Published: June 13th, 2018

Protect The ID of Children in Foster Care

An unpleasant but, necessary topic that needs to be addressed is identity theft. Children in foster care find themselves especially vulnerable to identity theft & various other ills that take place in the digital space. 

This blog post is a guest post by B. Scott. Scott is a cybersecurity and fraud detection specialist. In light of National Foster Care Awareness Month celebrated in May, he has been working to raise awareness of cybercrimes and educate individuals on how to better protect the digital lives and identification information of children in foster care.

Defending Children in the Digital Landscape

Did you know that roughly 61% of children in foster care nationally are removed from homes due to neglect? Imagine being young again, with an abundance of information at your disposal, countless platforms on which you can speak, and a world of people to listen and communicate with at your fingertips, and not having the guidance you need to utilize it all correctly.

Whether it be through cyberbullying or cyberstalking, school-aged children can do serious damage to their classmates’ reputations, self-esteem, and overall well-being.

Among the affected are new students and foster youth, who may feel isolated or excluded from friendships with other students. With more than 437,000 youth in the foster care system nationwide as of 2016, and the state of Arizona contributing about 18,000 to that number, it is imperative to make sure all students feel safe and welcomed.

Raising awareness for youth in foster care, as well as encouraging positive behaviors for students in schools, can help to minimize issues that can have long-term effects, such as dropouts, physical harm, mental abuse, and financial theft. By making both children and adults aware of the gravity of the decisions that are made on the Internet, we are contributing to an environment where students can thrive.

Bullying and Cyberbullying

Even with the ESSA foster care provisions, children in foster care may find themselves attending a new school. New students are among the most frequent bullying victims. Cyberbullying poses different dangers that can be lasting. With constant connectivity and permanence of actions, this form of bullying can be archived and damaging to victims.

In order to protect students, it is important to teach them proper online and real-life etiquette. Let children know what information is private, and the consequences that may be associated with revealing personal content. Though we, as adults, should be mindful of the concerns the Internet poses, it is also important to regard the Internet as a place for young minds to learn, explore, grow, and connect.









Bullies and cybercriminals can use cyberstalking to monitor or track locations, access cameras and computer documents, and spread rumors to destroy an individual or group’s reputation. Stalking is a serious concern that can easily happen to children in foster care, regardless of the frequency of changing housing arrangements.

Children in foster care leave a documented trail of previous locations and housing, some more lengthy than others, making them a target for cyberstalking and other crimes. Guardians should communicate with their children about the information they share online and be mindful of how it can be used. Reference the green graphic above to find out more about cyberstalking.


Child Identity Theft

Child identity theft is one of the most secretive of cybercrimes. Not only can it be difficult to prevent, but children often don’t realize they have fallen victim until they reach adulthood. The New York Post reported that 1 million children had their identities stolen in 2017, more than half who were younger than 8 years old.

Youth in the foster care system are at a particularly high risk for these situations. Identity theft in foster care frequently occur during foster transitional periods when guardians lose or misuse child social security numbers. This information can be used to file fraudulent tax returns, open credit card accounts, or even obtaining government benefits. Though it can be hard to detect once it transpires, following basic steps to protect sensitive information and being proactive could help to save a child’s identity and future before it happens. You can find more information about identity theft and how to help prevent it here.

Author: B. Scott


As always, if you or someone from your organization, would like to highlight a success story from a student in foster care or promote a needed resource, please email [email protected].


Posted in News |
Published: May 24th, 2018

National Foster Care Awareness Month Share-Outs & Shout-Outs

It is not too late to make a difference during National Foster Care Awareness month!! Children in foster care still need your time, talent, and tenacity to endure this season in their lives. Below are a couple of share-outs:

The Arizona Department of Child Safety has released a video detailing a typical experience for a child in foster care.

#LoveUp has put out a video highlighting their work & some of the children who are still searching for stability.

