The Caregiver Courier
May 2017
Honoring Those Who Make a Difference

It's a time to recognize that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. We can all find resources and information to help ensure that their future is bright.
 
If you are reading this, chances are you've played an important part in the lives of children in foster care. Whether you're foster parents, relative/kinship caregivers, a community partner, a volunteer, a member of a partner agency, a CASA or a part of the court system, you've made a difference.
 
But our work is far from over. We need more people just like you to get involved. In particular, we are always looking for quality families who provide loving, nurturing homes for children in care. You are our greatest resource and we celebrate your efforts during National Foster Care Month.
 
For more information and resources on getting more people involved in foster care, go to www.ChildWelfare.gov.
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 the annual Ice Cream Festival. In celebration of National Foster Care Month, pre-registered, licensed caregivers will receive free admission, courtesy of DFS.
 
What: Annual Ice Cream Festival
When: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20, 2017
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.

Empowering Caregivers, Strengthening Families, Supporting Children

During Foster Care Month, The Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) of Clark County celebrates the crucial role of caregivers in nurturing youth and supporting and strengthening families. We value the excellent care that caregivers provide children in foster care. It is what helps heal. With nurturing care, children flourish and achieve permanency.

Click here to read more.
Spotlight Series: Trauma-Informed Parenting, Pt. 5

Dealing with Feelings and Behaviors
Behaviors-however troublesome and frustrating-are just the tip of the iceberg for children who have experienced trauma. Not immediately visible, or beneath the surface, are feelings, thoughts, expectations and beliefs resulting from their trauma. SAFY's Lead Therapist Christine Lynn breaks it down for us in this month's installment of the Trauma-Informed Parenting Series.
 
Click here to read Module 5.

Previous Modules
More information can be found at the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Camp To Belong Now Accepting Applications

Camp to Belong Nevada is the premier event of the Child Focus Sibling Preservation program. CTB is open to all youth who do not live with their siblings - whether in separate placements, adoption or any other reason they may not live together.
 
What: Camp To Belong
When:  Sunday, July 30 - Friday, Aug. 4, 2017
Where: Pick-up and drop-off is at Child Focus, 2685 S Rainbow Blvd, Suite 112, Las Vegas
 
Youth in attendance will enjoy a weeklong vacation with their brothers and sisters filled with classic camp experiences such as swimming, canoeing, horseback riding, as well as sibling enhancement activities aimed at healing their relationship and strengthening their family bond. There is no cost to Care Providers for youth to attend. Child Focus makes every effort to include siblings who may live outside of Nevada as long as at least one sibling resides in Nevada.
 
Camp applications must be received on or before May 29th 2017, and priority will be given to those applications competed in a first come, first served basis.
 
Deadline to apply is Monday, May 29. Priority will be given to those applications completed in a first come, first served basis. 

Click here to download the application.
 
Questions? Contact Kevin Nelson at 702-436-1624 (extension 220) or KNelson@StJudesRanch.org.
Summer's (Almost) 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 FIVE PAGES of fun summer activities to keep your kids occupied.
Don't Forget to Complete the Caregiver Survey

National QPI is conducting a brief online survey to help evaluate Quality Parenting Initiative.  Responses are confidential and will be used to identify what is working and where we can improve our work together.  We thank you for taking the time to assist and for all you are doing to ensure Quality Parenting!
 
Click here  for the Quality Parenting Initiative 2017 National Survey for Resource Parents.
Recruiting Quality Foster Parents is Everyone's Job

How can you harness your influence to become a foster care evangelist? Attend an upcoming Foster Parent Recruitment "Boot Camp!" 

Facilitated by Denise Goodman of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the boot camps are lively, interactive sessions to develop successful strategies to recruit caregivers who fit the specific needs of DFS and our community. Attended by caregivers, community partners and DFS staff from across the spectrum of roles, the boot camps serve as a reminder that recruitment is everyone's job.
 
Click here to choose an upcoming boot camp to attend. 
Upcoming FREE Webinar to Cover Supporting Current Foster Parents & Kinship Caregivers

As part of National Foster Care Month, the Children's Bureau--in partnership with Child Welfare Information Gateway and the Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative-are offering a special FREE webinar on Wednesday, May 10 at 1 p.m. The webinar's theme is the importance of identifying, developing and supporting prospective and current foster parents and kinship caregivers.
 
