June 2021
June welcomes another winner!
Congratulations to Marcie Gambetta for finding the penny and receiving a prize! Thank you to everyone who participated. If you find the hidden penny, email audrey@fosterchangecc.org, with a screenshot of the penny or a detailed description of its location to be entered into a raffle to win a gift card. There are two pennies to be found this May. Happy Hunting!
June is Pride Month
June is Pride Month, meaning that all month long, individuals across the country will be celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride.

The initial celebrations of pride were confined to the last Sunday in June, to commemorate the first Pride March, which happened on June 28th, 1970. Since then, that last Sunday of June was designated as "Gay Pride Day", and as the length of the celebration has increased, the core of the morphed to match.

Now, Pride month is held in celebration of Love, no matter what shape it takes. LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer. There are many more identities that individuals can identify as, but these are the 5 that make up the commonly used abbreviation.

The LGBTQ community has been fighting for equality for decades. In their daily lives, individuals are in danger of verbal abuse, discrimination, and in some cases, physical attack. Strides have been made to educate the public and create more normalcy around the broad spectrum of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, the fight is still active, and there is something that we can all do.

Happy Pride!
Up Coming Event!
Respite Care!
Kinship Corner
News From CASA
As we transition into summer months, we see and hear about many changes that are happening in our community. For our child(ren), this last year has been one of modifications, accommodations and/or challenges. As I see signs of community-wide progress, summer may be the first time our children are able to partake in pre-pandemic activities such as sports, camp, and social activities.

Below are a few options pulled from a quick Google search. Please look through the options or research a few based on your child’s interest. If you believe any activities would be appropriate for your child(ren), discuss the activity with your team. If everything lines up, please take the time to support the process, better ensuring your child(ren) can participate in an activity this summer.  

