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In This Issue
Back to School
Crisis Intervention Services SURVEY
Adoption Incentive Bonuses
Autism Support
Bullying & Suicide
Free Legal Help from NAMI
Advocate for Yourself
Congress & Adoption
Mental Health Advisory Council
Sweetser & Heritage Camps
Adoption Tax Credit
Upcoming Fun Events
Twitter COCAF!
Support Groups
Classroom Training


Healing Ourselves to Heal Our Children


September 5, 2013

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

Sterling, CO

Click here for more info.


 Dyslexia 101


September 5, 2013

6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

120 Park Dr, Suite 200

Grand Junction, CO

Click here for more info.


 Complex Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children & Adolescents


September 9, 2013

8:30 a.m. - noon

Founder's Room

Mile High United Way

2505 18th St

Denver, CO 80211

Click here for more info.


CO Developmental Disabilities Council Lunch-&-Learn

Follow the Money: How the System Works


September 11, 2013

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Email [email protected] 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.

Make-&-Take Games for Teachers & Parents

Sensational Six-Syllable Soir´┐Że


September 17, 2013

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Longmont - Denver - CO Springs

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.


Nurturing Fatherhood Program

Thursdays starting

September 26, 2013

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

10782 E Alameda Ave

Aurora, CO 80012

Call 303-552-6231 to register.


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.



Living with FASD 2013 Summit

Sept 9 - 20, 2013

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.


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.

   Finding What Works: Helping Young Adults Transition into Adulthood  

 Improving the Economic Security of Children in Foster Care and Young People Who are Transitioning from Foster Care 



Working with Animals on a Professional Basis


September 18, 2013

Noon - 3:00 p.m.

Barking CAAT Ranch

1255 Lee St

Lakewood, CO 80215

Click here for more info.  

  Healing from Food Insecurity: Beyond the Stash


September 19, 2013

11:00 a.m.

Click here for more info.

 ADHD & the Adoptive Family


September 19, 2013

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.



September 24, 2013

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.



September 25, 2013

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

  Click here for more info


Too Many Losses, Too Soon: Loss & Grief Among Foster & Adopted Children


October 17, 2013

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.



October 21, 2013

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.



October 22, 2013

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Click here for more info.

W.I.S.E UP!sm For Parents: Empowering Children to Handle Questions about Adoption


November 21, 2013

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.



November 25, 2013

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.



November 26, 2013

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Click here for more info.



FREE Online Courses
FREE AFP Online Classes

These classes are available free to families who have adopted internationally or privately. To get your online training code and instructions for accessing your free training class, contact Michelle Betsch at [email protected] or 303-829-4296.


Conspicuous Families

  Discipline and the Adopted Child: Ain't Misbehavin'


Finding the Missing Pieces 

The Journey Of Attachment 

 Tough Starts: Brain Development Matters  

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 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.





September is here, and it seems like there's no end to the things we need to get done. Having the kids back in school is good, but at the same time, the sometimes daunting task of juggling all the school activities, extracurricular activities, work, and family life is overwhelming...for you and the kids! Try to not over-schedule, but more importantly, come up with back-up plans so that if you get stuck at work (or in traffic), someone else can pick up your toddler at day care or drop off your daughter at practice. Well thought out plans can help reduce your stress!


For those fathers who have a little extra time to spare, they should consider attending the Nurturing Fatherhood Program, starting on Thursday, September 26 (see under Classes in the left column). Every child can benefit from having an involved, nurturing father, and every father can benefit from adding a few new tricks to their repertoire.


Enjoy the last days of summer!


Colleen Tarket, Board Member 

[email protected]


Back to School:  Adoption-Friendly Assignments

Most of us with adopted children in school have experienced the dreaded "baby picture" assignment or the "family tree" assignment. It doesn't always in elementary school; in an advanced high school biology class teens were asked to do a family-inherited diseases chart. Help your teachers by having a discussion with them at the beginning of the year about your concerns.


