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CASA: a Calling and a Cone – Foster Parents Article

After 30+ hours of classroom training and even more hours of prayer and preparation, I was assigned my first case as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). The facts of the case: elementary aged brother and sister in a foster home on the other side of town; mom incarcerated; dad’s whereabouts unclear. I was given names and contact information, and with a bit of apprehension I reached out to the legal parties and made a call to the foster home.…

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Dear Bio Mom – Foster Parents Article

An open letter to the biological mom of my adopted daughter:   Dear Elisha, It’s been a long time since I have heard from you and I hope you are doing well. I know your addiction still has a strong hold on you and how difficult that has made life for you. Our daughter is doing great- she is right in the middle of that butt-head teenager phase but her heart shines through. I know she will grow up to…

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Outdoor Family Activities by Age Range – Foster Parents Article

Ages 0-12 1. Create chalk art- 2. Make an outdoor scavenger hunt- neighborhood-scavenger-hunt-page-1 3. Make a Neighborhood Bear Hunt- Put a stuffed teddy bear somewhere in your home that would be visible from the sidewalk outside (such as in a window, by the front door, or on the porch) and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. While families are out for a walk to get a break from being in the house, or are out for a…

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Indoor Family Activities by Age Range – Foster Parents Article

Ages 0-12 1. Make an indoor scavenger hunt- Indoor-Scavenger-Hunt 2. Make salt dough Easter eggs- https://www.designmom.com/diy-salt-dough-eggs/ 3. Make greeting cards- Fold colored paper in half or in fourths, then have children draw a picture to mail to a relative or a person in an assisted living facility. 4. Make a fort- Gather blankets and pillows and see how big of a fort you can make together. Or have a challenge of boys vs girls. Eat lunch together in the fort…

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Things a Judge Wishes the Community Knew – Foster Parents Article

The “things” I wish our community knew regarding the well-being of Arizona’s most vulnerable children, are things I knew very little about until just a few years ago. In July 2012, I was a relatively new superior court judge and I was about to begin a 3-year stint in juvenile court.  I knew that in this position I would be presiding over “dependency” cases.  A dependency case is initiated when the Department of Child Safety removes a child from the…

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Great Things Never Come From Comfort Zones – Foster Arizona – Foster Parents Article

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My Adoption Story – Foster Parents Article

It all started when my caseworker planned a visit with my (adoptive) parents. Of course, I was really scared but my brother was fine- he’s the brave one out of us two. A cab came to pick us up to have a weekend visit with them. At first it was really weird and awkward but then we started bonding really well and I ended up calling them mom and dad after the second visit. At the end of June, we…

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The Gift of Presence: Normalcy – Foster Parents Article

When I was growing up I used to hate Christmas. We wouldn’t get any presents and it was really hard for our family. The only thing that we would do is probably get a ham or a turkey and make some mashed potatoes and that was our Christmas. When I got to the group homes it became harder because everybody was giving us a bunch of presents and we weren’t used to it and it made me feel like they…

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Collaborating in the Giving of Presence – Foster Parents Article

My name is Jennifer Barrie and I have had the privilege of being the Program Supervisor for the Arizona’s Children Association Child Specific Program for the past year. The Child Specific Recruitment Program is a program that helps youth in care find connections and permanency. In doing this there are different recruitment activities that can help to find these permanent connections, one being the Meet the Kids videos done by Foster Arizona. The videos not only aid us in getting…

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Brothers Reunited – Foster Parents Article

Tristan and Jayden are biological brothers, sharing the same birth parents. Like many children in foster care, they are victims of trauma. Their first years of life were filled with neglect, abuse and violence. Entering an overcrowded system, the brothers were bounced between foster and group homes in a whirlwind of chaos until they were legally separated. Steve and I were in the final stages of adopting Tristan, eagerly anticipating the day he would join our family. Jayden was somewhere…

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