If you want to make an impact for a child in foster care consider–


We find ourselves a few weeks removed from the Awareness Through Art event. After a time to breathe & gear up for another scorching summer, some shout-outs are in order. The student artwork showcase to raise awareness for foster care was a gigantic undertaking which required many entities working together.

Special shout-outs go to:

Songbird Coffee & Tea House. Songbird co-hosted our event with great ease & hospitality. Roosevelt Community Church. Roosevelt is a pillar in the community & graciously co-hosted our event. Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane M. Douglas. Supt. Douglas personally reviewed every piece of artwork & chose 5 submissions to give special recognition.
FosterdEd. FosterEd supports youth in care as they accomplish their academic goals. Arizona Department of Child Safety. DCS works tirelessly to ensure that these children in care are safely placed, their families receive services, and walk with older youth as they reach the age of majority. Voices for CASA Children. Voices supports court appointed special advocates who are selected to champion the needs of children in foster care.
Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation. AFFCF simply funds fun for children in foster care! Helen’s Hope Chest. Helen’s supplies clothing for children in foster care for FREE!!! Advocacy 31Nine. Advocacy 31Nine is an organization that aims to help those in the cross-section of foster care & special needs education.
Art of Forgiveness. Art of Forgiveness works with youth to teach forgiveness, self-empowerment, & also provides opportunity scholarships/experiences to youth. Fostering Advocates Arizona. Fostering Advocates Arizona is a wing of the Children’s Action Alliance & provides many resources to those in foster care. Peoria Unified School District. Peoria USD supported the event by provided easels.
Mercy Hill Church. Mercy Hill runs an essential food bank in the heart of downtown Phoenix & provided drinks for the event. Azukar Coffee. Azukar provided shade for our event with their tent.


As always, if you or your organization have any stories highlighting educational success for children in foster care, please send them to [email protected]

Posted in News |
Published: May 9th, 2018

Art Showcase Raises Awareness of Foster Care Education

The Foster Care Education program proudly concluded the K-6th Grade Student Artwork Foster Care Awareness Showcase with a successful show on May 4, 2018, as part of Phoenix’s monthly First Friday art walk.

Almost 200 elementary school students from all over Arizona submitted artwork designed around the Foster Care Education program’s logo, which features the words Hope, Strength, Resilience, and Learning. Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas selected for award four pieces that she found to be the most inspiring, but expressed her admiration for all of the artwork.

Superintendent Douglas First Friday Showcase
1st Place Winner
2nd Place Winner
3rd Place Winner
4th Place Winner
Posted in News |
Published: April 30th, 2018

Awareness Through Art — First Friday Event This Week!!!

The Awareness Through Art K-6th grade student artwork foster care awareness showcase is almost here!

May 4th, 2018


Spread across two locations in downtown Phoenix:

Songbird Coffee & Tea House (812 N. 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ, 85004)

Roosevelt Community Church (924 N. 1st St, Phoenix, AZ, 85004)


Students from across the state of Arizona submitted an original work of art designed around the theme from the Foster Care Education Logo– Hope, Strength, Resilience, and Learning.


""Come out to support our students and learn more about how to help the foster care system from our partner organizations in the child welfare field.

Posted in News |
Published: March 1st, 2018

Awareness Through Art: Foster Care Awareness on Display

The “Awareness Through Art” K-6th Grade Student Artwork Foster Care Awareness Showcase is a visual/audio art showcase for K-6th grade Arizona students.

The showcase is open to all AZ K-6th grade students.

Students participate in the showcase by submitting an original work of art designed around the theme from the Foster Care Education logo:





Choose at least 2 words from the theme to convey through an original and inspiring work of art.


