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Donations are used to support Colorado's adoptive families.
In This Issue
COCAF Update
Bad News for Kids
Good News for Crack Babies
College Financial Aid
Therapeutic Foster Care
Resources for Military Families
LGBTQ Family Support Group
Standardized Form
College Financial Aid
Money for Adoptive Families
Adoption Competent Therapists
Foreign Adoptions
Highly Mobile Children
Incarceration Toolkit
Congress & Adoption
Adoption Resources
Adoption Tax Credit
Upcoming Fun Events
Twitter COCAF!
Support Groups
Classroom Training

Connecting Children, Trauma, and You


August 14, 2013

9:00a.m. - Noon

El Paso County DHS

1675 Garden of the Gods
3rd Floor (Nautilus Room)
Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Click here for more info.


From Chaos to Calm


August 15, 2013

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Garfield County DHS

195 West 14th Street

Rifle, CO 81650

Click here for more info.

My Needs are Unique: Creating Nurturing & Supportive Relationships with Adoptive and Foster Children


August 17, 2013

9:00 a.m. - noon

Community Reach Center

11285 Highline Dr

Northglenn, CO

Click here for more info.

The Power of Self-Advocacy 2013


August 17, 2013

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Bethany Lutheran Church

4500 E Hampden Ave

Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113

Register by August 15

Click here for more info.

Executive Function & Navigating the School System


August 17, 2013

9:00 a.m.

Christ Community Church

1301 15th St

Greeley, CO

Click here for more info.

Family Diversity in Education


August 22, 2013

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Catholic Charities

4045 Pecos Street

Denver, CO  80211

Click here for more info.

The Who-What-When-Where-Why-
How's of Psychological Assessment


September 13, 1013

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Koelbel Library, Room B

5955 S Holly St

Centennial, CO 80121

Click here for more info.

PCIT - Strengthening & Re-Building Attachments


September 21, 2013

9:00 a.m.

Christ Community Church

1301 15th St

Greeley, CO

Click here for more info.

The Language of Adoption: What I Wish My Parents Had Known, Said, or Done...


September 21, 2013

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Koelbel Library, Room B

5955 S Holly St

Centennial, CO 80121

Click here for more info.

Best Ways to Recognize & Respond to Bullying


September 24, 2013

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Koelbel Library, Room B

5955 S Holly St

Centennial, CO 80121

Click here for more info.

Post Adoption Resources & Advocacy for Adoptive Families


October 19, 2013

9:00 a.m.

Christ Community Church

1301 15th St

Greeley, CO

Click here for more info.


Complex Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Adolescents

Date TBD

Email Agustin Leone at [email protected]

to reserve a spot.






Thinking Differently:
New Hope for Our Children


August 8-10, 2013
Pre-Conference Sessions: August 7

Toronto, Ontario 
Click here for more info. 



These webinars have been recorded and are available 24X7


Supporting Youth in Transition: The Importance of Case Worker Visits

Click here to for more info.


Adoption Tax Credit: A Guide for State Advocates

Click here for more info.


Child Welfare and the Affordable Care Act

Click here for more info.


Successful Stepfamily Living

Click here for more info.


Improving the Economic Security of Children in Foster Care & Young People Who Are Transitioning out of Care


Privatization of Child Welfare Services: A Guide for State Advocates

Click here to download.


 Collaborating with Kinship Caregivers Curriculum and TA

Click here to download.


Finding What Works: Helping Young Adults Transition into Adulthood

Click here to download.


Parenting Children Who Have Been Prenatally Exposed
Click here to download.

Understanding the Acting-Out Behavior of Your Adopted Children
Click here to download. 

Helping Children Heal from Trauma: What Parents and Caregivers Need to Know   

Click here to download. 


The Uninterrupted Scholars Act: How Do Recent Changes to FERPA Help Child Welfare Agencies Get Access to School Records?

Click here to download.

The 50 State Chartbook on Foster Care: A Web-Based Data Resource for Child Welfare Professionals

Click here to download.




Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens


August 21, 2013

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
 Click here for more info.


  Healing from Food Insecurity: Beyond the Stash


September 19, 2013

11:00 a.m.

Click here for more info.


FREE Online Courses
AMC Autism Logo  
Sensory Friendly Films
AMC Theatres (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis with the "Sensory Friendly Films" program.


August 10, 2013

10:00 a.m.

The Smurfs 2 


August 31, 2013

10:00 a.m.



October 5, 2013

10:00 a.m. 

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2


November 9, 2013

10:00 a.m.

Free Birds


December 7, 2013

10:00 a.m.

