The Caregiver Courier
August 2017
Back to School Prep

As summer break finishes, it's time to make sure we are prepared for the upcoming school year.  

Amy Hugle, a SAFY of Nevada Case Coordinator and intrepid member of the QPI Communications Plan Work-group,  offers valuable advice on how to enjoy a successful start to the new school year.
Click here to read more.

As a friendly Caregiver Courier reminder, the CCSD nine-month school calendar start date is Monday, August 14th, 2017.  For more CCSD calendar information, click here.  
Spotlight Series: Trauma-Informed Parenting, Pt. 8

To conclude the Caregiver Courier's 8-part series on Trauma-Informed Care, this month's article focuses on self-care.  SAFY's Melinda Rhoades explores why self-care is so important and how simple, mindful activities can have profound, positive effects.  
Click here to read Module 8.

Previous Modules

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

Clark County Foster Parent Spotlight

Our amazing foster parents are what truly make the Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS) a diverse and unique place to take care of children and their families.  We are tremendously grateful to those hundreds of devoted and caring foster parents who have joined forces with DFS to become champions for our children.  Every day, a nurturing parent says "Yes!" and makes a child first by wrapping them with love, resources and family support.

An inspiring organization seeks purpose driven people working together to fulfill the agency's mission and vision, and  DFS is extremely fortunate to have the honor of shining the spotlight on one of our dedicated families in this issue of the Caregiver Courier.

Please meet Mr. Justice Rwchungura and Ms. Zighe Mwachofi!  These remarkable people have been foster parents for more than seven years.  Family members, friends and DFS employees describe both Mr. Rwchungura and Ms. Mwachofi as family oriented, pleasant and compassionate people who successfully engage our children in foster care. 

"Mr. Rwchungura and Ms. Mwachofi are classy, professional, caring, well organized and very responsive," said CASA volunteer Vicki Longden.

Thank you Mr. Rwchungura and Ms. Mwachofi for all that you do!  It's an honor for DFS to celebrate two exceptional foster parents.  We appreciate your collaboration with our agency and your willingness to partner with others in the community to produce great outcomes for children and their families.  
Grace Point Church Offering Monthly Foster Parents' Night Out
After the success of its inaugural Foster Parents' Day Out, Grace Point Church is expanding its FREE respite program so foster parents can get an occasional night out! Beginning in August, Grace Point will offer respite care from 6 - 9 p.m. on the first Friday each month.
What: Foster Parents' Night Out
When: 6 - 9 p.m., first Friday each month.  Next date: Friday, September 1st, 2017
Where:  Grace Point Church, 3794 W. Ann Rd., North Las Vegas
What Do You Get Out of it?
Make it a "date night," catch a movie, unwind at your favorite coffee shop...whatever you need, it's a little "you" time to use as you choose! During that time, Grace Point will provide a fun, safe and nurturing environment for your children in care as well as your biological children.
The full list of upcoming Foster Parents' Night Out evenings includes: Sept. 1, Oct. 6, Nov. 8, Dec. 1, Jan. 5, Feb. 2, March 2, April 6, May 4 (Star Wars Day!), June 1 and Aug. 6. Keep watching the Caregiver Courier for more details and registration information.
Prudent Parenting and Normalcy

It has been a year since the training on Normalcy webinar was presented. Questions still come up about Prudent Parenting and Normalcy.  Normalcy is the right of all youth in out of home care to have the opportunity for normal growth and development and to be offered the chance to participate in age-appropriate activities, responsibilities and life skills. 

For a training video about Prudent Parenting and Normalcy, please click here.  

Back to School Party Recap from DFS and CASA

This year, both events served over 1,100+ children and counting. Each year, both these coordinated events become bigger and better with the outpouring of support from donors throughout Clark County. The  Department of Family Services Back to school! Back to Basics and CASA's Back to School Party provided backpacks, shoes, haircuts and much more for children in DFS care .

"It's backpack heaven!"
A young very excited boy pulls his brother with him and shouts, "look, look it's backpack heaven" then he shyly asks do we get to pick our own out, and jumps up and down when he is told yes.  Thanks to the tremendous donations and support all the children in care will receive backpacks for this school year. There were over 700 children who attended the event on July 27th, 2017.  For those families who could not attend, their DFS Specialists will ensure they have backpacks prior to the start of school.  430 children attended the CASA event on August 6, 2017 .

  "This year's event for CASA was a huge success," said Elizabeth Ham, president of the CASA foundation and organizer of the CASA Back to School Party. 

"We are beyond grateful to all our volunteers, donors and vendors who made this event such a success and helped us make sure that each of our children will start the school year with everything they need," said Denise Parker of DFS, one of the organizers of the event. Community collaboration continues to make this event bigger and better each year.
Click here for photos.  
DFS Launches New Training Class for Foster Parents and Licensed Relatives

The Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS) has launched a new series of training classes designed to help foster parents and DFS make better placement decisions for children in foster care.  Dubbed "Placement and Referral Intelligent Matching Engine" (PRIME), the internet based tool allows the Placement Team to email foster parents referrals to children who may be a good match for their household.  The first class begins on Sunday, August 20 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the DFS Central office building (121 S. Martin Luther King Blvd).
Classes will be hands on and seating is limited to 10 people per session.  To attend the training, please register at the NV Partnership for Training web page:

Click here for a listing of all of the classes and their locations. 

A key feature of PRIME is the fact that once a child is placed in either a DFS foster home or with a licensed relative, the caregiver has access to the child's profile, which includes basic information about the child and their needs.  During the training sessions, foster parents will be able to review potential matches and learn more about the children in need of placement.  Attendees will also discover how to make arrangements to transition a child into their home or, if necessary, decline a placement. 
Additionally, Foster parents will learn about:
  • Gaining access to a custody letter, medical passport and Medicaid numbers, online
  • Various features in the Foster Parent Portal
  • Updating their talents and interests under Household Hobbies so children who enjoy those activities are matched to their home
  • Viewing pending Placement Match Referrals
  • All of the parts of a child's profile to ensure they know as much as possible about the child before making a final decision. 
  • Discovering how to use Reverse Matching to request a child's profile for children in need of placement. 
  • Looking at the profile of a child who was recently placed in a foster parent's home 
For more information about the innovative PRIME training classes, please call Heather Kendall at (702) 455-8895.


Foster Kinship, Foster Change and DFS have partnered to offer QPI Workshops on navigating the "QPI/Just In Time" training website.  In addition to receiving assistance with navigating the website, free child care  and refreshments will be provided!  This is a great opportunity for our caregivers to complete some or all of their required training.  

The next workshop will be on Saturday, August 19th, 2017.

Click here to for more information. 
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.

What is QPI?

Making sure every child living in foster care has 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.
702-455-5444   |
121 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89106