What: FREE Webinar-Supporting Caregivers While Promoting Positive Outcomes
When: Wednesday, May 10, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Registration:  Click here
 
Highlights of the Webinar Include:
Strategies used by states to support and engage caregivers in the foster care system
Caregivers sharing thoughts about engagement and support strategies
Presenters from New Mexico, Pennsylvania and New York sharing information about programs each state has developed to create supportive systems
Let's Talk About Sex: Parents Advocating for Healthy Sexual Development for Our Teens

May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. Our youth in foster care are one of the most vulnerable groups, as they tend to take more sexual risks and engage in riskier behaviors than youth not in foster care. 

Due to some foster youth's increased risky behaviors they tend to experience a high rate of dropping out of school, becoming homeless, being involved in criminal activity, and engaging in risky sexual behaviors that often lead to sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy. 
 
Click here to read more.
Mandatory Emergency Preparedness Webinar This Month
This Webinar is designed to provide information to our caregivers to review their current emergency preparedness plan and checklist, and supply checklist.
 
The Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS) is working to ensure all providers have emergency preparedness plans in the event of a natural disaster, and that they report the whereabouts and condition of children in their care after a possible evacuation.
 
What: Webinar-Are You Ready or Not?  Emergency Preparedness Training
When: Thursday, May 25, 10 - 11 a.m. PDT
Where: Click here to register (QPI Nevada - Just In Time Training)
 
Misty Richardson, preparedness and recovery coordinator from the Clark County Office of Emergency Planning will facilitate the training along with Troy Armstrong, DFS manager.
 
This webinar is mandatory for all current caregivers and must be completed by July 1, 2018. For new providers, the training must be completed within six (6) months of initial licensure. Caregivers will receive one (1) hour of training credit for viewing this webinar.
 
Questions? Contact Julie Mondroski at 702-455-1720.
In Case You Missed it...

Clark County DFS partnered with the City of Las Vegas last month for the annual Spring Celebration & Foster Connection at Floyd Lamb Part on April 1. The annual event featured carnival rides, games, food and entertainment for the entire family.

Also, DFS and Commissioner Lawrence Weekly hosted the annual Egg Hunt on April 16. Were you there? Did you collect candy-filled eggs, enjoy the fun and activities and even meet the Easter Bunny?

Check out the photos from both events!

Click here to see photos from the Spring Celebration.

Click here to see photos from the Egg Hunt.


Let Your Voice Be Heard! Join a QPI Workgroup Today

As a caregiver, we know you have ideas for improvements in child welfare that you'd like to share with decision makers. Now is your chance. Get involved with the Quality Parenting Initiative and join one of our six workgroups:
  • Training: Meets the second Tuesday of each month
  • Recruitment: Meets the first Wednesday of each month
  • Community Partnerships: Meets the third Tuesday of each month
  • Support & Retention: Meets the third Thursday of each month
  • Communications: Meets the third Friday of each month
  • Child Welfare: Meets the fourth Tuesday of each month
Within these workgroups, child welfare professionals, community partners and caregivers convene monthly to develop solutions to issues they face every day. Your input can make the difference in the lives of children and families in Clark County.
 
Click here for more information about QPI training, initiatives and workgroups. 
 
Click here to complete the workgroup interest form.

Take a Sip of SIPS: Safety Intervention Permanency System
Would you like to learn more about the child safety model that Clark County has adopted over the past five years? The Safety Intervention Permanency System (SIPS) is the framework for decision making in Clark County child welfare. Decisions include when to serve a family, when children can be reunified and when DFS involvement ends with a family.
 
Click here to learn more.
What's Going on This Month? Check the QPI Calendar

Speaking of workgroups, download the April and May QPI calendars for the latest workgroup meetings and partner organization events and gatherings.
 
Click here for the calendar.

Do you have an event or meeting that you'd like to share with our caregiver community? Send an email message with your event information. Please be sure to include the date, time, location and contact information for your event.
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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Las Vegas, NV 89106