Submission Guidelines

Showcase submissions opened on Tuesday, Feb. 26th, 2018 and must be received no later than 5:00pm on Friday, April 6th, 2018

No limitation on number of entrants or entries

Submission entry form required for each work of art

Free to submit

Submissions must not exceed 14″ x 17″


Entries must be delivered in person (8:00am-5:00pm M-F) or via common carrier to one of the following addresses:

Arizona Department of Education

“Awareness Through Art”

Attn: Joey Taylor

1535 W. Jefferson St Bin #2, Phoenix, AZ, 85007


Arizona Department of Education

“Awareness Through Art”

Attn: Becky Raabe

3100 N. West St. #300 Rm 113, Flagstaff, AZ, 86004


Goodwill Metro (Tucson)

“Awareness Through Art” AZ Dept. of Education

Attn: Manager on Duty

300 N. 4th Ave., Tucson, AZ, 85705


**For the full submission packet click on this link.**




Posted in News |
Published: December 22nd, 2017

A Celebration of Literacy and Foster Youth Education with Holiday Fun!

Woman in red shirt reads to children in front of Christmas tree and fireplace.

December 10th, 2017 marks the one year anniversary of the foster care provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This massive education legislation, among other things, promotes school stability for children in foster care. Foster care children remain in the school they attended prior to entering foster care, and only if it is in a foster child’s best interest would they change schools. In the cases when a foster child would be best served by enrolling in a new school, that school is required to do so immediately, even without any or all of the necessary paperwork.

Children at a green table making Christmas ornaments.To celebrate this anniversary, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) partnered with Christown Spectrum Mall in West Phoenix to participate in the Christown Cringle’s Workshop. ADE invited several foster group homes to the event. For the many that participated, they were met with a variety of entertaining options. Santa took pictures with the families. Professional artists were present to make caricatures of the children and adults. Children got to make ornaments for the mall’s tree and several other to be donated to community centers and homeless centers. The workshop elves painted faces. Joy and merriment completely took over the Christown Mall food court!

Perhaps, one of the many highlights of the event, was when ADE’s invited guests met Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas. Many of the children in attendance had never met an elected official before and thought it was something to brag about.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction and costumed Grinch with kids in front of a Christmas tree.
Superintendent Douglas and kids all smiles about reading despite the Grinch.

Superintendent Douglas smiled and talked with all of the children, encouraging them to prioritize their education. The children eagerly sat by the tree and faux fireplace (safety first!) while Superintendent Douglas read book after book to them. Reading to Arizona’s children has been a public activity Douglas has enjoyed several times around Arizona to promote literacy with ADE’s #Read20AZ literacy initiative.

Costumed Grinch rests on overstuffed teddy bear and talks to young children. One particular young man made quite an impression. Although he was just starting his high school education, he already planned where he would work in the coming years, displaying a maturity and sense of long-term thinking many don’t possess at his age. He congregated by ADE’s table and helped hand out pencils, bookmarks, treats, and educational materials. As one of the older boys, he is a great leader and role model to the younger children in his home and was also ready to help his home’s staff with the younger children when needed.

All in all, the event was a major success! Many of the children in the foster care system have great need for caring adults in their lives.

Man in red wearing elf hat stands in front of table with educational materials.
ADE State Coordinator for Foster Care Education, Joey Taylor

Many look for those who will take a moment to simply listen and interact with them. So to engage with these children for a few hours on a Sunday really reminds those in the education profession why they chose this path. It’s a way of giving back the enriches both ADE staff and the youth we serve.

As always, subscribe to the blog for future updates regarding ADE and foster care education. If you have a story of success for a foster student or a great program that is serving foster students, please submit them to [email protected]. ADE would love to celebrate triumphs in the foster care community!

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |
Published: November 14th, 2017

Fund Foster Services with Your Taxes

*Taken from an AZ State Employees Charitable Campaign (SECC) promotional email.

Help a Foster Child

Did you know that more than 18,000 children live in the Arizona State foster care system?

Did you know that every year more than 800 children “age out” of the system when they turn 18 without finding a forever family?

Young people who age out of the foster care system have a higher chance of experiencing unemployment, homelessness, and incarceration as adults.


  • 1 out of 5 become homeless
  • 1 out of 4 become incarcerated
  • 33 percent graduate from high school and only 3 percent will ever go to college.

It is easier than ever to help a foster child.  Several SECC charities qualify for the AZ Foster Care tax credit program!