  • Camp to Belong for separated siblings (Free) (ages 8-18)
  • They accept youth who are in foster care, adoptive homes, even those who have aged out or returned home. The key is whether we are bringing together two (or more) youth who have been separated (even if they are not currently separated) that wish to enjoy bonding experiences. Additional information is HERE.
  • Horses4Heroes (ages 5-13)
  • Horses4Heroes Summer Adventure Camp is fun for ages 5 to 13. They are offering eight weeks, starting June 7. Campers will learn about horses, horse care, horseback riding, interact with farm animals, play games with miniature horses, participate in ranch games and activities including Archery, Fencing, and our Ninja Course, arts and crafts and water play. Campers will be unplugged the entire week, they will spend time making new friends, and learning valuable life and social skills. Campers bring lunch every day, and will be provided lunch each week on the last day of camp. Non-refundable registration fee of $50 per family is due now. Camp tuition is $150 for the first camper, $125 for the second and $100 for each additional camper from the same family.
  •  Broadway Kids (Ages 3-18)
  • Campers experience the magic of Disney and Pixar at Broadway Kids Academy Disney and Pixar Summer Camps. They will sing, dance, and act the songs and scenes from Disney and Pixar on our stages, under the lights, and in our beautiful costumes and perform for their parents during the last hour of the camp. BKA has its own stages with state-of-the-art technology. Each class does its own production of our shows so each child can be on the stage, singing, dancing, and acting! They are non-competitive so the child will feel safe and happy at BKA!
  • Game Changers
  • Has various sporting activities including training for football, boxing, tumbling, basketball, baseball and track and field and more. Some activities may not be available during the summer or due to COVID restrictions.  
  •  National Youth Sports
  • Has various team sporting activities including volleyball, flag football, basketball, soccer, cheerleading and more. Some activities may not be available during the summer and/or due to COVID restrictions.  
  •  Desert Gymcats Flip ‘N Twist Summer Camps
  •  Desert Gymcats Gymnastics DGC Intro to Cheer (ages 5-8)
  • Intro to Cheer class for girls & boys ages 5-8 years old! They'll learn basic tumbling, stunting, and choreography. (702) 798-3547
  •  Classic Rock Rewind Camp (ages 8-18) 
  • Campers will learn the music of the 60's and 70's rock icons such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones in our Classic Rock Rewind summer camp. In addition to song, students will learn about rock history and the stagecraft needed to perform on stage. At the end of the week students will put on a live performance. Great for students 8-18 years of age who have had some previous experience. June 7-11, 2021.
  •  Pop Punk (ages 7-18)
  • Starting in the early 90s, Pop Punk became a popular genre that dominated the radio. It’s produced bands like Green Day, Paramore, Blink 182, No Doubt, Offspring and many more who will be featured in this camp. Students will spend Monday through Friday learning and practicing songs, all culminating in a live performance at the end of the week. Great for students 7-18 years of age who have had some previous instruction. June 14-18, 2021.
  •  Rock 101 Camp (ages 7-12)
  • Rock 101 Camp is designed for beginners 7-11 years of age. No experience necessary! Students will explore their instruments through musical games and activities. Our nurturing environment makes it the perfect camp for budding musicians. Students will work on songs Monday through Friday and the camp will culminate in a concert at the end of the week for family and friends.
  •  Engineering for Kids Las Vegas (Design the Future) (ages 4-14)
  • What does the future look like? Campers embark on an odyssey to explore the future of transportation, manufacturing and structural. Participants look at the innovations of today and apply them to create the designs of tomorrow as we explore ways to harness clean energy and house a growing human population. This camp features hands-on projects in a variety of engineering fields, most of which, students get to take home!
  •  "Video Game and Story Design" (ages 4-14)
  • Calling all future writers, artists, designers and game developers! Students in this collaborative camp enjoy storyboarding their games with character, enemy and plot development. Using the Bloxels Edu system, they turn their interactive stories and physical creations into a digital video game. They will use a special game board and blocks (which will become pixels) to design the characters, levels, and other art for their games. They then capture their creations using the Bloxels App, where they edit and customize their game, deciding how each of the elements interact and behave. Students will walk away with a fun playable game for tablet or computer, and invaluable experience with logic and programming.
  •  Engineering in Minecraft | Science of Magic (ages 4-14)
  • Youth design, create, and make their very own city come alive using Minecraft! Participants explore the theme of sustainable, innovative, and futuristic transportation systems that include public transportation, such as rails, busses, and taxis, as well as pedestrian and bicycle systems. Students apply their new, scientific understanding to design and create their very own city in Minecraft using the Engineering for Kids design process. On the last day, students will learn how to pitch their ideas and launch their designs to a larger audience to participate in an EFK Global Design Competition.
