Adoption Topics       Education        Health Care       Legislative Info       Services & Resources   

In This Issue
Help COCAF When You Shop
Assistance Animals
Crisis Services
Twitter COCAF!
Online Schools & IDEA
School Discipline
SSI Benefits
Medicaid Videos
Child and Family Services Review
Public Transporation Trainin
Mobilizing Families Training
Support Groups
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.
SSI & SSDI Webinars
Assistance Animals 

Do you know the difference between a service animal and an assistance animal?  Do you know which of these animals is allowed in a public business, housing, or a school? 
Do you know about Colorado's new law regarding intentional misrepresentation of a service or assistance animal and how it will apply when it is effective on January 1, 2017? 
If the answer to any of the above questions is "no," join Disability Law Colorado at one of their upcoming trainings to learn about the law regarding service & assistance animals.
Vail Training
October 5, 2016
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Vail Public Library Community Room
292 W Meadow Drive
Vail, CO 81657
Click here to register
Denver Training
October 11, 2016
2:00 - 4:00 pm
Mile High United Way
711 Park Ave West
Denver, CO 80205
Click here to register
If you have questions about these upcoming trainings, please contact Emily Harvey at [email protected] or at (303)722-0300.
Choose Your Own Topic!!!

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

NACAC Annual Conference
July 19-22, 2017
Atlanta, GA
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
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:

Kubo & the Two Strings
Saturday September 10

Tuesday September 13

Saturday September 24
Saturday October 8

The Magnificent Seven
Tuesday September 27

Saturday November 12

Colorado Crisis Services 

844-493-TALK (8255)

If you don't know where to begin getting mental health, substance use, or emotional help for yourself or someone you know-start here. Colorado Crisis Services provide confidential and immediate support, 24/7/365. If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, call this toll-free number 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional.
When you call Colorado Crisis Services, you will be connected to a crisis counselor or trained professional with a master's or doctoral degree. They offer translation services for non-English speakers, they engage in immediate problem solving, and they always make follow-up calls to ensure you receive continued care. Their walk-in crisis services are open 24/7, and offer confidential, in-person crisis support, information and referrals to anyone in need.
Walk-In Crisis Services Locations
  • Westminster - 2551 W 84th Avenue, 80031
  • Lakewood - 12055 W. 2nd Place, 80228
  • Littleton - 6509 S. Santa Fe Drive, 80120
  • Boulder - 3180 Airport Road, 80301
  • Denver - 4353 E. Colfax Avenue, 80220
  • Aurora - 2206 Victor Street, 80045
  • Fort Collins - 1217 Riverside Avenue, 80524
  • Greeley - 28 12th Street, 80631
  • Grand Junction - 515 28 3/4 Road, 81501
  • Pueblo - 1302 Chinook Lane, 81001
  • Colorado Springs - 115 S Parkside Drive, 80910
Respite Care
Respite Care can only be initiated by a Crisis Services Clinician after an in-person meeting. Those needing safe, peer-managed stabilization and support can stay voluntarily for 1-14 days to get the help they need.
Mobile Care
With a referral from a Crisis Services Clinician, we may send out a mental health professional to provide a face-to-face assessment.
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. 

Deborah Cave, COCAF's Executive Director, wants to thank everyone who submitted comments on their adoption assistance negotiation process.  We are compiling the comments, and will keep you informed as our concerns are addressed.

For any of you about to go through the adoption assistance negotiation process, please be sure to attend the NACAC webinar on Tuesday, September 27.  The link is under WEBINARS on the left column of this newsetter.
And it's always worthwhile to have a conversation with Deborah BEFORE you start the process.  As the parent, it is your responsibility to make sure you  have all the resources you need to successfully parent your adopted children; a little work before the adoption may save your family years down the road.

Have a fabulous fall!!!
K. Colleen Tarket, red-green-leaf.jpg
COCAF Board of Directors

P.S.  COCAF's website will be moving to a new server in the next few weeks, and this may cause an outage.  Please know that our technogeek is working hard to get this done as quickly as possible, but he does all this in his spare time, so it may take a week or two.  We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. 
Online Schools & Children with Disabilities 
From disabilityscoop
Students with disabilities are entitled to special education services and supports even if they attend school online, the U.S. Department of Education says.

As public virtual schools - those that have no physical campus and rely on computers and other telecommunications - proliferate, federal officials say they're increasingly fielding questions about how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act applies.  Click here to read more.
School Discipline & Students with Disabilities 
From disabilityscoop

Frequent discipline may be a sign that kids with disabilities are not receiving a free appropriate public education (FAPE), according to new federal guidance reminding schools of their obligations to provide behavior supports.
If your child falls into this category, you should read this article in disabiltyscoop.  Click here to read the entire article.

