Adoption Topics       Education        Health Care       Legislative Info       Services & Resources   

In This Issue
Help COCAF When You Shop
C.A.S.E. Webinars
Twitter COCAF!
Family Respite Weekend!
Publicly Funded Post-Adoption Services
Helping Older Youth Become Financially Self-Sufficient
Scholarship Opportunity
Hair Help!!!
Sustaining Strong Families Survey
New Training Website
Strategies to Improve Behavioral Health Outcomes
Internet Safety
ADD Resources
Support Groups


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.
Classroom Training

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder:
When Good Parenting Doesn't Work
February 3, 2016
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
515 Coffman
Longmont, CO 80501

Childhood Sexuality 
in Spanish
February 3, 2016
9:00 a.m. - noon
Mile High United Way
711 Park Avenue West
Denver, CO 80205
Click here for more info.

Tips for Parenting Trauma-Reactive Kids
February 4, 2016
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Southglenn Library
Centennial, CO

Becoming Sensory Smart
Tuesday February 9, 2016
6:00 pm-9:00 pm
The Adoption Exchange
14232 E Evans Avenue
Aurora CO

Mobilizing Families
February 11-March 17
6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Click here for more info.

Understanding Executive Functioning (EF)
February 24, 2016
BVSD Education Center
6500 Arapahoe Rd
Boulder, CO 80301        
For more information, contact Anna Stewart at 720-561-5918 or [email protected]
TBRI In-Depth Connecting Principles
February 26, 2016
9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
The Adoption Exchange
14232 E Evans Ave.
Aurora, CO  80014

"Black" Hair 101
March 3, 2016
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
The Adoption Exchange
14232 E Evans Ave
Aurora, CO 80014
Click here for more info.

Signs & Symptoms of Child Abuse & Neglect in Spanish
March 10, 2016
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Mile High United Way
711 Park Avenue West
Denver, CO 80205
Click here for more info.

Problematic Sexualized Behaviors in Children:  A Case Application
March 10, 2016
9:00 a.m. - noon
Mile High United Way
711 Park Avenue West
Denver, CO 80205
Contact DCAC 303-825-3850

Parenting Kids From Hard Places: An Introduction to TBRI
March 11, 2016
9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
The Adoption Exchange
14232 E Evans Ave.
Aurora, CO  80014

Twice Exceptional Learners
March 31, 2016
BVSD Education Center
6500 Arapahoe Rd
Boulder, CO 80301        
For more information, contact Anna Stewart at 720-561-5918 or [email protected]

2nd Annual Transracial Adoption Bootcamp:  From Colorblind to Color Brave
April 16, 2015
12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Southglenn Library
Centennial, CO

Guardianship Training, Part 1
April 18, 2016
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
11177 W 8th Ave
Lakewood, CO
RSVP to Megan Martin, 303-462-6590
Click here for more info.

Guardianship Training, Part 2
April 25, 2016
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
11177 W 8th Ave
Lakewood, CO
RSVP to Megan Martin, 303-462-6590

C.A.S.E. Webinars 

Ask the Expert: Answers to the Five Most Common Adopted Teen Parenting Challenges

Thursday, February 18, 2016

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Extended Access: February 19- 24, 2016


Parent to Parent: Addressing Trauma-Based Behaviors to Promote Attachment

Thursday, March 17, 2016

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Extended Access: March 18 -23, 2016


Search and Reunion: Focus on Birthfathers

Thursday, April 21, 2016

5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Extended Access: April 22 - 27, 2016


Ready by 21: A Realistic Approach to Helping Foster Youth Transition to Adulthood

Thursday, May 19, 2016

5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Extended Access: May 20 - 25, 2016


Adoptive Fathers: Empowering the Male Voice

Thursday, June 16, 2016

5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Extended Access: June 17 - 22, 2016


Reading in the City
April 9, 2016
Denver, CO

COPARC's Annual Spotlight Conference:  Bloom Renewing & Refreshing Families
April 29, 2016
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The Pines at Genesee
633 Park Point Drive
Golden, Colorado 80401
Click here for more info.

NACAC Conference
August 3-6, 2016
Nashville, TN

Reading in the Rockies Fall Conference
October 7-8, 2016
Vail, CO



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  

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.