  •  Discovery Children’s Museum Camps 
  • DISCOVERY and Vegas PBS team up to take you through an exciting adventure of coding and the foundations of computational thinking. Program your own interactive stories and games using the popular Scratch Jr. program during this engaging camp.
  • TINKER WITH TECH (ages 9-11)
  • Youth learn how CAD software is used in architecture, engineering, and video games while we apply the steps of the design thinking process to create original designs in TinkerCAD while building 3D-printed inventions.
  • Youth Journey back in time to a prehistoric paradise as they unearth ancient fossils and encounter unfamiliar landscapes. Participants investigate paleontology and natural history while learning about ancient marine life, dinosaurs, and other creatures that roamed the land and sea from Triassic to the Pleistocene.
  • ASTRONOMY ALL-STARS (ages 6-8 & 9-11)
  • Youth discover the depths of our mysterious universe while exploring the scientific achievements of both earthlings and robots in space. Students design their own rocket ship, sample astronaut cuisine, enjoy hands-on explorations of gravitational forces, and more!
  •  Junior Lifeguard Camp offered by City of Las Vegas (ages 11-14)
  • This is an American Red Cross program in which successful participants will learn essential pool lifesaving skills and Junior Lifeguarding certification. Participants will bring a swimming suit, towel, change of clothes, lunch, snacks and beverages to camp daily. Each class limited to 10 students. Camp will be offered June 7-11, June 21-25, July 5-9, July 19-23 and Aug. 2-6. Junior Lifeguard registration is open now.
  •  Cultural Arts Summer Camps
  • Space is limited; advance registration is required. For questions on cultural arts summer camps, please call 702-229-ARTS (2787).
  •  Rainbow Company Youth Acting Summer Workshop (ages 8-11)
  • Rainbow Company Youth Acting Workshop is a highly concentrated theatrical experience for students ages 8-11. This two-week, full-day workshop will spark imaginations. Students will build confidence, increase self-esteem, discover hidden talents, develop teamwork, and foster creativity. This theatre workshop culminates in a presentation at the Charleston Heights Arts Center Friday, June 18, at 6 p.m.
  •  Performing & Visual Arts Summer Camp For Kids 2021 (ages 10 – 15)
  • The 25th Annual Performing & Visual Arts Summer Camp for Kids (PVAC) will offer art instruction in the disciplines of dance, music, theatre, video production, and photography. PVAC is a cultural and performing arts conservatory designed for students 10-15 years of age, in the best practices of mentoring, character building, and civic engagement. This program provides community youth in West Las Vegas an opportunity to participate in a structured arts curriculum created to strengthen and reinforce the processes of learning, retention and service. Each student will receive intensive, multidimensional training in the areas of physical activity, competence and achievement, self-definition, creative expression, and positive social interactions with peers and adults. The curriculum is comprised of five interrelated artistic programs: Theatre Arts/Drama and Creative Writing; Music (African Drumming and Vocals); Dance; Video Production, Photography and a Community Arts Project. Registration is by application only through the West Las Vegas Arts Center. Please click here to request an application; all applications are due by Friday May 28, 2021.
  •  Rainbow Company Teen Acting Intensive (ages 12-16)
  • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 21-July 2.
  • Cost: $225/student. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St. Rainbow Company Teen Acting Intensive is a highly focused theatrical experience for students ages 12-16. This two-week, full-day intensive will spark creativity through various theatre arts experiences that will hone acting skills. Students will build confidence, increase self-esteem, discover hidden talents, develop teamwork, and foster creativity. This acting intensive culminates with a 75-minute showcase at the Charleston Heights Arts Center Friday, July 2, at 6 p.m.
  •  Contemporary West Dance Theatre Summer Intensives (ages 8-25)
  • Male Intensive: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 12-17.
  • Full Intensive: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 19-30.
  • Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St.
  • The mission of Contemporary West Dance Theatre (CWDT) is to continue the American legacy of excellence in dance by creating opportunities to nurture, educate and advance future artists. The company has a dance methodology that integrates classical and modern paradigms with an athleticism that gives audiences a more profound dance experience. CWDT dancers and dance instructors are passionate, relatable and highly skilled, and have been bringing virtuoso performances to the stage that have excited and inspired audiences around the world for over a decade. This summer intensive will offer classes in Ballet, Horton, Graham, African, Jazz and Hip-Hop. Spaces are limited. For more information, contact Avree Walker at a.walker@LVDANCE.org
Look what we did in May!
Last month we met up at Aliante Nature Discovery Park with Foster Kinship, the Clark County Department of Family Services, and Joy Pop Co for some fun in the sun, and a sweet surprise.


