Denver is full of opportunities for foster parents to connect with the community, get support from other foster parents, and to enjoy affordable activities for your family.
This training is held at the Richard T. Castro Human Services Center at 1200 Federal Blvd., Denver 80204. You will only need to attend a mandatory training one time per certification year. Please RSVP to Eventbrite by searching for the title of the training you wish to attend. Don’t wait until the last minute to RSVP as classes fill up quickly.
As a reminder, the mandatory ongoing trainings (Emergency Preparedness, RPPS, and Rules and Regs) have been condensed into one, three-hour training (Bootcamp). Please be sure to attend one training within your certification year. RSVPs are required for all trainings and events. Responses for the DHS mandatory trainings and events are done through Eventbrite by searching for the title of the training you wish to attend. If you don't have access to the internet or a valid email address, you can still RSVP for trainings and events by calling 720-944-4000.
By December 31, 2019, all Denver foster parents must complete the online Safe Sleep training “Safe Sleep: Creating Safe Sleeping Environments for Infants”. This training is available on the Colorado Child Welfare Training System website at www.coloradocwts.com.
CPR and First Aid Training is provided at no cost to foster parents and providers in the process of becoming foster parents. You can register for these trainings by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Upcoming dates for trainings, all held at 1200 Federal Blvd., are:
Colorado Department of Human Services has partnered with Foster Parent College to offer online training sessions at no cost to foster parents. If you are interested in accessing Foster Parent College, email email@example.com to request an account.
Foster Source’s mission is to provide relevant trainings, resources and support to foster parents from a trauma-informed approach, giving them the skills and confidence to spark healing in children. They have amazing training opportunities each month; be sure to check out what they are offering!
Visit the Colorado Child Welfare Training System for a list of upcoming training opportunities. Web-based trainings include:
Visit the Adoption Exchange for a list of upcoming training opportunities.
The Trust-Based Relational Intervention training is an evidence-based parenting and intervention model designed for children who have experienced relationship-based traumas such as institutionalization, multiple foster placements, maltreatment, abuse, and/or neglect. The Adoption Exchange offers these trainings:
ARC Reflections is a comprehensive training program to help kids heal after trauma. Developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s child welfare experts and the Justice Resource Institute, the training teaches foster parents and kin caregivers how to support children who are grappling with trauma. This training resource is available for free online!
Colorado State Foster Parent Association (CSFPA)
Visit the CSFPA website for training opportunities.
Coordinated by Denver Human Services. Meeting time and location varies. For more info, contact Peter Clarke at 720-944-6051.
Coordinated by Denver Human Services. Meeting time and day varies; usually a weekday from 6-8 p.m. For more info, contact Fabiola Esposito at 720-944-6079.
Coordinated by Denver Human Services. Third Saturday of every month from 9-11 a.m. at 1200 Federal Blvd. For more info, contact Vida Hejazi at 720-944-6265.
The Kinship Caregiver Program supports caregivers from all cultural and faith backgrounds who are raising relatives’ children. Catholic Charities offers monthly support groups, fun family events, and special trainings to families free of charge. For more information, contact Carrie Savage at 720-799-9254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provides a friendly and supportive environment led by parents and other caregivers. This is a place where anyone in a parenting role can openly discuss the successes and challenges of raising children. For more information, contact Jennifer Richardson at 303-745-0327 or Jennifer@familiesfirstcolorado.org.
Meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7-8:30 p.m. and fourth Tuesday of the month from 7-9 p.m. For more info, contact Kathy Mackechney at 303-960-6964.
Big Hearts Closet is a nonprofit organization under Heritage Christian Center supporting foster care parents who can shop for free barely used items they may need when they accept a new placement. Foster parents can choose from clothes, books, games, toys, baby gear, and furniture. Foster parents can borrow then return these items or choose to keep them. For more information and to receive a referral for, email email@example.com or call 970-614-8660.
If you are a member of the Colorado State Foster Parent Association, you can get 50% off of your membership, some YMCA programs, and lodging at the Snow Mountain Ranch facility. Find out how to sign up for the benefit here.
Give your child a Head Start! Children in foster care are eligible for enrollment in Head Starts at no cost to foster families. Enrolling a child in care may potentially assist with child care needs and offered other added benefits for the whole family as Head Start is a federally funded, quality early education program, helping children build a solid foundation for school achievement and a healthy lifestyle. Early Head Start (birth to age 3) and Head Start (ages 3-5) are available supports. For info on enrollment and more, call 720-913-0880 or visit denvergov.org/HeadStart.
Each year in Colorado, more than 300 youth “age out” of the foster care system. These youth enter adulthood without any sort of permanent connection—no childhood home to go to for Thanksgiving dinner, no one to go to for advice before a job interview, no one to call when they’re having a bad day … no support system at all. The CHOICE program intervenes before these youth “age out” of the system, by creating broader connections between youth and adults outside of the traditional adoption route. This is also an opportunity for adults who would like to help support an adolescent but are not fully ready to become a foster parent. Visit the Adoption Exchange website for more information.
A Denver Metro area non-profit that assists emancipated foster youth in achieving self-sufficiency with an emphasis on post-secondary education. Forward Steps helps to provide financial assistance, individualized mentoring sessions, monthly professional, personal development workshops, college bootcamp, and more.
Foster Care to Success is a national non-profit organization helping foster youth ages 17-23 with scholarships, mentoring, and leadership/intern programs.
Boomers Leading Change introduces Health Navigation Services to help with finding a primary care physician, where to go for food assistance, enrolling in health insurance, and transportation to medical appointments. For more info, contact Ellen Keckler at 303-426-6637 ext. 301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This air and space museum has several ongoing opportunities for foster families to take advantage of the educational programming at no cost. Wings Over the Rockies has multiple summer camps, education workshops, and programs for kids of all ages, and we invite foster children to attend these at no cost to families. Descriptions of camps can be found at https://wingsmuseum.org/camps/. If you are interested in signing up, there is a simple scholarship form to complete (in the “amount you can contribute” section, please indicate “zero” on the form and that this scholarship is for a foster child). For more information, contact April Lanotte at email@example.com.
Tons of after school programs, game nights, computer time, and more! For all of the events, visit denverlibrary.org.
With the MY Denver Card, youth ages 5-18 who live in the City and County of Denver or attend Denver Public Schools can have the “Key to the City!” It serves as both a Denver recreation center and library card. Recreation centers offer structured and drop-in activities for cardholders, including sports and fitness, urban arts and culture, and science and technology. MY Denver cardholders can also get limited, free access to various educational and cultural facilities across the city.
Sēb’s Recreation Center (1710 S. Buckley Rd., Unit 9, Aurora, CO 80017) is dedicated to empowering individuals with special needs and unique challenges through community outreach, health and wellness, recreation and education that promote learning opportunities designed to strengthen and develop lives. For more information, call 303-353-9822.
Ludwig Martial Arts (9140 W. 100th Ave., A1, Broomfield, CO 80021) offers free training for foster kids to help improve self-esteem, control and awareness as well as learn self-defense while gaining confidence in your own ability! For more information, call 720-589-8792.
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Check out the Denver Ear's listings of free days at Denver's museums, zoo, and gardens.
The Denver Library has tons of after-school programs, game nights, computer time, and more.
With the MY Denver Card, youth ages 5-18 get free access to recreation centers, pools, and cultural facilities.