Feb 9  7:00 p.m.
Finest Hours

Feb 13  10:00 a.m.
Kung Fu Panda 3

Feb 23  7:00 p.m.
Zoolander 2

Feb 27  10:00 a.m.
Kung Fu Panda 3

March 8  7:00 p.m.
London Has Fallen

March 12  7:00 p.m. &
March 26 10:00 a.m.


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. 

We have a full newsletter this month; hopefully you'll find a class, webinar, or article that helps you and your family just a little happier or healthier.

For all of you who have adopted from the child welfare system (or will be adopting), please consider attending the free NACAC webinar on Adoption Assistance Benefits & Eligibility in March.  Knowing your rights is important step to providing your family with all the resources you need to be successful.  

May love be your February goal!  
K. Colleen Tarket, COCAF Board of Directors
A Kinship Family Weekend 

Coming Up for Air:  A KINSHIP Family Weekend
March 11-13, 2016
Rocky Mountain Village
Empire, CO
Easter Seals Colorado presents a weekend workshop for kinship care families.  Children will participate in fun, recreational activities while guardians gain community resources, financial tips, and tools to manage stress.
Children and teens will receive support during the weekend by trained staff and volunteers.  Community resource experts will lead sessions.
Guardians will have the option to sleep with their children or in separate quarters during the weekend (respite time!).  Children will remain supervised.
Cost is $25 per family and includes food and lodging.
Call Easter Seals Colorado at 303-233-1666 ext. 257 for more information.
Profiles of Publicly Funded Post-Adoption Services 
From the Donaldson Adoption Institute

The Donaldson Adoption Institute, funded by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, has produced a comprehensive report titled Supporting and Preserving Adoptive Families:  Profiles of Publicly Funded Post-Adoption Services.
The report includes information for all 50 states and includes information on support groups, mental health resources, as well as other critical post-adoption supports. 
The information for Colorado interesting and potentially misleading.  While it states that 95% of children placed through public adoptions (through the child welfare system) receive an adoption maintenance subsidy, the report does not clarify that a percentage of these subsidies are Medicaid only, with the families receiving no monthly adoption assistance payment.  It is also interesting that COCAF is mentioned in the report, despite the fact that COCAF receives no public funds (we're completely supported by donors).
Helping Older Youth Become Financially Self-Sufficient 
From the Child Welfare Information Gateway

Financial capability is the capacity to manage financial resources. Built on a base of knowledge and skills, it provides the foundation that youth need to become self-sufficient adults. A new webpage on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website provides resources that can be used by service providers and youth to help prepare youth to navigate the financial marketplace and to set and reach financial goals.
Created to provide great resources to older youth and the child welfare professionals working with them, the page provides information on how to help youth understand more about their own capacity for building and maintaining financial capital. In particular, the Financial Empowerment Toolkit, which covers topics such as credit, taxes, insurance, and others, is a comprehensive resource developed by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children, Youth and Families and the Office of Community Services. It provides caseworkers, foster parents, young adults transitioning out of foster care, and other interested parties with strategies and resources to improve financial capabilities of youth in foster care.
Check out the toolkit and other great resources by clicking here.
Scholarship Opportunity 

Helen M. McLoraine Scholarship for Foster Care & Emancipating Youth is for individuals who have been in the Colorado foster care system for a minimum of 24 months between the ages of 13 and 18 who are planning to attend or are attending a career or technical school, community college, or four-year institution. This program is for youth in the Colorado foster care system or youth that have emancipated. Scholars may receive funding for up to four years.  The application deadline is March 24, 2016

Please contact Emily Stanley at [email protected] with questions.

PLEASE NOTE: Students who have already received funding through the Helen M. McLoraine Scholarship for Foster Care and Emancipating Youth need to fill out a separate "reapplication." Click here to reapply if you have already received funding through the program. 

Hair Help!!!


For families who have adopted outside of their race, hair care may be a challenge.
Join The Adoption Exchange at their class, "Black" Hair 101, to learn how to get hair care under control.  Topics include:
  • Why do certain products work in my child's hair while others do not?
  • Why does Afro hair take so long to style and maintain?
  • How do you keep Afro hair healthy?
Participants will discover answers to these questions and more. Feel free to bring a picture of your child's hair for the trainer to look at, but children may not attend the training. 
Click here for more information.
Sustaining Strong Families Survey 

