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In This Issue
Fun Events
National Adoption Day Event
COCAF Update
Custody Relinquishment
Social Media and Your Kids
Parenting Sexually Abused Child
Permanency Pact
Impact of Adoption on Adopted Persons
Federal News
Colorado Adoption Fact Sheet
Autism Society Needs Your Help
Adoptee Survey
Transportation Needs Survey
Online Trauma & Attachment Training
Foster Kids and Education
Adoption Tax Credit
Twitter COCAF!
Support Groups
Classroom Training

I'm Aging & Still Taking Care of Others


November 5, 2013

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

First United Methodist Church

 Rooms 133 & 134 

420 N. Nevada 80903 
Colorado Springs, CO
For more info call 719.473.8477 or email [email protected] 



Problematic Sexualized Behaviors in Children: Effective Interventions


November 5, 2013

9:00 a.m. - noon

Mile High United Way

Founder's Room

2505 18th St. 

Denver, CO 80211

Click here for more info..



Evidence-Based Treatment for Explosive Aggression Disorder in Children & Adolescents

Training for Professionals

Wednesday OR Thursday

Nov 6 OR 7, 2013

8:00 a.m. - noon

ARC of Arapahoe/Douglas

6538 S Racine Circle

Centennial, CO 80111

Click here for more info.



Somewhere Between

Movie & Panelist Discussion


November 9, 2013

11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Email [email protected] for more info or to register.



Beat the Holiday Blues


November 14, 2013

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Red and Jerry's Event Center

1840 Oxford St

Sheridan, CO

Click here for more info.



When Is My Skin Going to Turn Your Color?


November 16, 2013

9:00 a.m. - noon


6920 S Holly Circle

Centennial, CO 80112

Click here for more info.



Understanding Attachment & Creating a Nurturing Environment


November 18, 2013

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

First Evangelical Lutheran Church

803 3rd Ave, Longmont, CO

Click here for more info.



FREE National Adoption Day Event: 

Adoption Through the Eyes of a Child


November 21, 2013

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Discovery Church

2605 W 144th Ave 

Broomfield, CO

8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Click here to register.




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.

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


The Uninterrupted Scholars Act: Promising Information-Sharing Practices


November 14, 2013

11:00 a.m. - noon

Click here for more info.



"I'll Tell Them When They're Older..." Talking to Children about Their History


November 19, 2013

6:00 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.



Parenting the Hurt Child


December 10, 2013

6:00 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



Conspicuous Families

  Discipline and the Adopted Child: Ain't Misbehavin'


Finding the Missing Pieces 


The Journey Of Attachment 


 Tough Starts: Brain Development Matters  


National Empowerment Center

Alternatives 2013

Wednesday - Saturday

December 4-7, 2013

Austin, TX

Click here for more info.

 Ametz Adoption Program/JCCA for Adoption Professionals


Click here for more information on any of these online courses.



Understanding And Meeting The Needs Of Jewish Adoptive Families


November 21, 2013

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


Drug And Alcohol Exposure: Children Form The Us And Abroad


January 16, 2014

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


Ethical Challenges In Adoption Practice


February 13, 2014

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


Untangling The Web: The Internet's Transformative Impact On Domestic And International Adoption


April 30, 2014

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

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.


November 9, 2013

10:00 a.m.

Free Birds


December 7, 2013

10:00 a.m.

Frozen 2-D 



Click here for more info.




Somewhere Between Movie & Discussion


November 9, 2013

11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


TAFicity, Inc is offering a Panel Discussion Event featuring the film, "Somewhere Between." Watch the film, then join in a panel-lead discussion of the themes and other topics related to the film (international adoption, transracial adoption, searching for birth-family, etc.). Each of the panelists offers a significant perspective to the discussion - as adult adoptees, siblings to transracial adoptees, adoptive parents, biological parents, and adoption professionals. Light refreshments will be provided after viewing the film.


Contact Patti by email at [email protected] for more information or to register.




26th Annual Fantasy Ball: No Place Like Home

Benefiting The Adoption Exchange



November 23, 2013 6:00 p.m.

Donald R. Seawell Grand Ballroom

Denver Performing Arts Complex
Speer & Arapahoe, Denver, CO 80204


The evening includes cocktails, silent auction, live auction, dinner, and dancing.


Click here for more information.



November is National Adoption Month. If you have time, consider the National Adoption Day event co-sponsored by COCAF:  Adoption Through the Eyes of Children. See the article below for more information.