Frozen 2-D 



Click here for more info.




Heritage Camps


Click here for more information on any Heritage Camp.


Chinese II

August 1-4



August 1-4



August 30-Sept 2



In case you didn't notice, we didn't publish a newsletter for July. June was just one of those months for me; nothing seemed to work the way I needed it to, and quite frankly, I was just in need of a vacation. For years, Deborah Cave, our Executive Director and my boss, has told me to take a break in the summer, but I always plow through...until this year. I finally listened to Deborah and my body. And the world did not come to an end!!! So my bit of advice for this month is listen to your body and take time to rest and recover. That may mean leaving the kids with grandparents or a sitter. It may mean having to put off a project or disappointing friends. But it will do you - and those around you - a world of good.


Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Colleen Tarket, Board Member 

[email protected]


COCAF Update

Do you have any idea what COCAF does besides the monthly enewsletter and maintaining the COCAF website?


COCAF Executive Director, Deborah Cave, stays busy advocating on behalf of Colorado's adoptive families, both as a one-on-one advocate for families and by advocating at the state level.  


Deborah is currently serving on two state-wide advisory councils.


The Office of Colorado's Child Protection Ombudsman Advisory Council is focused on identifying issues affecting children statewide. As the adoption advocate, Deborah has informed the council of the current issues that adversely affect adoptive children, including issues with how the counties handle subsidies and subsidy negotiations. COCAF is working with the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and the Office of Colorado's Child Protection Ombudsman to find solutions for these issues.


Deborah is also working with CDHS Executive Director Reggie Bicha and others to identify issues that need to be addressed legislatively.


In addition to her council work, Deborah continues to advocate on behalf of adoptive families at fair hearings. Without Deborah's support, these families would have to attend the hearings alone or pay for an attorney. COCAF does not charge to advocate for families at fair hearings.


If you have an adoption-related issue that you think needs to be addressed, please let COCAF know. You can email us at [email protected].

Bad News for Kids in New Mexico

The Annie E. Casey Foundation publishes an annual "Kids Count" list, using 16 factors to determine the well-being of children. This year, New Mexico is ranked 50th, and Colorado is ranked 21st. New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Jersey are the five best states for child well-being.


Click here to go to the report.

Good News for Crack Babies


A 24-year study that followed crack babies from birth to early adulthood shows that cocaine-exposed children do not suffer long-term developmental issues if given a stable, nurturing home life. Poverty, on the other hand, has significant detrimental effects. To read the article, click here.


Student Foster Care Payments & College Financial Aid
From the Voice for Adoption

Earlier this month, the Federal Department of Education (DOE) issued a letter to higher education institutions about extended foster care payments that are made to students who are in foster care. The Department has been receiving inquiries from child welfare and financial aid offices across the county about how "extended foster care payments made by a state directly to foster youth are treated when determining a student's Title IV student aid eligibility, including whether these payments should be reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)." This letter from the DOE clarifies that the treatment of extended foster care payments that are made directly to the student when determining Title IV federal student aid eligibility are NOT to be included as income. The letter specifically states: "Extended foster care payments paid under the authority of Title IV - Part E of the Social Security Act are excluded from income for purposes of the calculation of a student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and thus not reported on the FAFSA."  Click here to access this letter.


Therapeutic Foster Care 

Therapeutic Foster Care: Exceptional Care for Complex, Trauma-Impacted Youth in Foster Care:   This brief from the State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center (SPARC), discusses who therapeutic foster care improves the outcome for children and provides suggestions on how to implement it. Click here to read the brief.

Resources for Military Families

If you are a military family and are considering adoption, already in the process, or have adopted, here are some great resources for you:


From the Child Welfare Information Gateway:

LGBTQ Family Support Group

Out Boulder and Parenting Place have formed a partnership to create a community of support for LBGTQ families. The plan is to provide regularly scheduled gatherings for parents and children (of any age) in order to reduce isolation and provide a safe space for families to convene for friendship, education, and support.


The first group is open to any LGBTQ families and will be held August 8, 2013, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at Parenting Place, 1235 Pine St, Boulder.


At the first group meeting participants will discuss:

  • What format would you like to see (facilitated support groups, social gatherings, potlucks, educational offerings, combinations, any other ideas)? 
  • Will parents and children meet together or separate into their own groups? (If in separate groups, Parenting Place will provide childcare/children's activities.) 
  • What days/times work well for you? 
  • How often would you like to see the group meet? Weekly? Monthly?


For more information, contact Jane at [email protected]  or 303-449-0177, ext 201.