The National Council for Adoption published an excellent article in 2010, by Christine Mitchell, on how to make classroom assignments more adoption friendly. Maybe providing your child's teacher with a copy of this article can help them provide enriching assignments that allow your child to learn without the discomfort of having to disclose more information than your child is willing to share. Click here to read the article.


Crisis Intervention Services SURVEY

The State of Colorado is supporting a cross-systems analysis of crisis intervention services.  This analysis will look at the capacity to serve all individuals with dual diagnoses of an Intellectual or Developmental Disability and a Mental Health or Behavioral Disorder. This population includes individuals with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, or PDD-NOS who have co-occurring Mental Health or Behavioral Disorders. The Colorado Cross System Intervention Gap Analysis Committee is also interested in individuals with Developmental Disabilities who, for psychiatric or behavioral reasons, have used emergency medical services or been hospitalized.  They want to hear the perspectives of people in these situations even if they have not received a diagnosis of a specific Mental Health or Behavioral Disorder. The results of this survey will be reported as a summary, so no individual responses will be reported.  The survey is available only through Tuesday, September 3, 2013.


Click here to take the survey.


Adoption Incentive Bonuses
From the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)

For increasing their fiscal year 2012 adoptions over a baseline, 25 states will receive a total of $32,509,028 in Adoption Incentive bonuses. This represents just over 70 percent of what states would have received if Congress had appropriated sufficient funds for the Adoption Incentive program. Because the program is underfunded, no state received a bonus for increasing its rate of adoption.


The states receiving the highest awards were Texas ($7.4 million), Arizona ($4.2 million), Florida ($3.6 million), Indiana ($2.3 million), and South Carolina ($2.1 million). Colorado received $47,398.


Autism Support

The Autism SourceTM Information and Referral services provide one-to-one, expert guidance, and support. Autism SourceTM Contact Center hours are now 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Spanish speaking information and referral support is now available everyday of the week through the Autism Society. Bilingual Spanish/English specialists are available from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and in the afternoons on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  


Contact Autism SourceTM Contact Center by phone at 1-800-3AUTISM (800-328-8476) or by email at [email protected].


Bullying & Suicide

The Journal of Adolescent Health has released a special online supplement examining the relationship between bullying and suicide among youth. This supplement reports on the findings of an expert panel that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened on the latest research linking youth involvement in bullying-as victims, perpetrators, or both-with suicide-related behaviors. Three of the key findings were: (1) Bullying among youth is a significant public health problem. (2) There is a strong association between bullying and suicide-related behaviors, but this is often mediated by other factors, including depression and delinquency. (3) Public health strategies can be applied to the prevention of bullying and suicide. Click here to read the report.


Free Legal Help from NAMI
From the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

The NAMI Colorado Law Line offers volunteer licensed Colorado attorneys who provide limited free legal information and advice to persons who contact NAMI Colorado seeking advice on issues related to mental health law and issues directly affecting persons who have a mental illness and their families or loved ones.

The person contacting NAMI Colorado must be a person with a mental illness, their family member, or a loved one. Persons contacting NAMI Colorado for such legal information and advice are entitled to receive a one-time free phone consultation with a volunteer attorney. This service is expressly limited to legal consultation and advice by phone and does not provide any legal representation in court. This service will be provided to persons who contact NAMI Colorado seeking limited legal information and advice in five targeted areas:  
1. involuntary civil commitment 
2. criminal cases 
3. special education 
4. employment 
5. trusts, guardianships, special needs planning, Medicaid

Volunteer attorneys will provide confidential legal advice and consultation that is independently given and is not controlled in any manner by NAMI Colorado.


Persons who seek legal information and advice in the above targeted areas must contact NAMI Colorado by phone or email, and request information and/or advice. NAMI Colorado's toll free number is 1-888-566-6264; NAMI Colorado's email address is [email protected].