November is also the start of the holiday season and all the craziness that brings into our lives. Remember to schedule downtime for everyone, and try not to sweat the small stuff. Stress is not good for anyone!


COCAF wishes a fun and harmonious Thanksgiving to all!


Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Colleen Tarket, Board Member 

[email protected]


A FREE National Adoption Day Event:

Adoption Through the Eyes of a Child

Join us for a free adoption-focused Resource Fair and training by Debbie Riley from Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.), national adoption expert and author of Beneath the Mask,

about "what adopted children comprehend, think, and feel about adoption as they develop from the pre-school years through adolescence."  

The event is Thursday, November 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Discovery Church, 2605 West 144th Avenue, Broomfield. Attend the full-day training, or choose between a morning session focusing on younger children and an afternoon session focusing on older children.


This event  is brought to you by Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services, Broomfield City and County Department of Human Services, the Colorado Post-Adoption Resource Center (COPARC), and COCAF.   


Click here to register

COCAF Update  

In September, Deborah Cave, COCAF Executive Director, successfully represented an adoptive family in a fair hearing regarding a fair and appropriate adoption assistance payment rate (subsidy) for their adopted children. In the decision delivered in October, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) stated: "...the County Department erred by basing the subsidy only upon the children's special needs, and not considering the ordinary needs associated with caring for and raising the children."


Deborah also requested the State's assistance in reviewing one county's written subsidy policy for what COCAF felt were inconsistencies with State and federal regulations. The State will work with the county to correct these inconsistencies.


COCAF is also working on database that will show the average monthly subsidy payments by county. When completed, COCAF will upload the information to our website, www.cocaf.org.

Custody Relinquishment Policies to Access Mental Health Services
From Voice for Adoption (VFA)

In a recent letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, Voice for Adoption (VFA) identified custody relinquishment policies to access mental health services as an issue, especially for adoptive children. Colorado was identified as one of the worst states in this respect. Here is an excerpt from their letter:


"Families do not want to lose custody of their children and should not have to for the sole purpose of accessing intensive mental health services for their children. A report from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law found this to be an issue all over the country, noting: 'Affiliates of the Federation of Families and child advocates across the country identify custody relinquishment as a problem in at least half the states. They report the most frequent incidence in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Tennessee and West Virginia.'"


Click here to read the entire letter.


Social Media and Your Kids


Concerned about your child in our new social media world? Between smart phones, tablets, and computers in every environment, our children have ample opportunities to get into lots of trouble in the virtual world. ConnectSafely offers advice and tools for making good decisions on how to protect your children. Click here to go to ConnectSafely.



Parenting a Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused
From the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC)

Parenting a Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused: A Guide for Foster and Adoptive Parents, a Child Welfare Information Gateway factsheet, discusses how foster and adoptive parents can help children and adolescents who have experienced sexual abuse. It provides basic information about sexual abuse and links to other information so that parents can education themselves about the topic. The factsheet suggests ways to establish guidelines for safety and privacy in the family, and it offers suggestions about when to seek professional help and where to find such help. Click here to go to the factsheet.


Permanency Pact

Youth transitioning from foster care are often unsure about who they can count on for ongoing support. Many of their significant relationships with adults have been based on professional connections which will terminate once the transition from care is completed. It is critical to the youth's success to identify those adults who will continue to provide various supports through and beyond the transition from care. Clarifying exactly what the various supports will include can help to avoid gaps in the youth's safety net and misunderstandings between the youth and the supportive adult.


To help create a permanent connection, the Foster Club has created a free tool, the Permanency Pact.  

Click here to learn more.

Impact of Adoption on Adopted Persons
From the Child Welfare Information Gateway

Impact of Adoption on Adopted Persons factsheet, from the Child Welfare Information Gateway, for families discusses the impact of adoption on adopted persons who have reached adulthood. There are several themes that emerge from personal accounts and data from academic studies about issues that adopted persons may face. This factsheet addresses these themes, which include loss, the development of identity and self-esteem, interest in genetic information, and managing adoption issues. Click here to go to the factsheet.

Federal News
From The Voice for Adoption (VFA)

The U.S. House of Representatives passed unanimously H.R. 3205, the Promoting Adoption and Legal Guardianship for children in Foster Care Act, a bill to reauthorize and improve the federal Adoption Incentives Program. Unfortunately, the Senate has yet to introduce a bill.


