out and raises awareness of the LGBTQ+ community. Coming out can be terrifying if someone is unsure whether or not they will be accepted for who they are. People are often bullied, harassed, disowned, or ostracized within their own communities or families. LGBTQ+ youth have higher rates of mental health issues, poverty, homelessness, and being victims of violent crimes. LGB youth whose families are "highly rejecting" are 8.4 times more likely to have attempted suicide as LGB youth who reported no or low levels of family rejection.

Seeing people living honest and open lives helps give LGBTQ+ people the courage to be themselves and persevere despite the adversity they face. In a world where people can still lose their jobs, their children, or even their lives for being LGBTQ+, it is important to provide our children with as much love and support as we can and give them positive role models, whether it’s family or friends, people in their community, or celebrities living out loud.

In the last 30 years, the estimated number of American adults on the LGBTQ+ spectrum has been about one in ten. As of 2020, that number is estimated to be one in six adults in Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012), up more than one full percentage point from the 2017 results. This number increases with every generation, up from:

  • 1 in 10 from Millennials (born 1981-1996)
  • 1 in 25 from Gen X (born 1965-1980)
  • 1 in 50 from Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)
  • 1 in 100 from Traditionalists (born before 1946).

Each generation is becoming more comfortable with being open about their gender and sexual identities. With the rise of social media platforms, children and teens are seeing more and more people that they identify with and look up to. They may come to realize or affirm that they are LGBTQ+ and will need support and resources from their family and community.

So what should you do when a child in your care comes out to you? The most important first response is to tell them that you care about them, and give them a hug, if they’re comfortable with that. Thank them for sharing this with you, and let them know that you are willing to listen and learn how to help them in this journey. Then follow through on that promise. The Family Acceptance Project has several publications and resource materials to help families decrease risk and promote well-being for LGBTQ+ children and youth and to strengthen families. Some additional tips and information for supporting sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in children can be found on the AdoptUSKids blog.

Some local and national resources are listed below. Please use these in conjunction with Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standards to ensure the most appropriate and healthy conversations are being had.

one-n-ten is a Phoenix-based organization that supports LGBTQ+ youth and young adults, ages 11-24. They offer a variety of empowering social and service programs that promote self-expression, self-acceptance, leadership development, and healthy life choices. Their programs include Housing and Homelessness Services; Life Skills, Workforce Readiness, and Financial Literacy classes; Suicide Prevention, Camp OUTdoors; the Youth Center and Satellite Sites; Parents' Group; and more.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Gender Support Program provides outpatient services that support the physical, mental, and social health of gender expansive children and youth and their families as they progress through gender identity development. They offer a variety of services including consultations with families, readiness evaluations for hormonal therapies, referrals to mental health providers, support and advocacy for patients and families, education and training, and more.

Pride Guide Arizona is a listing of businesses and organizations that serve the LGBTQ+ community. They have listings for Northern Arizona, Phoenix Metro, Tucson Metro, and Southern Arizona. Categories include activities, churches, community resources, events calendar, professional services, and more. The listed businesses have submitted their information to Pride Guide, affirming that they are a safe, supportive business for LGBTQ+ Arizonans.

There are several Pride events throughout the state of Arizona. The purpose of Pride is to promote unity, visibility, and self-esteem among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons. Although Pride Month is celebrated nationally in June, some cities in Arizona celebrate it during cooler months, so be sure to check for your local Pride dates: Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Bisbee, Sedona, Navajo Nation.

Arizona Trans Youth & Parent Organization (AZTYPO) is a support group to empower children, teens, and their families in a supportive and inclusive environment in which gender may be freely expressed and respected. Parents, legal guardians and extended family can discuss the challenging issues, raise questions, seek and share resources, and listen to the experiences of others. The meetings take place on the 2nd and 4th Sundays every month via Zoom.

As an organization dedicated to inclusiveness, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona values and celebrates the diversity and individuality of every child, volunteer, employee, board member, family and community partner. BBBS partners with one-n-ten Youth Center to provide mentors to children who identify as LGBTQ+. They will meet at least twice per month to spend time participating in activities they both enjoy.

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed. With over 400 chapters nationally, PFLAG provides confidential peer support, education, and advocacy to LGBTQ+ people, their parents and families, and allies. Arizona chapters are located in Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Sierra Vista, and Sedona/Verde Valley.

The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) believes that every student has the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education. They advise on, advocate for, and research comprehensive policies designed to protect LGBTQ+ students as well as students of marginalized identities. They empower students to affect change by supporting student-led efforts to positively impact their own schools and local communities and have thousands of registered Gay/Straight Alliances nationwide. Every day GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment, with the goal of transforming our nation’s K-12 schools into the safe and affirming environment all youth deserve. Find resources, research, and programs at their website. There are chapters in Phoenix and Yuma.

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. They offer a telephone lifeline, live chat, and secure texting crisis interventions. They also offer suicide prevention trainings and resources, including suicide prevention techniques for adults, ally training to help adults support the unique needs of LGBTQ+ youth, and a free coming out handbook for LGBTQ youth.

