The Caregiver Courier
May 2016
National Foster Care Month: Honoring, Celebrating & Uniting Families 

May is National Foster Care Month, a month set aside to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care.
 
During National Foster Care Month, we renew our commitment to ensuring a bright future for all the Clark County children in foster care. 

A Message to Foster Parents from Clark County Family Services
A Message to Foster Parents from Clark County Family Services.
We also celebrate  people like you who make a meaningful difference in the lives of our children. 

Click here to find more information and resources to get involved.
We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Who doesn't love a scoop or two of ice cream on a hot, summer day? Join us on Saturday, May 21st at the Springs Preserve for their annual Ice Cream Festival. All licensed caregivers will receive free admission, courtesy of DFS.
 
What: Annual Ice Cream Festival
When: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, May 21, 2016
Where: Springs Preserve, 333 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas

Join us for raffles and special treats as we say 'thank you' for everything you do for our children in care.
 
Click here to register your family.
QPI Nevada to Discuss Normalcy in May 25 Webcast
 
Please join us! QPI Nevada is hosting a live webcast on Wednesday, May 25th about Normalcy for children in care. You're invited to participate in this discussion that includes a policy overview and status updates from each region concerning implementation, training and rollout of normalcy.
 
What: Normalcy Webcast
When: Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Where: Online. Click here to register
 
The Blue Ribbon for Kids Commission led the charge to create a statewide policy on Normalcy for children in care.  We look forward to hearing your comments, questions and feedback on during this webcast.
 
Contact centersupport@usf.edu for technical assistance to participate in this event.
QPI Spotlight: Child Welfare Workgroup
 
Child Welfare Workgroup members Caleb Orton, left, and Mark Fitzgerald, right.
Formed in 2013, the QPI Child Welfare Workgroup has been working diligently to implement positive changes in Clark County's child welfare system. 
 
"This workgroup is a vehicle for those who wish to make an impact on the child welfare system," said Child Welfare Workgroup lead, Mark Fitzgerald. "The Child Welfare Workgroup is advocating and the system is listening. Please come and join us!"

Click here to read more about the Child Welfare Workgroup.
 
Get Involved
Interested in joining this or another QPI workgroup?  Click here or email DFSQPI@ClarkCountyNV.gov.  

Summer's Here & the Time is Right...

...for summertime fun for the whole family! Wednesday, June 1-the last day of school in Clark County-is right around the corner. The kids are going to be home all day, every day. Need some help with summertime activities to keep them busy? 

 
Click here  for a list of fun summer activities to keep your kids occupied.
Spotlight on Quality: Foster Kinship

Spotlight on Quality: Foster Kinship
Spotlight on Quality: Foster Kinship.
Ali Caliendo, founder of Foster Kinship here in Clark County, is an early adopter of the Quality Parenting Initiative. She advocates breaking down silos and barriers in child welfare services, all in the name of providing the best care and outcomes for children and families. 

In this month's QPI Spotlight, Caliendo explains how QPI has affected positive changes for children and families in care.
 
Click here to watch the Spotlight.

Don't Miss Noted Child Psychiatrist Charles Zeanah's & Judge Sullivan's Final Webinar This Month

The year-long webinar series about decision-making in child welfare featuring Charles H. Zeanah, M.D., in partnership with Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Frank P. Sullivan, comes to a close this month. They will cap the series with a discussion about lessons learned and next steps. This free seminar series is presented by the Eighth Judicial District Court - Juvenile Dependency Division.

What:  Developmental Science and Child Welfare: Moving Towards a More Child-Centered Court Improvement Practice Model--Lessons Learned & Wrap-up!

When:  Thursday, May 19, 2016, noon - 1 p.m. PDT

Where:  Online.  Click here  for registration and more information.
 
Charles H. Zeanah, M.D.
About the Presenter
Charles H. Zeanah, M.D., is a nationally recognized psychiatrist. He is also an expert in early childhood development.
 