Colorado Adoption Fact Sheet
From the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)

NACAC has published the 2011 Colorado adoption fact sheet. This resource provides data on the number of waiting children, length of time children spend in foster care, and Title IV-E payments (adoption assistance payments/subsidies).  


Click here to go to the report.

Autism Society Needs Your Help

The Autism Society of Colorado (ASC) needs your help collecting information.

On August 1, 2013, the Colorado Department of Human Services implemented new rules for the determination of a developmental disability. These new rules allow for a developmental disability to be based on EITHER an intellectual impairment (IQ scores) OR an adaptive behavior limitation. This is a great change for individuals with autism because eligibility is no longer limited to individuals with an intellectual disability (IQ of 70 or lower), but will now include people who may have a substantial adaptive behavior limitation.  These adaptive behavior limitations may be in skills such as eating, dressing, bathing, grooming, behaving safely in the home and community, following rules, managing money, making friends, etc.

Qualifying for DD services opens up new resources and revenues to access needed services in Colorado.  You can apply, or reapply if you were previously denied, through a Community Centered Board (CCB) to have a determination of whether your son or daughter may be eligible for services. The determination is based on the results of State required evaluations. In some situations, these evaluations may be available to a family from testing done through a school district. If the evaluations are not available, then a family may be required to cover the cost of these evaluations on its own. These evaluations do not include receiving a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. They only include either an intellectual evaluation OR an adaptive behavior evaluation.

The Autism Society of Colorado wants to know if you were required to pay for any evaluations in order to determine if your son or daughter was eligible to receive State or Medicaid funded services. ASC has taken the position that it should not cost families to apply for publicly funded services. They need your help to ensure that families do not have to pay money in order access public programs.

ASC appreciates your help and promises to keep the information you provide confidential. They will not use your name or information without first contacting you and getting your permission.

If you have been required to pay for any evaluations in order to access services, even if the final outcome was a denial of services, please send your information to John Miles at [email protected].

Eastern European Adoptee Survey

Louisiana State University is asking for your help in a study that aims to investigate cultural self-identification of children adopted from Eastern Europe. The study has been approved by the IRB (#3393). Click here to go to the survey.


Transportation Needs Survey


CDOT is conducting a statewide survey of the transportation needs of elderly and disabled individuals for the development of the CDOT's first Statewide Transit Plan.    

To complete the survey, click here.


Online Trauma & Attachment Training

Looking for trauma and attachment training that fits your busy schedule? ATN Learning Center offers online training for families of traumatized children and those with attachment issues. Click here for more information.

Foster Kids and Education

The Invisible Achievement Gap is a report from The Center for Teaching and Learning at West Ed that illustrates the affect of foster care on students' educational success and breaks new ground on this important issue. The report links official state-level student education and child welfare data, creating California's first-ever education snapshot of all students in foster care in grades K-12. The report highlights data from the 2009-2010 academic year and reveals a stark achievement gap by comparing students in foster care to the state's K-12 population as a whole, as well as to other subgroups.  


Two key findings include: (1) High school students in foster care had the highest dropout rate and lowest graduation rate. (2) Students from foster care performed lowest on standardized tests in almost every area and were more likely to change schools during the school year. Click here to go to the report.


Adoption Tax Credit Updates 

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

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

This support group is on hold until new facilitators can be identified. The Boulder area LGBT adoptive parenting group is seeking at least two volunteer facilitators/co-leaders for their group. If you are interested in helping out, contact Jen Spolnik at 303-499-5777.

Welcome Child Adoption/Foster Care Support Group

Second Sunday of the month (November 10, December 15, January 12, February 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, and June 8)

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Timberline Church, Room 214

2908 S. Timberline Road

Fort Collins, CO  80525

For more information contact Michele Sanner by email at mlsanner@gmail.com or by phone at (970) 481-5749.

Click here to register for childcare.

Xpress Yourself Art & Play Therapy  

Support groups for internationally adopted children & adolescents


6920 S. Holly Circle

Centennial, CO 80112

Call 303-850-9998, ext 22

Called to Adopt Support Group

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

Click here for more info.


The Men's Group for Adoptive Dads

Thursdays, 6:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.

Christ Community Church (south door)

1301 15th St, Greeley, CO 80631

For more information, contact Tim Paxton at 970-691-5737 or by email at [email protected].


 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