Adoption Topics       Education        Health Care       Legislative Info       Services & Resources   

In This Issue
Help COCAF When You Shop
Twitter COCAF!
Speak Up Now!
Mobilizing Families Training
Free Kinship Adoptions
CWT Open Houses
Single Adoptive Parents
Adoption Process in Colorado
FREE Haircuts!
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.

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

Colorado State Foster Parent Association
Camp Watwuzithinin', Part 2
October 24-26, 2016
Beaver Run Resort
Breckenridge, CO
For more info call 303-463-7989



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
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. 

Participating theatres:
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. 

COCAF's mission has always been to help adoptive families, but to do that, we sometimes need your help.  Please read the letter below from COCAF's Executive Director, Deborah Cave, and then email her with your personal story.  If you want to remain anonymous in any reports Deborah creates to move forward, please note that in your email, and we will make sure that your name or any identifying information is not included in any reports.  But share your experience - good, bad, or indifferent - so we can work to make the adoption process (and then the ongoing support) the best it can be.
Have a great August!!!
K. Colleen Tarket, COCAF Board of Directors
COCAF Needs Your Input on Adoption Assistance (Subsidy) Negotiations 

COCAF has been advocating for Colorado's pre- and post-adoptive, and kinship families since 2000.  One of the primary reasons families contact us is to help with the adoption assistance (which includes subsidies) negotiation.  Some counties are very supportive of their pre-adoptive families at this important and vulnerable stage in the process, and some are not.  Unfortunately, despite years of advocating for families and interacting with counties on their behalf, some families are still being provided incorrect information about this critical assistance. 
We have 64 counties in the state, and each of those 64 counties is responsible for negotiating the assistance agreements.  COCAF believes that the variability in both: 1) how counties prepare and interact with their families, and 2) the assistance rates that are provided to the child, is inappropriate (the graph below shows average monthly subsidy rates for Colorado's 10 largest counties for state fiscal years 2008-2014).  We further believe that the adoption assistance a child receives should not be based on the county of adoption.

It is COCAF's position that - in order to ensure transparency and consistency in negotiations with families and assistance rates for their child - the adoption assistance negotiation process must be moved from the county to the state level. 
We are considering approaching the Child Ombudsman's Office with our concerns and need your input.  It is important for COCAF to hear firsthand from families who have adopted from foster care and who have concerns about their experience with the adoption assistance negotiation process.  For example, if you were ever told something similar to the following:
  1. Your child would probably not qualify for a monthly subsidy (e.g., Medicaid only) prior to the negotiation taking place;
  2. The subsidy is only based on the special needs of the child, not the child's ordinary/daily needs, or the circumstances of the family;
  3. Adoption assistance cannot include daycare costs or specialized therapists (or other Case Services);
  4. You may not be the appropriate placement for your child if you do not agree with the county's subsidy offer (any intimidation or insinuation that the child may be removed);
  5. The "presentation of the child" and the adoption assistance negotiation must be conducted on the same day;
  6. The subsidy is renewed vs. reviewed, every three years.
If you were told any of these false statements or anything similar from your county worker, we would appreciate hearing from you. In addition, if your county caps their subsidies at rates less than the foster care rate your child was receiving prior to adoption, and you are concerned that this resulted in a subsidy less than what was appropriate for your child, please let us know.  

If you feel that your negotiation was conducted in good faith - that the process was transparent and supportive - we would love to hear about that experience as well.
This is just the information collection stage, but it is critical that we get this information in writing if we are to move forward to the State with our concerns.  Please email your comments to: [email protected].  Thank you so much for your time on this, and please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Deborah Cave, Executive Director
Colorado Coalition of Adoptive Families (COCAF)
720.299.1210 (c)

Mobilizing Families Training 

Save the date for The Arc's next session of Mobilizing Families which begins Thursday, October 6. Mobilizing Families is an award-winning 6-week training series designed to equip young families with the necessary skills and resources to advocate for their children in all aspects of life, including school and healthcare. The training covers a range of topics to help parents get started on their journey. 

The upcoming series will take place every Thursday evening for six weeks, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., beginning on October 6. The entire Mobilizing Families series is FREE  for participants and includes both dinner and child care for the entire family.
For information and how to register, click here, or email Genni Williams at [email protected].
Free Kinship Adoptions 
From the Denver Post

Kinship caregivers making less than 200% of the federal poverty level may qualify for free adoption.  Click here to read more in the Denver Post.
CWT Summer Open Houses  

The Colorado Child Welfare Training System is hosting summer open houses.

Families, community members, foster parents, and youth are invited to a number of upcoming Regional Training Center open houses throughout the summer.   No RSVP required, just drop in.

Metro Regional Training Center
5670 Greenwood Plaza Blvd, Ste 115, Greenwood Village
Monday, August 22, 9:00 - noon
Northeast Regional Training Center
2573 Midpoint Dr, Suite 108, Fort Collins
Monday, August 29, 11:00 - 2:00
West Regional Training Center
195 W 14th St, Building D, Suite 208, Rifle
Friday, August 19, 9:00 - noon
Southeast Regional Training Center
172 Justice Center Rd, South Entrance, Door C, Canon City
Friday, August 26, 10:00 - 1:00

Looking for Single Adoptive Parents 

A metro area single mom to an adoptive 6-year old girl is looking to form a social group for other adoptive children of single parents.  Frequently adoptive children feel like "they're the only one."  Socializing with other adoptive children with similar circumstances (in this case, only one parent) helps the children feel more normal.

If you're a single (non-relative) adoptive parent interested in having your child be part of this group, please email us at [email protected].
Adoption Process in Colorado 

Join The Adoption Exchange on Wednesday, August 10, and learn about the adoption process in Colorado.
This class is designed to provide an overview of two basic types of adoption:  Adopting from the foster care system and domestic infant adoption. It is led by a professional staff member from The Adoption Exchange, and provides an opportunity for families interested in adopting to learn more about these processes and to hear from a guest speaker who is an adoptive parent. Participants will also receive a brief, written guide regarding international adoption, however, this process will not be discussed in detail.
Child care will not be provided, and children cannot be included in the class.  Click here to learn more.
FREE Haircuts!
Roots-of-Change Hair-A-Thon 2016


Free haircuts or hairstyle for foster and adoptive children ages 7-17.  

Appointments are for August 9-14.  

Contact Donna Parrish at 303-864-5135 or by email at [email protected] for appointment instructions.
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.

Adult Adoptee Support Group
Every 1st & 3rd Thursday, 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sondermind, Suite 12, 100 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80302
Cost $25-$35

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