SSI Benefits and Foster Youth 

A new policy from the Social Security Administration allows foster youth of all ages with disabilities to apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits 6 months before they leave care, and a new online toolkit is available to help families apply for the benefits immediately. 

Click here to access a special toolkit to help qualifying foster youth with disabilities who are preparing to transition out of foster take immediate advantage of the new policy is available.
Health First Colorado Videos 

Health First Colorado has developed four videos to help members learn about their benefits. The videos cover what you need to know about physical, behavioral, and dental benefits. A video has also been developed just for pregnant women. Each video shares basic information and guides members on where to go for more information and assistance.
These videos are currently only available in English.  Click here to go to the videos. 
Child and Family Services Review 

The Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Child Welfare is preparing for the upcoming Child and Family Services Review, scheduled to take place in mid-2017. To kick-off statewide community outreach efforts, DCW is holding a community meeting on September 20, 2016 from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM at the History Colorado Center to educate attendees on what the Child and Family Services Review is, what to expect, and how stakeholders will be involved.[1]

All stakeholders are encouraged to join us at the CFSR Kick-off event to give feedback on Colorado's progress towards achieving positive outcomes for children and their families, including: parents, foster parents, caregivers, youth and young adults, county caseworkers and human services staff, employees from other state government agencies, GALs, CASAs, all types of mandatory reporters, child advocates, law enforcement, homeless shelters, Youth Services Agencies, and community-based non-profit organizations.

RSVP by Monday, September 5, 2016, if you are interested in attending this community meeting. Web-conferencing will be available for offsite participants-the login information for this will be distributed the week prior to the event. To RSVP, click here.
Public Transporation Training for People with I/DD 

If you or a loved one with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) have ever wanted to try using the bus or light rail, but aren't sure it's safe for you, Via's Travel Training program is the perfect place to address your concerns. Family members and caregivers are welcome to attend. Via Travel Trainers understand the reality of public transportation for people with I/DD, and they have been helping people learn about it for years.  Via also offers free individual travel training, during which travel trainers work one-on-one with a trainee for as long as it takes to insure safe, independent travel.
The Travel Training will take place Wednesday, Sept 28, 10 AM to 1 PM, with free lunch afterward, at The Arc - JCCG office, located at13949 W Colfax Ave, Bldg 1, Suite 150, in Lakewood.
  1. Presentation by Via starting at 10:00
  2. Next, we board an RTD bus reserved just for our group. Participants will go through the same steps that an actual rider would.
  3. Then, we will ride to a Light Rail station, where we board and travel by Light Rail.
  4. Lastly, we ride by bus back to The Arc for lunch starting between 12:30 and 1:00.
  5. All along the way you can get answers to your questions from the experts.
Space is limited. Please RSVP by Sep 23 to attend. Email [email protected] or [email protected] or call (303) 232-1338 to RSVP.
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].

Art from the Heart Campaign to benefit the Denver Children's Advocacy Center (DCAC)
September 9, 2016, 5:30 p.m. -8:30 p.m.
Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204
Art from the Heart will make its debut on September 9, 2016, at the beautiful and unique Space Gallery, located in the Santa Fe Art District. This event will feature the art work from some of DCAC's children. By featuring their work, Art from the Heart will help draw attention to the transformative power of art and the art therapy utilized by DCAC in working with traumatized children. This distinctive event will help to raise funds for DCAC's many programs that provide a positive impact on the lives of children that are seen at their facility, as well as children in the community.

The event will include:

Wine Pull:  $20 and $30 options- you are guaranteed your wine will be worth the minimum amount but it could be worth over $100!
Live Auction:  Incredible items from amazing getaways, to private chef dinners, to sporting events.

Interactive Art Activities:  Learn first hand some of the ways DCAC makes a difference through the art therapy activities they use with kids everyday.

Plus live Music with a talented local artist!

2016 Run for Orphans 5K Run/Walk 
Saturday, September 10, Windsor Lake
Windsor, CO
This event is hosted by Northern Colorado Christian Alliance for Orphans. NCCAFO consists of agencies, organizations, non-profits, churches, local and state child welfare staff all committed to work together to advocate for vulnerable children and families in our community and around the world. If you would like more information about how your organization can be involved, contact Kari Stewart at [email protected].

Adoption Support Groups 

The Child Information Gateway has a list of adoption support groups organized by state.  The list for Colorado includes 22 resources across the state.  The list does not say when it was created, so it may not be up-to-date, but if you need a support group and none of those in the COCAF newsletter work for you, you might want to check out this list and see if there's something in your area.
Click here to access the list for Colorado.
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