Standardized Form Helps Families

The new Colorado state standardized Authorization - Consent to Release Information form to obtain permission to share sensitive data with other agencies has been approved for use by human services, education, judicial, and law enforcement agencies. The benefit for families should be that information will be shared with the right people and this will eliminate the need to continually sign more forms. 
College Financial Aid
Any child who spent any time in foster care after turning 13 years old is considered "independent" in terms of federal financial aid for college. If you fit in this category, be sure to question number 52 on the FAFSA form: "At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?" with YES


The Colorado Post-Adoption Resource Center (COPARC)

The Colorado Post-Adoption Resource Center offers financial assistance funded by the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program, the Colorado Department of Human Services' Division of Child Welfare in partnership with The Adoption Exchange. Families can apply for up to $500 per child per grant year for services such as therapy, camp, respite, and more!


If you have started or are thinking of starting a Support Group, you can apply for up to $500 per year. These funds are available to help support groups provide valuable resources to adoptive families.


Families can apply for up to $500 per family per year, to help parents attend conferences and educational opportunities related to adoption-related and special needs.


Click here for more information.


Adoption Competent Therapists of Northern Colorado

Interested in networking with other adoption-competent therapists who serve the northern half of our state? Meet at The Brew at Deja Lu, 8350 Colorado Blvd, Suite 170/180, Firestone, CO 80504, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 8, 2013. Please note that the location is a coffee shop, so no outside food or drinks can be brought in.


For more information, contact Michelle Betsch at 303.829.4296 or email her at [email protected].

Storybud:  For the Visually Impaired

Created for the visually impaired, but available to everyone at no cost, storybud.org provides children's stories from around the world in three different formats: Text, audio, and combined text and audio.

Click here to learn more
Raising Children in a New Country
From the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC)

Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) and the Office of Head Start's National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness (NCCLR) have partnered to create an illustrated handbook, Raising Children in a New Country: Supporting Early Learning and Healthy Development, for newcomer families parenting young children. Building on the original BRYCS publication, "Raising Children in a New Country: An Illustrated Handbook," this new handbook addresses the following themes: Family Well-Being, Safety and Protection; Guidance and Discipline; Healthy Brain Development; Early Learning and School Readiness; and, Connecting to Early Care and Education. This handbook can now be downloaded for free in English. It will be available soon in Arabic and Spanish.

IDEA & Highly Mobile Children

The US Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services recently issued a letter providing guidance to all school districts clarifying two important issues affecting "highly mobile" students with disabilities, including foster children:  

  1. Highly mobile children should have timely and expedited evaluations and eligibility determinations.
  2. Comparable services include services during the summer, such as Extended School Year (ESY) services.

To read the entire letter, click here.

Incarceration Toolkit by Sesame Street
 From the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC)

The incarceration of a loved one can be very overwhelming for both children and caregivers. It can bring about big changes and transitions.Sesame Street is tackling the topic of parental incarceration with this new toolkit. This toolkit package, which consists of stories, tips, and activities for caregivers and kids, is designed to act as an educational outreach initiative for families with children (ages 3 - 8) who are coping with a parent's incarceration. Click here to go to the toolkit.

Congress & Adoption 
From Voice for Adoption 

Every year Voice for Adoption (VFA) provides an opportunity for members of Congress to celebrate the special ways that adoption has touched the lives of their constituents, through its annual project focusing on foster care adoption. We need your help again this year to find adoptive families to participate. We also hope you will help us encourage federal legislators to participate! Please share this announcement about our 2013 Adoptive Family Portrait Project with your networks.



  • Encourage your legislators to participate - We ask members of Congress to display a constituent adoptive family photo in their D.C. office during November (National Adoption Month), representing a family that has adopted a child from foster care.  Click here for a template to email. 
  • Encourage a foster care adoptive family to participate - VFA will provide interested families with a questionnaire to complete to gather important information about the family's experience adopting from foster care. We will also ask for a family photo. The family's photo and story will be featured in their member of Congress' office for National Adoption Month. Click here to learn more about the role of participating families.


Adoption Resources
The Colorado Post-Adoption Resource Center provides materials to regional lending libraries all over Colorado. Find your nearest Lending Library or access these materials through the inter-library loan system by clicking here.

The Utah Lending Library carries over 225 books, 102 audio tapes, 14 videos, and 10 CDs available to you at no cost. They have an extensive selection of materials specific to adoption and foster care. Many of these materials are not available through public libraries but can be mailed to families or professionals at no cost!  Click here to view and check out. To receive a free copy of the lending library catalogue, call 801-265-0444 or toll free at 1-866-872-7212.