A NAMI staff member screens requests, and if the above criteria are met, will provide the person with the name and phone number of the volunteer attorney with special knowledge in one of the above five targeted areas.

Upon receiving the volunteer attorney's phone number, it is then the responsibility of the requesting person to contact that volunteer attorney by phone. Volunteer attorneys have agreed to return their call and provide their phone consultation within a 48 hour time period, excluding weekends and holidays.


Advocate for Yourself & Your Family
From the Colorado Center on Law and Policy

A guide to understanding one of Colorado's most important public benefit programs was recently published by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy in conjunction with the All Families Deserve a Chance Coalition. The manual, Colorado Works Handbook: Advocate for Yourself and Your Family, is designed to help low-income Coloradans navigate the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF), also known as Colorado Works.


The Colorado Works program provides families with temporary cash assistance, support services, and workforce readiness training. The assistance and work supports are designed to help Coloradans on their journey to self-sufficiency. 


This handbook explains the major parts of the Colorado Works program. It provides information on individual rights and responsibilities under the program, and can help connect you or your program beneficiaries to cash and support services. 


The 2013 Colorado Works Handbook is available for download here


The Colorado Works Handbook has been prepared collaboratively by the All Families Deserve a Chance Coalition (AFDC) and the Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP).

Adopting?  Prepare to Be Surprised!
From The Wall Street Journal

This article in the Wall Street Journal by Veronica Dagher provides sound advice for budgeting for pre- and post-adoption expenses. Click here to read the article.


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. They need your help again this year to find adoptive families to participate. Help us encourage federal legislators to participate! Please share this announcement about the  2013 Adoptive Family Portrait Project with your networks.

If you'd like to participate, contact Casi Preheim at the Colorado Post Adoption Resource Center (COPARC) by email at [email protected].
COPARC Mental Health Advisory Council

The Colorado Post-Adoption Resource Center (COPARC) has developed a Mental Health Advisory Council to provide guidance regarding COPARC's efforts to assist with mental health treatment and access needs of adoptive families. The Advisory Council includes adoptive parents, mental health professionals, and community mental health administrators. The Council meets quarterly by phone, and the next meeting is Friday, September 13, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


If you would like to participate on the Mental Health Advisory Council and join COPARC for the September call, please contact Michelle Betsch at [email protected] or Emily Tracy at [email protected].


Congrats to Sweetser & Heritage Camps

would like to congratulate Pam Sweetser and Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families for receiving the Angel in Adoption™ award by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) AND the 2013 Denver Mayor's Diversity Award.

Pam's camps provide cultural awareness, as well as giving families a chance to network with other adoptive families in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. If you have not had the opportunity to attend one of their summer camps, it is something you should consider for next year!

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!


Click here for more info. 


Parent to Parent's 16th Annual Family Enrichment Event Picnic

Sunday, September 15, 2013, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Lone Tree Golf Club Pavilion


Enjoy a variety of activities:

  • Young adults with disabilities will have items for sale
  • Door prizes for children and special drawings for adults
  • Accessible playground for children
  • Free chair massages for adults (tips gladly accepted)
  • Free photograph of child and/or family
  • Balloon artist, face painting, and more!

Suggested donation per family is $15.



A-H: Salads (fruit, green, or pasta)

I-R: Sides (baked beans, veggies, chips)

S-Z: Dessert

Blankets or chairs and umbrellas for shade


RSVP BY TUESDAY, SEPT. 4th to [email protected] or 1-877-472-7201 with names of adults & children (including ages), phone, & email address.


QUESTIONS (including inclement weather plans) on day of event?  Check for prerecorded message at 1-877-472-7201 or call Karen at 970.389.4326.

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

2nd Thursday of the month, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Parenting Place, 1235 Pine St, Boulder, CO

 October 10: Dr Colwell on relationship tips after children

November 14: Legal issues affecting LBGTQ families.

Contact Jane by email at [email protected] or by phone at 303-449-0177, ext 201.

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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Use this area to provide your subscribers information about your organization.

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