The Family Resource Center Program within the Office of Early Childhood is spearheading a statewide effort to understand what keeps families safe and strong.  This information will ultimately be used by communities to develop local plans to prevent child maltreatment. We would like to hear directly from parents about what is important to them. 
The survey is anonymous and will take about 15 minutes to complete.  It will be open through Friday, February 5, 2016.  Click here to go to the survey.  
New Training Website 

The Colorado Office of Children, Youth, & Families has a new training website for foster, kin, and adoptive families.
Domestic & International Adoption: Strategies to Improve Behavioral Health Outcomes for Youth & Their Families 
From the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Amidst increasing concerns about unmet behavioral health needs among adopted youth and children, leadership from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) proposed a meeting of child-serving agencies to discuss opportunities for serving these young people and their families. Specifically, the meeting brought together researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and family and youth leaders to review current research and practice pertaining to the behavioral health of families involved in domestic and international adoption. The meeting focused on the behavioral health needs of adopted children, youth, and their families, and provided an interdisciplinary opportunity for participants to share knowledge and discuss implications for future research, practice, and policy.
The complete report from this meeting is now available.  Click here to read the full report.
Internet Safety 

Internet safety in a world now shaped by social media is an important concern.  Click here for some guidance on this topic. 

Great Balls of Fire 9-Ball Billiards Challenge 
to benefit 
Ability Connection Colorado's Kyle E. Fisher Memorial Fund at Creative Options for Early Childhood Education

Saturday, February 6, 2016, 10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The Wynkoop Brewery
1634 18th Street, Denver, CO 80202

The tournament is emceed by Jim Benemann (CBS4) and is hosted by the Colorado, Denver Firefighters Local 858, andWynkoop Brewing Company. The Billiards Challenge is all about the goodness in people, who want to make a critical difference in the lives of at-risk children and their families.
Amateur players and celebrities team up at Wynkoop Brewing Company for an afternoon of friendly competition at the pool tables.
  • Sports Celebrities
  • Denver Bronco Cheerleaders
  • Fabulous Food
  • Silent Auction
  • Games & Prizes
  • Grand Prize for Winning Team

Pizza Nights for Families Affected by Autism
The Autism Society of Colorado and Beau Jo's team up to offer individuals and families an autism friendly dining experience. 
For more information: 720-214-0794 or
First Tuesday of every month:
Arvada Beau Jo's Wadsworth & 53rd
7525 W 53rd Ave
Arvada, CO 80002
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
First Wednesday of every month:
Denver Beau Jo's Colorado Blvd & Yale
2710 Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80222
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Resources 

Resources for your Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) family member:



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.

Jefferson County Kids Group
Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian, 11500 W. 20th Ave, Lakewood 
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.. 
RSVP to Mindy Beckler at 303-432-5205

North Adams Grandfamily Support Group
Third Thursday of the month
Brighton Police Department, 3401 E Bromley Ln, Brighton, 80601. RSVP to Janet at 303-637-8113.

Fathers Forever
2nd & 4th Thursdays
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Resilience Center, 1298 Peoria St, Aurora, CO  80011
For more information, contact Don Reynolds (720-353-6103) or Aaron Lockwood (303-901-4486).
Grandparent Group
2nd & 4th Wednesdays
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Aurora Mental Health Center in the Early Childhood & Family Dept.
11059 E Bethany Dr., Suite 101, Aurora, CO  80014
For more information, contact Aline Ratliff (303-885-5163).
Adoptive Parents Support Group
Last Sunday of every month from 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Discovery Church, 2605 W 144th Ave, Broomfield, CO  80023
Meets the last Sunday of every month from 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.  
For more information, email [email protected] or [email protected]
Online Support Group for Adoptive, Foster, & Kinship Parents
Second Tuesday of the Month
Morning session 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Evening session 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Session includes a short presentation followed by a discussion.  
Email Deb Felio at
for the toll-free number and access code.
Adoptive Parents Support Group
1st Tuesday of the month   
February 3 - May 5, 2015
Supervised activities and group therapy for children
Lakewood Nazarene Church
Lakewood, CO
RSVP to Family Support Specialist, Mindi Bekler, 720-251-5876

Teen & Tween Adoption Support for Parents
2nd & 4th Monday of each month
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Resilience Center
1298 Peoria St
Aurora, CO 80011

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
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 [email protected]gmail.com or by phone at (970) 481-5749.

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

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

Aurora Mental Health
Adoption Support Group
2nd & 4th Mondays of the month
Aurora Mental Health
11059 E Bethany Drive, Aurora, CO 80014

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
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