Adoption Tax Credit Updates 

Curious about the status of the Adoption Tax Credit legislation? Click here to see the most current information.



Once Upon a Time:

2013 Benefit for DCAC 

Saturday, September 7, 2013, 6:00 p.m.

Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th St  Denver, CO 80205 


Get inspired by your favorite fairy tales and faraway places, while helping to raise money for the Denver Children's Advocacy Center (DCAC). Live auction, model runway show, amazing hair styles, dinner, music, and dancing...sounds like a night even Cinderella would enjoy!


Twitter @Adopt_Colorado 


Check us out at http://www.twitter.com/Adopt_Colorado  and follow us!  You'll get up to the minute news on classes, resources, and adoption issues. 


Support Groups


Sometimes our children provide us with challenges that we're just not quite ready to handle.  And sometimes support groups can help us find the answers we need, or at least make us feel okay about the unique challenges we're facing.  Here are some support groups that might be helpful.




LGBTQ Families

Thursday, August 8, 2013, 5:50 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Parenting Place, 1235 Pine St, Boulder, CO


Called to Adopt Support Group

4th Saturday of the month, 6:00 p.m.,
Christ Community Church, Greeley, CO

August 24th: Guest Speaker Kathy Clarke speaks about compassion, fatigue, and rejuvenation.

Click here for more info.


Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support Group

Facilitators:  Sarah Ahn and Jenny Burnsed, LPC

Last Monday of every month 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Bixby School,  3750 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder

There is no fee associated with this group, though donations are gratefully accepted.  Please contact Sarah at [email protected] for questions.

Therapeutic Post-Adoption Support Group

2nd Thursday of the month, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Windsor Timberline Church

360 E Crossroads Blvd, Windsor, CO

Click here for more information.


Aurora Mental Health

Adoption Support Group

2nd & 4th Mondays of the month

Aurora Mental Health

11059 E Bethany Drive, Aurora, CO 80014

Click here for more information.


The Be The Change Challenge

(For parents of challenging children)

2nd Tuesday of each month, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

ACL Boulder, 5744 North 71st Street, Longmont, Colorado 80503

Call 630-841-0458

Click here for more info.


EMPOWER Colorado Adams County Rainbow Center

3rd Thursday of each month, 6:00 p.m. -  8:00 p.m.

2140 E 88th Ave, Thornton, CO  80229

Contact:  KimNichelle Rivera 303-226-5536


EMPOWER Littleton/Aurora/Englewood

1st & 3rd Thursday, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network

155 Inverness Drive West, Englewood, CO 80112

Contact Carol Villa at 303-790-1055 for more information or email [email protected]


NAMI Connections Recovery Support Group for Adults

Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m.

ADMHN Building, 3rd floor

5500 S. Sycamore St, Littleton, CO  80120

Contact:  Carol 



NAMI Family Support Group Teleconference

2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month

Contact:  [email protected] 


Louisville Parent Support Group

Second Tuesday of the month 7:00 - 8:30

Art Underground

 901 Front Street, Louisville, CO 80027

$25 per session; reservations required.

Call 720-352-1743 or mail your payment to

Parent Support Group,

608 Main St, Louisville, CO 80027



COCAF strives to provide Colorado's adoptive families with the information and resources they need to keep their families healthy and happy.  If you have ideas for topics you think we should cover, please let us know.  And if you find a good resource -- definitely let us know.  Please forward your ideas or information to me at [email protected].  Materials received by the 20th of a month will be considered for inclusion in the next month's newsletter.

Wishing all families peace, serenity, and a good sense of humor,
Colleen Tarket, COCAF Board Member (and newsletter put-ter-together-er)

COCAF does not recommend or endorse any specific book, website, survey, study, or provider of services.  The purpose of the COCAF e-newsletter is to provide families with potential resources.  All information contained in this newsletter is for general informational purposes only and as is without warranty expressed or implied, and shall not constitute legal, medical, psychiatric, educational, or parenting advice.  COCAF is not be liable for any damages arising from using the information in this newsletter, including direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, and/or consequential damages.


No information on this site should be considered legal advice.  Laws vary by state, so you are urged to research the specific laws, and your rights, within your state.  If you have specific questions regarding your rights, or the laws in your state, please contact an attorney.

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We believe that all children have the right to a permanent loving family. We are dedicated to improving services for every pre- and post-adoptive family and to increasing the knowledge and accountability of public systems. We are committed to advocacy in state and local service planning and delivery, in support of all pre and post adoptive families.

Deborah Cave, Executive Director