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In This Issue
Twitter COCAF!
Mental Illness in America
2014 Kids Count
CDHS 2015 Strategic Plan
Will Adoption Reduce Your Services?
Child Welfare Bill in Limbo
Medicaid Must Cover ABA
Adoption Portrait Project
Inflexibility & Autism
Health & Produce Fair
Online Training
Camping Opportunity
Foster Care Rates
Fundango Summer Events
Support Groups
Classroom Training



The Power of Self-Advocacy     


August 9, 2014

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

Bethany Lutheran Church

4500 E Hampden Ave

Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113

Click here for more info.


For the Love of My Special Child: Estate Planning for Parents of Children with Special Needs


August 12, 2014

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

Koelbel Public Library

5955 S Holly St

Centennial, CO

Click here for more info.


Intensive Training for Psychotherapists

Animal Assisted Psychotherapy


August 15-17, 2014

Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch

Lakewood, CO

Click here for more info.

Trust-Based Relational Intervention


August 16, 2014

9:00 a.m. - noon

Boulder, CO

Click here for more info.

Parenting Children with Challenging Behaviors

Friday, Sept 5 4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


Saturday, Sept 6 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

NE Regional Training Center

Room 124

2573 Midpoint Dr, Ste 108

Ft Collins, CO 80525

Click here for more information.  



For the Love of My Special Child: Estate Planning for Parents of Children with Special Needs


September 10, 2014

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

Southglenn Public Library

Streets at Southglenn

Centennial, CO

Click here for more info.


Overcoming the Challenges of Older Child Adoptions


September 27, 2014

10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Southglenn Library

Room 8

6972 S Vine St

Centennial, CO 80112

Click here for more info.

Parenting Tools to Empower Bullied Children


September 27, 2014

2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Southglenn Library

Room 8

6972 S Vine St

Centennial, CO 80112

Click here for more info.

For the Love of My Special Child: Estate Planning for Parents of Children with Special Needs


October 23, 2014

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

Arapahoe Library District

Admin Building

12855 E Adams Aircraft Cir

Englewood, CO

Click here for more info.








27th Annual
National Independent Living Conference  

"Growing Pains 2014"

  For Adults and Youth


August 26-29, 2014
Sheraton Downtown Denver

1550 Court Pl

Denver, CO 80202

Click here for more info.



2014 Reading in the Rockies Conference


October 10-11, 2014

Hyatt Beaver Creek

More info to come. 




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.


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
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  

 Kempe Center Webinars

The Kempe Center for the Prevention & Treatment of Child Abuse & Neglect has announced the dates for their free upcoming webinar series on Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) and other family engagement approaches.  This series, for child and family serving professionals, advocates, foster parents, and other community stakeholders, will include a wide range of topics by presenters representing many areas in the field of family inclusion in decision making.


All these webinar are free of charge.


Competencies for Strengths-based Family Workers

Thursday, August 14, 2014, noon


Leading the Way: Supervisors Promoting Critical Thinking in FGDM Practice

Tuesday, September 16, 2014, noon


Family Group Decision Making: Engaging, Encouraging, and Empowering Families to Succeed

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, noon


Believe it or Not: The Interplay between Child Welfare Agency Staff Attitudes and Knowledge about FGDM and Implementation

Thursday, November 13, 2014, noon


Click here for more information.


Click here to register for one of the webinars.                

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.
September 27
Dolphin Tale 2

October 25
Book of Life

November 29

December 13


Click here for more info.



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. 



While You Shop!

Use AmazonSmile when you shop Amazon, and support COCAF at the same time! Shop at AmazonSmile and 0.5% of your eligible Amazon purchases can be donated to the nonprofit of your choice - including COCAF. Your donations help adoptive families in Colorado find the services they need to keep their families safe, healthy, and thriving. Click here to start shopping.
Have you ever asked your child (adopted or birth) what they were thinking/feeling, and they told you they didn't know? Did you insist that they had to know? I did this recently. Seriously, how can you not know what you're thinking or feeling?


Then I remembered a day WAY back when...I was 12 (yes, a long time ago!). For those of you who don't know, I call myself a "half-adoptee." My birth mother died when I was a toddler, and when my dad remarried, my mom adopted me. I always knew my story, as did all my seven younger siblings, but it wasn't something we really discussed. Not because it was a bad/mad/sad topic, but because it didn't seem to need to be talked about.


So imagine my surprise when one day, my dad casually mentioned that something I did (I don't even remember what it was now) reminded him of my birth mother. I burst into tears and ran to my room. This greatly upset my dad because, well, he just didn't like crying kids. It upset my mother even more because I wouldn't talk to her about it. But it upset me the most, because I really didn't know why I was crying. No clue. None. My mom went to her grave thinking I kept some big, dark secret thoughts about my adoption from her, because she couldn't believe that I had no idea where all that emotion came from. To this day, I have no idea why I became so emotional.


So when your children, many of whom survived extreme trauma in their young lives, inexplicably express emotion, know that they may be as clueless as I was. So if they tell you they don't know why they're upset, believe them. Comfort them. And know that sometimes we just don't have answers, just emotions.


Feeling Happy For No Good Reason!!!  :)

K. Colleen Tarket, COCAF Board of Directors

[email protected]  

Mental Illness in America


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the federal Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the Nation. Their mission is to reduce the affect of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.


SAMHSA is asking for input on their strategic plan. All input must be received by Monday, August 18, 2014. Click here to read the strategy. Click here to provide feedback.


2014 Kids Count
From the Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation annual report on how children are faring in the US has been published. The 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book includes national data as well as data for each state. To read the full report, click here. To review the Colorado statistics, click here.