Kiddos got to play in the splash pads and grown ups got to chat and enjoy a BEAUTIFUL day!

We hope to see you again on Bingo Night!
Let's Talk About Reunification
A Note from Ali Caliendo - Executive Director of Foster Kinship
There is often no more controversial or painful topic on the foster and kinship care side of child welfare than the topic of reunification. As a former foster parent myself, I have deep empathy for the feelings that children first and foremost should be safe from harm, and that often it is the biological parents that have caused unspeakable harm to the most vulnerable. Kinship caregivers and foster parents step up to provide safety to children, and are motivated to keep them safe. When children can stay with their family in a safe and loving kinship home, there is no doubt in my mind that is preferable to being removed from their family of origin altogether. 
However, I have also seen so many beautiful stories of recovery, restoration, and reunification. Just this week I had the great honor of attending an adoption hearing. A mother who lost her children to TPR two decades ago was able to adopt her adult children back. In the room was her mother, the children's grandmother, who at the time stepped up to care for the children as a kinship caregiver and later as the adoptive parent. While the timeline for this reunification did not happen on the child welfare timeline, it was possible because of the love of family, and the fact the children were safe and loved in a kinship adoptive home until restoration was possible. 
I have also witnessed kinship caregivers who fight so hard for the birth parent to recover, but the birth parent dies before they are able to get there. In those cases, the caregivers often describe that their deep grief eclipses the anger they had felt towards the birth parents when they were not on track to reunify. 
I also honor those who may be experiencing the grief that comes with permanency. I will never forget sobbing in the parking lot of family court after the TPR trial for our now son. While friends were sending us messages of congratulations, my husband and I were devastated that our son had legally lost the last connection to his biological family. What a heartbreak for him, and because we love him, for us as well. While I never regret stepping up and adopting, it does not come without a profound loss. This month, I honor those children's families for whom reunification was not possible, and hold that loss in my heart. 
It is hard to find much to celebrate in child welfare because this work fundamentally starts from trauma. But when we can, it is good to honor all of those who do the very best they can for children: birth parents, kinship families, foster parents, caseworkers, and judges. Sometimes this looks like reunification, and we honor and work towards that. Sometimes it looks like kinship adoption, and we honor and work towards that as well! And sometimes it looks like foster parents being willing to adopt a child for whom no family was available- and we celebrate that as well! There is no ONE right path through child welfare for all families, but as long as the child's best interest is always at the heart of all our work, we are on the right track. 
 As we celebrate reunification month, I think back to the many stories where children are able to return safely to their parents, thanks in GREAT part to the effort of the kinship caregiver to work with the parent and provide a path home. I think of the many kinship adoptions that keep children connected not just to family, but also to parents in a different way. I am deeply grateful to witness these many beautiful stories.  
Trainings from Raise the Future
Supporting Boys of Color (Part 2)
June 8th at 12pm
Types: Parenting Tools, Trauma, Social Issues
The Sims-Fayola Foundation brings their knowledge and passion about improving the lives of young men and boys of color by addressing the obstacles (educational and community) that directly affect their life outcomes.
This training aims to continue the conversation and learning to increase participants' understanding of caring for boys of color within four multi-dimensional areas of engagement: academic, behavioral, cognitive, and affective. This training will focus on the benefits and necessity of having racial mirrors in the racial identity development process for young boys and men of color.
Fostering and Developing Self-Reliance in Youth
June 14th at 10am
Types: Behaviors, Parenting Tools
As caregivers, we have a responsibility to prepare our children for independence as they become adults. The process of enhancing a child’s ability to be self-reliant begins when children are very young and continues into young adulthood. Caregivers begin this process with the simplest learning opportunities in daily living skills, increasing the complexity of the activities and skills as the child succeeds and matures. Building self-reliant teenagers is an intentional process. Tools to foster self-reliance in teenagers at various stages and developmental levels will be covered in this training.
Teen Adoptee Panel Discussion
June 15th at 10:00am
Types: Orientation, Parenting Tools
This panel discussion will be focused on the teen experience of adoption. We do not often get to hear adolescents speak candidly and openly about their lives as adoptees. This webinar will give you more insight into how teens really feel about being adopted and the struggles they face in day-to-day life. We will explore how adoption impacts teens' relationships with family, friends, and school.
Structure Your Summer for Success: Six Fun Ways to Connect With Your Child
June 17th at 10am
Types: Behaviors, Parenting Tools, Trauma, Complex Needs
A long, lazy summer sounds soothing...but for caregivers of kids with trauma histories, the lack of structure and consistency can lead to drama, meltdowns, and behavior issues. Gain a new understanding of your child’s needs, while discovering six fun, attachment-building principles to support your summer success!
Cultivating Resilience for Parents
June 23th at 10am
Types: Behaviors, Parenting Tools, Trauma, Complex Needs
In this workshop, we will explore how to hold the complexities of parenting a child with higher needs. Many parents feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by two opposing beliefs being true at the same time! For example: “I love my child AND I don’t know how I can continue to live like this.” You will learn how to hold, at the same time, both gratitude and joy as well as fatigue and helplessness. Research supports that being able to embody “both/and” is the essence of mental health and creates resiliency in parents. By learning how to hold tension and dualities within parenting, you will experience more self-compassion and be able to show up authentically with your children.
Body Memory and Post Traumatic Growth
June 30th at 10am
Types: Parenting Tools, Trauma, Complex Needs
You have almost certainly heard of Post-Traumatic Stress. In this webinar, we will explore a less well-known but far more hopeful phenomenon: Post-Traumatic Growth. You will learn about the neuroscience of memory and how the body holds trauma — and more importantly, the implications of healing and what this looks like in your child’s body. You will learn practical strategies for how to lend your own nervous system to your child, how to re-member with your littles at home through somatic and rhythmic strategies, and how to quantify healing at home to see that you are making progress with your child.
Just for Kids
Fun Paper Snakes!
Click on the video here ============> to check our a super fun craft to do with the kiddos! The supplies you will need are listed below, so that you can make a whole host of tiny snakes.