In this webinar, Zeanah will provide his insight and take your questions during the webinar.
 
Click here for more information.
Education Spotlight: School's Out!

Leslie Strasser Murdock, Ph.D., J.D.
The last day of the school year in Clark County is Wednesday, June 1st. Are you looking for summer school and other academic activities for your kids through the summer months? 

The Department of Family Services' education liaison, Leslie Murdock, outlines the Clark County School District's summer educational services and how you, as caregivers, can access them for children in care.
 
Click here to learn more.

Caregiver Spotlight: Where You Go, I Go

Mike Pochowski
Longtime caregiver Mike Pochowski shared with us the importance of incorporating children in foster care into the family at all times, including family vacations. He encourages fellow caregivers to maintain the mantra, "Where you go, I go," with children in care.
 
"Respite is a tool that, when used effectively, can make children a priority while caregivers deal with health issues or other emergencies," said Mike. "The message we don't want children to get is that we need a break from you."
 
Click here to read the rest of Mike's story, where he shares not only his thoughts, but the words of children he and his wife, Mary Ann, have fostered over the years.
Collaborate for Kids at Upcoming National Convention for National Foster Parent Association & National Kinship Alliance

Registration is now open for this exciting convention featuring workshops from top experts on foster, kinship and adoptive care and a special focus on foster and kinship communities working together. 
Click here  for complete and up-to-date convention information.
 
What:  National Foster Parent Association & National Kinship Alliance for Children 2016 National Convention. Better Together: Collaboration for Kids!
When: Wednesday, June 22 - Saturday, June 25, 2016
Where: Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, 3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
 
Topics will include:
  • First Care for You: Strategies to Overcome Compassion Fatigue
  • It Takes a Village: Ways to Improve your Teen's Chances of Success
  • How to get around the Drama and Avoid the Power Struggles
  • Foster and Kinship Caregivers: Strategies for Sticking Together 
  • Adoption Subsidy and Federal Adoption Tax Credit 
  • Trauma-Informed Parenting Techniques for Reminders & Behavior
  • Taking Care of Kin Who Take Care of Children
  • 54 additional presentation and workshop topics!
An Egg-cellent Time at Symphony Park!

More than 350 people attended the annual Spring Holiday Egg Hunt this year.
More than 350 kids and kids at heart turned out for the annual Spring Holiday Egg Hunt a few weeks ago at Symphony Park at the Smith Center. 

Kids of all ages played in bounce houses, enjoyed magicians and singers, had their faces painted and hunted for candy-filled eggs and received other goodies.
 
Click here for more photos from the day!

Making Connections at the Annual Spring Celebration
Members of Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) and their motorcycles were a hit at the Spring Celebration & Foster Connection.

An estimated 10,000 people came to Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs in April for the annual Spring Celebration and Foster Connection. Family Services staff and several partner organizations were on hand at the event to enjoy a day of fun, games, rides and to share the message that caregivers like you enhance the lives of thousands of families and children throughout Clark County.
Champions for the Cause! DFS's Foster Parent Champions were a popular stop at the Spring Celebration & Foster Connection.

"We're with the band!" Members of DFS's Resource Development & Retention Unit gave away wristbands at the Spring Celebration & Foster Connection.

What is QPI?

Making sure every child living in foster care is cared for by a caregiver (foster, relative, fictive and/or adoptive) who provides skilled, nurturing parenting while helping the child maintain connections to his or her family. 

Enhance Your Skills

Various trainings are offered in the community to help enhance caregivers' capacity to parent. Please click on the links below to learn more about exciting training opportunities from which you can benefit.  
The QPI Nevada Brand

Foster parents nurture children who have experienced trauma and provide a safe, loving and healing environment in which the children can thrive. They are parenting partners who honor and support family relationships. Foster parents are dedicated, informed and committed advocates for children. They are instrumental and fully supported members of the child and family team. Great foster parents make a difference for children and families in our community.
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