CDHS 2015 Strategic Plan

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) is conducting a series of town hall meetings to solicit feedback, comments, and suggestions to help inform the 2015 Strategic Plan which guides the direction of the department and the priorities for the coming year. 

Here are the scheduled August meetings:


Morgan County

Wednesday, August 6 at 2:00 p.m.
Morgan County Department of Human Services
800 E Beaver Avenue,
Fort Morgan

Click here for more information.

Arapahoe County
Tuesday, August 12 at 2:30 p.m.
Arapahoe County Department of Human Services
CenterPoint Plaza, Littleton Rooms
14980 E Alameda Drive,

Click here for more information.

Pueblo County
Monday, August 18 at 2:00 p.m.
Pueblo County Department of Social Services
Wells Fargo Bank Building
201 W. 8th Street, 3rd Floor, Suite 380,

Click here for more information.

Will Adoption Reduce Your Services? 
From Voice for Adoption (VFA)

A number of key congressional offices are exploring child welfare financing reform (to better incentivize in programs and services that support family stability and permanency). Many offices are truly in the exploratory phase. As a result, Voice for Adoption (VFA) is asking for feedback. 


If becoming a guardian or finalizing an adoption will reduce the services you now have for your child and your child needs those services to be successful, please let us know what those services are, so we can pass that information on to VFA. Email this information to [email protected].

Your information will be kept confidential and no identifying information will be passed on to VFA.

Key Child Welfare Bill in Limbo
From the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)

Before Congress went on its summer recess, the House passed the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunites for Youth in Foster Care bill (H.R. 4980). Unfortunately, the Senate did not pass the bill because Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) put a hold on it. Advocates are working with Congressional leaders to figure out how to get the bill moving again when Congress resumes in early September.



The bill would reauthorize the Adoption Incentive Program, eliminate the use of Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) for children under 16, establish a national advisory committee on sex trafficking of children and youth, require states to track and reinvest savings from expanded federal adoption assistance eligibility into post-adoption and post-guardianship services, and more.


Click here to read more. 


Medicaid Must Cover ABA for Autism
From disabilityscoop

Federal officials are for the first time telling states that Medicaid coverage must include treatments like applied behavior analysis (ABA) for children with autism.

Medicaid programs nationwide must offer "medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services" to children with autism, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told states in a bulletin this month. That includes everything from speech and occupational therapy to personal care services and medical equipment, the agency said.

Click here to read the disabilityscoop article.


Adoption Portrait Project
From Voice for Adoption (VFA)

Voice for Adoption is once again providing an opportunity for members of Congress to celebrate the special ways that families are formed through domestic foster care adoption. Their annual Capitol Hill project seeks to inform policymakers and their staff about how adoption has touched the lives of their constituents. They invite Senators and Representatives to participate by displaying a constituent family photo and adoption story in their Congressional offices during National Adoption Month in November.

Click here to learn more about Congressional participation. If you would like to participate please contact Nicole at  [email protected].

For more information about referring families to participate, sponsorship opportunities or nominating an organization for our annual adoption awards please
click here.


Inflexibility & Autism
From disabilityscoop

A new study says that those with autism have less flexible brains, making moving from one task to another or from rest to a task, significantly more difficult. To read the article in disabilityscoop, click here.


CHART Advocating for Adoptive Families
The Denver Post

Many adoptive parents, especially those who adopted from the foster care system, have to deal with mental illness. Children's Help and Assistance for Residential Treatment (CHART), works with adoptive families trying to navigate through the ups and downs of mental illness.


Diane Mulligan, one of CHART's founders, was recently published in the Denver Post about being the parent of a child with mental illness. Click here to read her article.
Health & Produce Fair
Friday, August 15, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.


Learn about health resources for you and your family and go home with some free produce! Attend the Health and Produce Fair on Friday, August 15, 2014 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., at the Church of God Seventh Day, 9375 Gaylord St, Thornton.  


Bring your own bag, and they'll fill it with free produce while supplies last. There are no income or residential requirements to participate.


Click here to read more.

Adoption-Related Online Training

Looking for online adoption-related training? Check out Heart of the Matter Education. Click here to go to their website.


Adolescent Camping Opportunity


The Koru Foundation, an accredited nonprofit youth outreach program based out of Boulder, is offering a 3-night, 4-day backpacking trip to Mission Wolf (a wolf sanctuary down near the Great Sand Dunes) where we will camp, do some volunteer work, and visit the Great Sand Dunes August 14th - 17th.  


This camp is open to adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 who are interested in camping, meeting wolves, and going to the Great Sand Dunes with a group of peers and three trained mental health guides. Cost is $300 per person (all technical gear, food, transportation, and guides included). Koru Foundation will work with families on a sliding scale basis if needed.


Contact Kaitlyn Hyser at 720-465-9765 or by email at [email protected] for more information.

Wisconsin Publishes Foster Care Rates

Foster care rates vary state by state. In Colorado, they actually vary county by county. Rarely do we get to see those rates laid out with specific guidelines, but Wisconsin has made their rates public knowledge.


Click here to read a May 2013 memo from the State of Wisconsin showing their foster care rates.

Fundango Summer Events

Fundango event is planned for this date/place:


Saturday, August 16 in Loveland; theme is Safari


Click here for more information.


If you would like to sign your family up for this Fundango event, send an email listing all the children who will be attending and the dates to sign them up to Erica Wharton at [email protected].


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.


Young Adult Mental Illness Support Group

For ages 18-28

1st & 3rd Thursday of every month

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

1st week Classroom F-G

3rd week Classroom E

St Anthony Hospital

11600 W 2nd Dr

Lakewood, CO 80228

Contact Courtney at 720-369-2629 for more information.


Welcome Child Adoption/Foster Care Support Group

Second Sunday of the month (May 11 & 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.

Zoe's, 715 10th 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.


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