SECC Charities that qualify for the AZ Foster Care Tax Credit:

For information or to make your pledge click here.*

Posted in News |
Published: October 5th, 2017

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

That is the question that plagues us all…

AZ Dept. of Child Safety is showcasing a Post-Secondary Education Day on October 14th, 2017. Please see details below:

When: October 14, 2017 from 8:30am to 4:00pm

Where: University of Phoenix, 1625 West Fountainhead Parkway, Tempe, AZ

The event is free.  Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.

How to get a ticket: Go to

Please forward this information to all individuals and organizations that can benefit from this unique event.

What is DCS Post-Secondary Education Day: DCS has developed a Post-Secondary Education Day for foster youth which will take place on Saturday, October 14th from 9:00am – 4:00pm at the University of Phoenix in Tempe.  We entitled the event “Choose Your Own Adventure” because we believe that there is a world full of possibilities to all foster youth, they simply must choose their own adventure.  The purpose of this event is to provide foster youth with a snapshot into the educational and vocational opportunities available to them as they consider their plans after high school (or after age 18).  The event will cover writing college entrance exams, establishing good supports, what is Financial Aid, etc.

Who can attend: All current and former foster youth 16 years old and up.  Foster families, supportive partners, and chaperones can attend as well.*

*Tickets for this group are limited and are on a first come first serve basis.

Stop by the ADE table & say hi!


As always subscribe to the blog for future updates regarding ADE and foster care education. If you have a story of success for a foster student or a great program that is serving foster students, please submit them to [email protected]. ADE would love to celebrate triumphs in this community!

Posted in News |
Published: September 22nd, 2017

October 1st is Coming…


For those LEAs who have yet to submit their ‘LEA Transportation Plan to Ensure School Stability for Students in Foster Care’ into ALEAT, help is on the way. Listed below is another version of a guidance email that will be sent out through ALEAT.

Dear Colleague,

I trust this correspondence finds you doing well and excited for the cooler weather on the horizon. Many LEAs have already uploaded their ‘LEA Transportation Plan to Ensure School Stability for Students in Foster Care’ into ALEAT with great success. With a little over a week remaining before the Oct. 1st deadline, I wanted to send out some guidance regarding the aforementioned instrument in ALEAT. This instrument is intended to capture the LEA’s ‘big picture’, overall plan, to ensure transportation is provided, arranged, and funded for children in foster care to remain in their school of origin. The ‘LEA Transportation Plan to Ensure School Stability for Students in Foster Care’ in the only document that needs to be uploaded to ALEAT in this instrument.  

In the ‘Resources’ tab, you will find a sample fillable template that you may use as your Transportation Plan to Ensure School Stability for Students in Foster Care. This template is intended to be used in the following manner:

  • The top section is to capture your LEA information, specifically your LEA Foster Care Point of Contact. (The LEA Foster Care Point of Contact (POC) needs to be designated. Be sure to check the LEA POC list at to be sure your LEA has the correct person designated. If your Foster Care POC changes, be sure to email [email protected] & [email protected].
  • The second section is another catch, along with the Statement of Assurances that are included in the consolidated grant, that the foster care provisions in ESSA will be in adhered to.
  • The third section is the bulk of the transportation plan.
    • The first question aims to address how the LEA will ensure foster children are going to retain school stability and how transportation for children in foster care to their school of origin will be provided, arranged, and funded in the interim (i.e. while you are setting up the long term transportation plan).
    • The second question aims to address how the LEA will find any existing transportation options that may be used to transport students in foster care (i.e. if a student in foster care has an IEP that calls for transportation already, that would be an existing option).
    • The third question aims to undertake some of the details of the transportation plan. Be sure to address with detail all of the italicized remarks in the parentheses.