Multicolored paper
Community Resources
Food Banks

There are many locations in Nevada where families can get free and reduced food.

Three Square offers an interactive website which matches your zip code to food banks and provides the food bank’s days and times of operation.
Phone: (702) 644-3663

Just One Project offers free groceries for individuals and groups. Below is a quick snapshot of what they offer and a link to their site.
  • The Mobile Food Market  is: A mobile community market in Southern Nevada called Pop Up & Give at various locations. There are no requirements to be served.
  • The Senior Food Market is: Open weekly on Monday's and Friday's BY APPOINTMENT ONLY to serve seniors 60+ in need of food. To make an appointment call the office. The pantry is stocked with specialized foods for proper senior nutrition. The Just One Project welcomes all senior individuals and groups. There are no requirements to receive groceries and no lines to wait in. Seniors are welcome to attend the pantry once a month for grocery needs.
  • The  Senior Grocery Delivery  is: Grocery delivery made available for seniors Monday through Friday. Schedule BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
  • Emergency Assistance  is: FREE Groceries for Families. The Just One Project pantry is open weekly BY APPOINTMENT ONLY to serve families in need of emergency food assistance. To make an appointment call the office. They welcome all individuals and families in need. There are no requirements to receive groceries and no lines to wait in.

Phone: 702-462-2253


Hannah's Closet is a free clothing resource for foster families in the Las Vegas Valley. It offers clothes and shoes for ages 0-17, toys, and limited hygiene items, depending on availability. To shop, you will need to bring your placement letter, guardianship papers, or adoption decree. There are two locations, one north and one south, and both are available for monthly visits as needed. For more information and hours of operation, visit their Facebook pages, Hannah's Closet North and Hannah's Closet South. Business hours vary, as this is a volunteer-run resource.

Phone: (702) 546-8849
Website: www.fosteringhopelv.com

Crisis Support Resources Through Clark County School District
Families First PDF Guide

Safe-Voice: 1-833-216-SAFE (7233) for anonymous reporting
CCSD Police: 702-799-5411
Mobile Crisis Response Team: 702-486-7865
National Suicide Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Nevada Crisis Line: 775-784-8090
If someone is having thoughts of self-harm, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Please call 911 for an immediate emergency situation. 
Ongoing Trainings
Online Training
Suspect Child Abuse/Neglect?
Click to Learn More!