+swappow PLUS Foundation Skateboard Events

Family Involvement Center Resources

For plenty of parents, teachers, and school staff, anxiety is running high as school is back to in-person learning, and COVID-19 cases are rising again. So we want to remind you that support is available right now. Our team is trained to help with recovering from the psychological effects caused by the pandemic. Thanks to our partnership with Resilient Arizona, you can receive confidential help at no cost in group or one-on-one settings. This includes for supportive crisis counseling, education and development of coping skills. Again, services are 100% free and confidential.

Resilient Arizona providers are located throughout Arizona. If you live in Northern Arizona, call (928) 440-6181. If you reside in Central Arizona, call (602) 704-0440. And if you live in Southern Arizona, please call (520) 485-5858.

This help also includes assistance with finding food, paying house bills, accessing free childcare, and other essential services. You can also dial 2-1-1 anywhere in Arizona 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or visit www.ResilientArizona.org. Feel free to email us at pac@familyinvolvementcenter.org if you have any additional questions.

Child & Family Resources Youth Mentoring Services Program

Foster and Kinship CPR/First Aid

Foster parent and kinship CPR/First Aid Certification taught by Safety Nick with Home Hazard Prevention. Costs sponsored by Lewis Labadie, unless otherwise specified.

  • October 8 at 1 pm - Lewis Labadie Office at 4500 S. Lakeshore Dr. Ste. 300, Tempe 85282 – Kinship, licensed, and families who are completing or completed the foster care classes.
  • November 13 at 12 pm - ASA Now/East Valley at 7830 E. University Dr., Mesa 85207 - Kinship and licensed families. Childcare available and includes food box. $10 class
  • December – to be determined.

Email office@lewislabadie.com to register or call 480-598-8724. ASA Now registration can be done through Lewis Labadie or directly with ASA Now, which will provide you with additional resources.

Home Hazard Prevention may have other dates and times available. Nick can be reached at 480-448-0266 or Nick@homehazardprevention.com or check out his calendar of events online.


ASA Now is a non-profit organization that ADVOCATES for, SUPPORTS, and ASSISTS children and families impacted by foster care. We are passionate about providing support to families and professionals by restoring hope and empowering them to better serve these children in need.

Services we offer include tutoring & extracurricular activities, food pantry, clothing, and meeting basic necessities. Other services include life skills for youth, respite care, therapeutic programs, family activities, peer-to-peer support groups, education and training on utilizing Jacob's Law to obtain behavioral health services, providing resources to families and caregivers to successfully navigate the foster care system, raising awareness, recruiting new foster families, and advocating for families and their children.

Family Care KIDS Preschool

Family Care KIDS is the newest service from Christian Family Care. Family Care KIDS is a trauma-informed preschool in Phoenix which serves foster children, as well as children in the community between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years old. At Family Care KIDS, they understand every child comes with their own story. All teachers at Family Care KIDS are sensitive to that and are trauma-informed. Their goal is to grow and develop a beautiful classroom environment full of children engaged in joyful, playful, and appropriately challenging learning. Learn more at FamilyCareKIDS.com. *DES approved*

Trauma-Informed Care Training

This online training for birth, kinship, foster, and adoptive families includes an overview of the importance of relationships and trauma, how young children are affected by trauma, feelings and behaviors young children may exhibit, and how caregivers can help. Hosted by Southwest Human Development, this training is facilitated by Molly Strothkamp, MSW, LCSW, IMH-E, child therapist at the Good Fit Counseling Center. This class is free and is offered one Saturday per month and one weeknight every other month.

Saturday, 9am-12pm - October 9, November 13, December 11

Wednesday, 6pm-9pm - November 17

Arizona Helping Hands

Arizona Helping Hands is the largest provider of essential items for children in foster care in Arizona. Their programs provide a safe place to sleep, clothing, hygiene items, birthday packages, backpacks filled with school supplies, licensing safety items, foster footlockers, and more.

Save the Date! Planning for Arizona Helping Hands 23rd Annual Holiday Toy Drive is underway! Mark your calendars: client registration begins Friday, October 15, 2021.

Arizona Helping Hands, 3110 E. Thunderbird Road, Suite 100, Phoenix, Arizona 85032, QFCO #10003

*If needed, kinship and foster families with a current notice to provider are eligible to receive basic needs such as clothing, diapers, wipes, and hygiene items every four months.


one-n-ten LGBTQ Parent Support Groups

one•n•ten envisions a world where all LGBTQ youth and young adults are embraced for who they are, actively engaged in their communities, and empowered to lead. Our mission is to serve LGBTQ youth and young adults ages 11-24. We enhance their lives by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self‐expression, self‐acceptance, leadership development, and healthy life choices.

Our Thursday Parents’ Group meeting is held on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm. This is a chance for the trusted adults of an LGBTQA+ youth to talk to staff and other parents/guardians in a supportive atmosphere.

Our Saturday meetings are held the 2nd Saturday of the month at 12:30 pm. Typically we have a guest speaker that gives a presentation and then takes questions.