The second item in the ‘Resources’ tab, is a link to the webpage. This webpage has bevy of information to help guide your transportation plan:

  • The ‘Law’ menu has the full text of ESSA and the isolated foster care provisions in ESSA.
  • The ‘Guidance’ menu has the non-regulatory federal guidance and a transportation guidance.
  • The ‘Training’ menu has an ESSA Foster Care 101 PowerPoint and other supporting documents.
  • The ‘Resources’ menu has national and state resources.
  • The ‘Blog’ menu has the ADE Foster Care Education blog. This blog will be used to push out important program updates, initiatives, and highlights. Subscribing to the blog will benefit your LEA greatly.

Students in foster care face enormous challenges and barriers to a successful education. Studies have shown, that every time that a foster child changes school they lose about six months of academic progress. On average, about 42% of foster children attend two or more schools in a given school year and have a graduation rate of about 33%. Needless to say, school stability is vastly important for this population.

Thank you for role in serving these foster students!


As always subscribe to the blog for future updates regarding ADE and foster care education. If you have a story of success for a foster student or a great program that is serving foster students, please submit them to [email protected]. ADE would love to celebrate triumphs in this community!

Posted in News |
Published: September 1st, 2017

Public Introduction from the Director of Community Outreach

State of Arizona

Department of Education

Office of Community Outreach


August 31, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to formally introduce the Arizona Department of Education’s Foster Care Education Coordinator, Joey Taylor. Joey comes to the ADE with a diverse background from both the foster care and education realm. He will serve as the State level Point of Contact to fulfill the requirements laid out in the Elementary Secondary Education Act as reinstated by the Every Student Succeeds Act. Joey will serve as a great resource to the LEAs pertaining to all things foster care related, will help the LEAs and child welfare agencies collaborate for the purpose of school stability for children in foster care, and advocate heavily for the best outcomes for this population of students.

With the new school year underway, ADE has put out an ESSA Foster Care 101 to help you navigate & implement the changes laid out in ESSA pertaining to foster care students. You can find this training at under Training. ADE has also made a public information poster* highlighting some of the ESSA foster care provisions. Each LEA may hang this poster next to their McKinney-Vento public information posters (*note, this poster is not mandated, but may prod students in foster care to self-identify, which would help the LEA identify this population).

Along with the foster care provisions being added to the statement of assurances in the ESEA Consolidated Grant (which includes Title I funds), there is an instrument added to each LEAs homepage in ALEAT. It is the ‘Transportation Plan for Children in Foster Care (Foster Plan)’. Each LEA will have to upload a Transportation Plan to Ensure School Stability for Students in Foster Care. In the resources tab, there is a guidance document, sample template, plus additional resources. The aforementioned plans are due on Oct. 1st, 2017.

The Department of Child Safety has designated regional Points of Contact for the purposes of collaboration regarding the assurance of school stability and the implementation of transportation plans for children in foster care to their school of origin. These Points of Contact are listed below, on the website, and in the training.

*        State level POC: Beverlee Kroll, [email protected]

*        The 5 CWA Regional POCs are:

*        Northern Region (Mohave, Coconino, Yavapai, Apache and Navajo Counties):  Dee Goulet, [email protected] and Michael Lindquist, [email protected]

*        Southwest Region (Yuma, La Paz and Western Maricopa Counties): Chanetta Curtis, [email protected]

*        Central Region (Eastern Maricopa and Pinal Counties): Patti Wenzel, [email protected]

*        Pima Region (Pima County): Rosemary Munoz, [email protected]

*        Southeast Region (Santa Cruz, Cochise, Graham, Greenlee and Gila counties): Sharon Travis, [email protected]


For any additional support/resources/training/etc feel free to contact Joey Taylor. His contact information is below.

Joey Taylor

Arizona Department of Education

Foster Care Education Coordinator

ESSA Foster Care POC

1535 W. Jefferson, Bin #2

Phoenix, AZ,  85007

(602) 542-3569

[email protected]

[email protected]


Thank you and have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend!

Christopher Dickinson

Director of Community Outreach Manager of the Zip Code Project Arizona Department of Education Office: 602.542.9411 | Cell: 602.695.9211 [email protected] Website:

We Are Listening Tour Q & A with Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas

Posted in News |