  • October 9th: Dr. Veenod Chulani, who leads Phoenix Children's Adolescent Medicine Program, and is one of only a handful of specialists in Arizona. Dr. Chulani also specializes in working with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, including those seeking gender-affirming hormone therapy.
  • November 13th: A panel of LGBTQ adults will be discussing their lives and successes.

Papa John's Partnership

Arizona Association of Foster & Adoptive Parents (AZAFAP)

Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents (AZAFAP) has established the Caregiver Advisory Panel (CAP) of foster, kinship and adoptive parents. We are now accepting applications statewide from parents interested in serving and partnering by providing input and guidance with respect to service for children from foster care within the state of Arizona.


  1. Currently licensed foster, kinship, or adoptive parents whose children have been a part of the Arizona child welfare system.
  2. Complete provided online training regarding policy, procedures, rules and law related to child welfare, the Arizona system of healthcare professional communication, confidentiality, and useful professional resources.
  3. Be able to attend a 90-120 minute meeting (online currently) each quarter during daytime hours.

If interested, please email info@azafap.org to receive the guidelines and then an application that is due by October 15th. For more information, please contact Executive Director, Nancy Williams at nancy.w@azafap.org .

Training With Child Crisis AZ

Child Crisis Arizona's fall program calendar is live! This includes live Zoom programming, on-demand trainings, and in-person programming. These trainings are great tools for general parent knowledge, adoption and foster care licensure hours, and more. The schedule includes some of the solid courses, such as Active Parenting, Anger Management for Children, Healing Trauma, Parenting on the Same Page, Understanding Temperament, and so much more. There are also 3 new trainings that will be added later this fall: Beating Bedtime Battles, Promoting Secure Attachment, and Water Safety. Note: The Safe Sleep webinar provides free Pack 'n Plays to individuals that qualify and complete the webinar. The Car Seat Safety webinar provides a free car seat/booster seat with installation by a licensed Car Seat Specialist to individuals that qualify and complete the webinar.


Support, Tools, and Education for Parents (STEP) is designed to build positive relationships between family members. It provides a safe space to discuss topics that may be too difficult to talk about at home. These conversations are about peer pressure, stress, and the importance of working together as a team. When caregivers and children work together, it creates a stronger family! The Children’s Advocacy Center understands that family does not always mean a biological parent and child. STEP is a program that will benefit the whole family, including biological, foster, kinship, and adoptive families.

Families enrolled in STEP will meet virtually each week. Each session consists of different topics such as communication, stress management, substance abuse prevention and how to talk to your child about difficult topics (identifying potential child abusers, child abuse, healthy and concerning sexualized behavior), each session building on the next. Child care will be available when classes are offered in person again. For questions, please contact Jackie Ballesteros at jballesteros@soazadvocacy.org or 520-724-2148.

Christian Family Care Training

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

Caring Connections for Special Needs

Arizona Early Intervention Program

Tucson Resources

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

A Mighty Change of Heart

A Mighty Change of Heart provides FREE duffle bags to foster children with new, age-appropriate items inside: 2 outfits, shoes & socks, underwear, book, diapers/wipes, hygiene items, and more. These bags have the children’s names embroidered on them, and are something that they can call their very own. They have delivered over 3,500 bags across the state.

Please check out their website for more information: www.amchaz.com. If your family, business, church group or school would be interested in holding a donation drive, please contact A Mighty Change of Heart. Items are always needed.

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. Please leave a message with your name and contact information in order to receive a call back.

Children's Heart Gallery

More than 70 percent of the children in need of forever families 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.


Errielee is a funny, loving, playful girl, hoping for a supportive family that can offer her stability, safety and trust while helping her grow. Errie is an outgoing, bubbly, creative and thoughtful teen. She enjoys watching scary movies, her favorite TV shows, as well as being active and playing outside. Errie is a great writer and likes to journal. She loves music and you can often find her singing her favorite songs. She enjoys expressing herself through dance, fashion and beauty. She loves a good meal and spending time with the people closest to her.

Errielee was born in 2008.

Shawn P.

Meet Shawn! This sweet and caring young man that loves to spend his spare time playing on his phone or playing video games. He enjoys Fortnite and Call of Duty. He also enjoys reading, spending time with animals, and going out to eat. Shawn’s favorite foods are spaghetti, Panda Express, and Sonic. Shawn is described as kind, funny, helpful, intelligent, determined, caring, polite, and a problem solver. Shawn’s favorite subject is science because he likes to do the experiments.

Shawn was born in 2005.

Jason & Brian

Jason and Brian are identical twins! Jason likes to point out that he is the older brother by two minutes.

Jason and Brian are two bright, inquisitive boys who like to joke and laugh. They both like gadgets, video games, watching TV and listening to music. While Brian likes country, Jason prefers alternative rock.

Brian and Jason are very interested in cars, ATVs, mechanics, and electronics. Jason and Brian like sports, but have not been exposed to organized youth sports. The boys show excitement and enthusiasm when introduced to new activities where their creative, imaginative and active personalities can shine.

Jason and Brian were 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. Rhiannon Schaudt-Hobkirk 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
Rhiannon Schaudt-Hobkirk